Hello my lovely readers! This week I come to you with a subject that must’ve been on my top 10 Google searches for years (and if you’re here, it’s probably been on yours as well).
Staying positive is HARD no matter how many people out there tell you it’s simple, that you just do it and that’s it! But after a lot of practice and finding out what works best for you, it does tend to get easier to silence that ugly voice inside our head telling us to stay where we are and not move forward in our dreams.
That voice has been inside my head my entire life, and it will probably always be there, but this year I’ve become determined to tell it to shut up! This is my year and no one is taking my dreams away from me and if you follow my advice, this will be YOUR year, too!
Without further ado, I bring to you my list of top 10 tips -in no particular order- on how to stay positive during hard times:
Number 1: Gratitude
I discovered the power of gratitude the first time I wrote down a gratitude log in my bullet journal, back in February. Every night after work, before going to bed, I’d open my bullet journal and look back at the day I had. Had it been a good day? Had it been a bad day? It didn’t matter. Because even in the worst days, there was always at least one tiny thing to be grateful about and thinking about it made me feel a thousand times better.
A warm cup of coffee in the morning, a satisfied customer at work, terribly off-tune Adelle karaoke in the car with my lil sisters. It didn’t matter what it was, it helped me go to bed every night with a smile on my face and forget about my worries.
Number 2: Music
To me, music is the universal language that brings us all together. Even without lyrics, it can bring out emotions deep within us that we didn’t even know we had! Listening to music everyday is a MUST for me, because it’s my way to disconnect from the troubles of the world and focus on my emotions. Music clears my head and sets my soul free. It doesn’t matter if I’m listening to a new soundtrack or playing the piano or singing, it has a huge impact on my emotions. Which is why I’m constantly updating my playlist to listen to new music every week.What song sets your soul free when you're having a bad day? Click To Tweet
Number 3: Goal Setting
Ever since we were children, we’ve had dreams that we believed we’d accomplish once we grew up. For me, I was going to be an artist, a singer and a mom. But as I grew up, life got in the way and I was going to become a Biochemist because I was really good at science (and 12 year old me really wanted to find a way to scientifically develop superpowers). So I grew up, got into Biochem and studied hard, but I wasn’t happy.
Still, I tried to convince myself that that was my path, that I would be happy someday, that I would make my family proud. Two years studying Biochem and I learned a valuable lesson: if it doesn’t make YOU happy, don’t do it.
It was hard for my parents to find out their daughter would no longer be the brilliant scientist they always thought she’d be. And it was hard for me to take that huge step to change my life and set out new goals for myself. I decided that whatever I did, I would do it passionately. Life is too short to not do what we love. As human beings, we naturally refuse change, even if the lives we have are not satisfying. Nevertheless, nothing sets us free as the steps we take with courage and passion to turn our lives into the lives of our dreams.
But setting a goal that will fill your life with joy won’t magically make your life better, which takes us to the next tip:
Number 4: Track your progress
Did you hear that story about that guy who was lying down on the couch dreaming and one day his dreams knocked on his door and all was well? No? Well that’s because that is the story most of us are programmed to believe in, when the truth is:
What you need to do to improve your life is not to have dreams, but to have goals. Goals are the result of the steps that YOU take to achieve the life that YOU want. If you’re not achieving your goals, you’re either not taking the steps toward them or you’re taking the wrong steps!
Need help setting goals and taking the steps to achieve your goals? Then grab my free printable for July now with a monthly goal tracker to track your progress toward achieving the life you want!
But what if you’re already doing all you can and life still sucks? What if you’re just taking the wrong steps?
Number 5: Ask for help
You’re supposed to work hard to reach your goals, set deadlines, make sacrifices and it’s HARD. But nobody said you had to do it alone!
If it’s hard for you to stay positive and you’re losing motivation, find someone to talk to. I cannot even begin to tell you how important it is that you don’t do this alone (even if you’re proud and stubborn like me!).
As I mentioned in my second post the people who support me in my wild dreams have been a HUGE part of the process that led me to accomplishing one of my main goals this year, becoming an Au Pair.
