Have you ever given a presentation and received tons of praise and accolades, only to find yourself ruminating on the one person who was critical of you?
We’ve all been there.
Focusing on what’s wrong is easy. Think about it. All through school did teachers point out all the things you did right? Or did they check off with a bright red pen every single mistake you made along the way.
I already know the answer to this.
It takes some discipline to focus on what’s good in our lives and businesses and not get all caught up in what’s wrong or missing. Maybe we’re wired this way for survival purposes from the days of saber-tooth tigers stalking us, but our current life is different. For the most part, we don’t have big, giant cats ready to pounce on us at every turn, but our wiring hasn’t been updated yet. The good news is that it can be thanks to neuroplasticity. We can rewire our brains.
On the other hand, we do want to be able to see our mistakes and evaluate where we can improve, but let’s not make that the only thing we dwell on. Here are some New Year Resolutions (which one can start implementing any day of the year, by the way) that will help us to enjoy moments throughout the day:
New Year’s Resolution #1: Celebrate your successes.
As you go about marketing and promoting your book, you want to take a few moments to celebrate your wins. It’s so easy to get caught up in doing the next thing, and the next thing, and the next. We will never run out of things to do, so the trick here is to stop–even if only for a few moments–and acknowledge your successes. Think of these little breaks as mini vacations. Very few people seem to do this and then get caught up in feelings of overwhelm and cryptic thoughts that there is, “Too much to do!” You want to actually feel those good feelings of accomplishment and success in your body. Enjoy it. Do this BEFORE you move onto the next item on your list. (Oh, and if you find yourself saying, “I don’t have time to do that!” Think again. You really can’t afford not to as that is what is going to give you the drive and motivation to get the next thing done.)
New Year’s Resolution #2: Create a gratitude list — every day!
Take some time every morning to really appreciate the people in your life that you like and love. Think about your business, your book, your creative ideas, your associates. Your joint venture partners. Whatever and whoever it is that makes you shine and feel wonderful; take a moment to feel gratitude for them. Gratitude, as corny as it may sound, really is the door to greater good..and good feelings.
New Year’s Resolution #3: Forget about what you can’t control, and take action regarding those things you can.
There are plenty of things in life we can’t control, e.g., other people’s actions or thoughts. We may be able to influence them to some degree, but others have their own minds and we can’t control them. Also, sometimes life throws situations at us that we certainly didn’t ask for, e.g., someone wants a divorce, economic changes that force bankruptcy, an unexpected and unwanted health report from the doctor, no one is reviewing your book, and yet, the one thing we can control (after the initial disbelief, anger, sadness or whatever) is our attitude and responses to those situations.
The point of all of this is to take time and focus on what is going well…First.
As far as I can tell, life is a mixed bag of stuff. Some things you’ll love and some, not so much. But the one thing that is totally within your power is to control your own focus. And you must! Look at what is going well. Get yourself into a positive frame of mind feeling good about your progress, and then you can take a look at what can be better. If it’s something that can be changed, then develop a plan and change it. If it’s something that can’t be changed, then let it go or ignore it. Your precious life energy is worth it, and this is something no one can do for you. Only you.
To your success!