Creating motivation and having a positive mindset is not something that comes naturally to me. I was born on a Wednesday and the rhyme that ‘Wednesday’s child is full of woe’ has always felt accurate for me. A few years ago I felt that changes had to be made. Seeing the worst in things wasn’t making me happy. It sounds obvious but changing mindset and finding motivation can be really hard. For me it is a constant project. When I forget or ignore it those woeful thoughts creep back in causing lots of harm to my self esteem. A gratitude journal, working on a positive mindset and playing around with keeping a journal are three things I so to stay motivated.
Having a gratitude journal helps.
The idea is that you write three things that you are grateful for on a daily basis. I started doing this in random notebooks and on pieces of paper. I have a friend who has a note in their phone that they have been adding to for years. A year or so ago my sister found this Kikki K gratitude journal and I now use this. Honestly, doing this daily is not what I do, but it is what I should do. It really helps reset my mindset when I do this and creates a positive world for me. I find that when I am feeling good I then stop doing this gratitude journal and I don’t feel great again!
Playing around with journaling.
When I went on the Elmley Nature Reserve retreat Hannah spoke about journaling. This is something she has been doing for over a decade to set their family and relationship goals. I wasn’t really into it as it was essentially diary writing and I never felt safe putting my words down for others to read. Yes I see the irony of that here! Hannah gave us two things to focus on; writing a stream of thoughts and then finishing with a list of at least twenty positive things. These tasks allow you to essentially purge all the thoughts flowing in your mind. For me that is soooo much! Ending with essentially a gratitude list on steroids. It can be a daily task however I find it more useful doing it twice a week. Again it isn’t something I have been doing recently and I feel I am suffering mentally for that. Time to refocus and start again. Hannah has a free journaling guide and has a guided course that she runs.
Positive thinking and vocalisation.
I know I am slipping when I talk about something and ‘balance’ the conversation with negative thoughts. For example, ‘I really love Yorkshire puddings but best be careful I eat too many and put on weight.’ This for me is a classic example of countering a nice thought with a balancing negative thought. Humans do this a lot. Not wanting to appear as though they are showing off or being too happy! I actively make an effort not to do this and conversations with others become much more positive and pleasant. If I am close to someone who does this I try and gently point out what they are doing but ultimately it is up to others to change. I am very good at being self critical and have incredibly high standards for myself. Recently I have found myself being even more so like this and it took a conversation with a therapist to track my words and realise how horrible I was being. I’m working on that and trying to be kinder to myself.
Some other thoughts!
These are the three main tasks I do to achieve a positive mindset. I’ve learnt there are no quick fixes and I have to keep doing them. When I stop the worlds influence creeps back in. To help prevent that I don’t watch the news or listen to it on the radio. I find that the headlines are usually quite depressing and also delivered in the worst possible tone of doom and gloom. Reading it in my own time is best. If something is urgent people will tell you about it!
I also don’t watch tv shows or movies that don’t have nice storylines. I won’t be watching You or Luther anytime soon as I’d rather be entertained with funny and upbeat shows like The Good Place and The Umbrella Academy. I am even thinking about not reengaging with Game of Thrones! To make sure I can still be part of social conversations I often research the storyline on wikipedia. The whole storyline or episode guide is there so I can still be part of conversations, without having to expose myself or spend my precious free time watching horrible things.
Friendships are the other area that I keep a careful eye on. I find I attract lots of people when I am positive, but I also have to be getting some positivity back. I am understanding that we all go through trying times, but I can’t be a long term friend with someone who recognises they need to change, and does nothing about it. Staying in self-induced cycles of mental self harm or deliberately behaving in ways to make others feel horrible doesn’t sit well with me. I can’t believe it really sits well with anyone but we all, including myself, will ignore or laugh off someone’s bad behaviour to prevent confrontation or losing a friend. Bonding over someone else’s downfall or having a friendship based on bitching about others is not my cup of tea. This is why my friendship circle is very small and sometimes my friendships don’t last long!
What do you do to keep you motivated? Any tips I’d love to hear them in the comments. PF xo