It’s officially springtime, a season of renewal and rejuvenation, and the change in weather has gotten me thinking about how I’d like to make changes in myself, to improve, expand my knowledge, take on more responsibility, start incorporating real food into my diet of purely breakfast food, etc. What also struck me is that this January marked the start of the year of the dragon, the most auspicious year of the Chinese zodiac (a cycle I have ignored most of my life for annoyance at being born in the year of the rat). However, this year I cast my childlike pompousness aside and embrace the dragon, a symbol of courage, confidence, and action. So, from here on out, year of the dragon = year of action! Yes, that’s right! THIS year I’m going to I’m going to actually DO things! Yes, DO things! No more thinking, only doing! Yay!
Rather than setting goals for myself I know I’ll never reach, like I do every year (I will work out for four hours EVERY day! I will keep in touch with EVERYONE I know! I will NOT make eggs and frozen waffles every night!), I’ve decided to go a different route, and start with something small and simple – positivity. I’m challenging myself (and all of you!) to release all that negative energy you carry around, because that’s all that it is – just dead weight. It only hinders your progress, and more so than you can imagine. Let it go, clear your mind and body of clutter, and watch how life opens up. And believe it or not, this is a hell of a lot easier than it sounds, and here are just a few of the many ways you can do it.
Find something each day to look forward to. Work sucks. School sucks. Waking up to GO to work or school sucks. But, alas, we have to do it anyway. Even so, find time each day to do one thing that you really enjoy – whether it be eating your favorite food, reading, watching trashy TV, or just relaxing with friends. And when you wake up in the morning, as you dread putting that first foot on the floor, think about doing that one enjoyable thing (I’m going to make NACHOS for dinner, and anyone who disapproves can suck it!), and your morning will be infinitely better.
Start each day with a purpose. If inwardly drooling about your upcoming nacho dinner isn’t working for you, start each day by thinking purposefully about what you’re going to do (Today I am going to CLASS! I am going to LEARN things! And I am going to FORGET them after I leave!). It may sounds stupid, but it’s a great reminder that you do or learn something each day, no matter how small or insignificant.
Stop worrying. About everything. Yes, everything. This, I think, is the hardest mental hurdle to overcome, but it has the greatest rewards. It’s especially hard for me because I come from a long line of worriers, but I’ve found lately that it’s completely manageable if you try. We tend to worry about things that are beyond our control, or the uncertainty in the future – and so if there really is nothing you can do about it (at least not at this moment in time), why agonize over it? The only action you can take is to let it bother you or to let it go. So why not let it go? And, one of the best remedies I’ve discovered (thanks to my social-worker best friend) for getting things off of your mind is to take a piece of paper and write down everything that’s bothering you at that moment. Once your thoughts are on paper, they’re out of your head, and you’ll be amazed how quickly you forget them.
Finish each day and be done with it. Since there’s no point in worrying about things that might happen in the future, there’s no reason to agonize over things that have already happened. When the day is done, it’s done, so forget about it and move on to the next one.
Realize that all you need is within you. Yes, it’s true! Love, courage, strength, knowledge, kindness – all of these are within you, and they really are all that you need in this life. Yes, we need love from other people too, but the best way to receive love is to give it – and you’ve got an ocean of it inside you. And remember, getting what you want is not nearly as important as giving what you have.
Take control. This is your one beautiful, short, wonderful life – so why let someone else tell you how to live it? Take control of it. If you don’t like something, change it. Stand up for yourself, because no one else will do it for you.
Good luck in the year of action! Remember, you can’t live a positive life with a negative mind. So change your mindset, and change your life. But don’t give up breakfast food.