The Power of Positive Thinking
Positive thinking can be SUCH a powerful tool. It has been shown to reduce stress, lower depression rates, and increase cardiovascular and physiological health. So why not use this simple technique to help you transform your goals?
Focus on What You Want to Do Instead of What You Want to Avoid
Say you want to stop eating out at work so much because it’s draining your budget and making you feel like crap. If you constantly think “I need to stop eating out”, what are you thinking about? All the restaurants you could be eating at and how much fun your coworkers are having!
Instead, try this- “I want to bring my lunch from home more often.” Now, when you see your goal written down or think about it, you are focusing on what you WANT to do. You already have bringing your lunch from home on your mind, so it’s that much easier to follow through.
You can do this with your reasoning behind the goal, too- instead of worrying about draining your budget and having a food coma, you can focus on saving more money and having energy. Because guess what? If your mind hears the words “feeling like crap” all day, that’s exactly what you’re going to get!
Why Does This Help?
First, you’re in a better mood when you’re thinking good thoughts instead of negative thoughts. When I focus on what I can’t have, I find myself wanting it even more. Not helpful, plus it makes me grumpy.
Second, like attracts like. Have you ever had one bad thing happen that snowballed into a really sucky day? Or you get one piece of good news, like a job offer, and suddenly get the good news starts rolling in? When you’re thinking positive thoughts intentionally, you attract more positive thoughts and eventually positive action.
Finally, studies have shown that our brains can’t process negatives as easily- meaning they don’t distinguish between “Do not spend money” and “spend money”. That’s why when you decide to break your shopping habit, suddenly new clothes are all you can think of.
Turn Your Goals and Intentions into Positive Statements
Think of a goal you are working on now. How can you reword it into a positive statement?
Here are a few examples to help you out:
- Don’t overspend -> Stay within my budget
- Eat fewer sweets -> Eat more whole foods
- Don’t pick fights with my boyfriend -> take time to talk with my boyfriend and understand why he makes the decisions he does
- Decrease stress -> Take time to relax each day
You may also find that when you rewrite your goal into a positive statement, you spend more time thinking about what you actually want to achieve. For instance, when rewriting “eat fewer sweets”, I could have chosen several alternatives: eat more whole foods, start counting calories, losing weight, etc. I decided that eating more healthy food was my real focus, which says a lot about how I value food and my weight.
Now It’s Your Turn
What goals can you rephrase? Let me know in the comments?
Are you having trouble rewriting your goals?
My guide to setting goals can help.