My best friend, Casey, is on the other side of the world and yet she managed to keep poking me and encouraging me to go to the interviews, get my paperwork done, keep my head held high and believe in myself even when I couldn’t gather enough money to pay for the Au Pair programme and was swimming in an ocean of debt. And my parents were the ones who gave me the loan and accompanied me in the 13 hour drive to Buenos Aires to go to that super scary interview at the embassy! I have no words to describe how grateful I am for their help, and this is coming from someone who always refuses to ask for help (it’s a big flaw I’m still working on 😉 ).
Number 6: Meditation, Visualization and Positive Affirmations
Okay, okay, those are like 3 tips in one! But after using them for over a year, I’ve discovered that they work best for me when they’re brought together as one (plus, it saves a lot of time for people with 11 hour shifts and a blog to manage like myself 😉 ).
If you’re like me and have a hard time getting rid of the stress monster, meditation is what will give you that peace and relaxation that you need to start, continue or finish your day with more energy (which is why I try to meditate in the mornings when it is I need the most energy!).
Visualization is what will keep you dreaming and moving forward. I personally like to have private boards on Pinterest where I pin all of the things I want to see in my future and in that moment I am in that future living the life of my dreams. And you can bet that gives me the motivation I need to work on my goals!
But when insecurity takes over, that’s where the positive affirmations help. Remember that voice inside my head I’m determined to shut up this year? Well positive affirmations are an army of voices telling me that I am awesome and capable of accomplishing anything I want in life.
This month, I’m trying the Miracle Morning challenge once more and will be adding more positive actions to my morning routine, not just meditation, visualization and positive affirmations.
Number 7: Take a break
What? Didn’t you just tell us to work hard on our goals?
Of course I want you to work hard on your goals! But I don’t want you to overwhelm yourself with endless to-do lists that will drive you insane neither!
In life, you must always find a balance. Doing too much will stress you to the point that you’ll most likely give up. (This is why I didn’t even touch my Bullet Journal from March to May!). Doing too little and procrastinating will get you nowhere! So what are you supposed to do then?
Focus on your main tasks, the most important ones and then set time aside to take a break. Have a coffee, get some fresh air, walk your dog, call a family member. Rest.
What do you mean you have no time to rest? If I can rest while managing a blog (Though guilty of posting only once a week. Oops!) and working 11 hour shifts Monday to Friday and a 6 hour shift on Saturday, then you can find at least 30 minutes a day to take a break.
Number 8: Creative Outlet
Everyone needs a creative outlet. But you’re not creative, right? Wrong! Creativity comes from passion and practice. So what if you’ve never doodled like a pro? You can do it! Find something creative to do while on your take a break moment. I love designing, but when it becomes a task, it is no longer fun, so I have other creative outlets like drawing, painting, singing and writing. Can’t think of anything creative to do? You can always color this mandala that I drew as my creative outlet. It’s available in my resource library or you can download it by clicking on the image in this post 🙂
Number 9: Eliminate toxic people from your life
This one is probably one of the hardest things to do. As I mentioned before, it is in our nature to oppose change. Letting our lives remain the same, staying where we are sometimes feels like the safest option. But that isn’t always the case. That voice inside your head isn’t the only one stopping you from living a more positive life. Sometimes there are other mean voices from other people: family members, friends, significant others. And letting go of them is the hardest part.
It is important that we communicate with the people we love who say those things to let them know how they’re hurting us, to ask them to stop. But if the people we surround ourselves with don’t love us, they won’t have anything nice to say.
If your best friend is pulling you down instead of lifting you up, then I’m sorry to be the one to tell you that they’re not your friend and you must eliminate them from your life and find new people to hang out with, people who care.
Number 10: Take care of your physical health
Believe it or not, if you’re not physically healthy, you won’t be emotionally and mentally healthy. To feel better, you need to take care of your body. Drink more water, work out, eat fruits and vegetables, sleep a good amount of hours every night. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes at me right now, but trust me, it helps! If you have a planner or bullet journal like myself, you can always track down your progress in a monthly, weekly or daily planner. It’s up to you! Do something today to take care of your physical health. Replace that sugary treat with a fruit, walk your dog (I’m sure he/she will appreciate it, too!), go to bed early instead of binge watching Netflix tonight. You can do it!
So there they are! My top 10 tips on staying positive and moving forward when life seems to be pushing you back. What do you do to stay positive when the clouds are grey? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next week,