The Year of Living Positively

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I am very excited to wish you a happy new year. 2016 is already off to a great start for me, and I hope and pray that it is for you, as well.

As my family and I were approaching the new year, I was faced with the annual task of compiling a list of challenging, yet hopefully achievable, personal resolutions. This year I tried a different approach, one that I have been chomping at the bit to share with you.

Rather than weigh myself down with a laundry list of taboo items, a depressing assortment of “can’t haves” and “don’t dos,” last week I decided to create a list of several things I should do this year that will encourage a healthier, happier, and more productive lifestyle for me and those I care for.

We often think of the new year as a time to figure out what we need to eliminate from our lives. Logically, most of these things are inherently bad for us. I’m sure you’re familiar with the types of items I’m talking about: cigarettes, alcohol, carbohydrates, slothfulness, greed, and the like. January 1 represents an opportunity for a clean slate, a purging of that which is destructive.

The problem with this new-found commitment to living without these things is that, well, we typically don’t like living without things. Telling ourselves that we cannot have something leads to frustration and resentment, often to the point that we forget the benefits of going without it. It is an inherently negative method for bringing about meaningful – and necessary – change.

As this year approached, I promised myself that instead of compiling a list of negative things I should not do or have, I would create a list of positive things I should do or have. My thought process behind this new strategy was simple: By engaging in specific positive actions that are good for my mental, emotional, and physical well-being, I will naturally eliminate some of the negative behaviors that harm me.

I am genuinely excited at the possibilities of this revised mental approach to self-improvement. My next post will focus on several positive steps I am determined to take in 2016 in order to better myself – even if it happens in a roundabout way. For example, I will drink more tea this year for the purpose of drinking less soda.

Stay tuned as I provide more examples of a positive approach to my yearly changing of habits. Happy new year!

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