“Think Positive” Say it with me…”Think Positive!’

It’s January and I already learned something new, this “New Year”. I definitely have the potential to be happier in 2018 than I was in 2017. How do I know? Like any other goal, I can’t sit idle, eat a bunch of Oreos and wait for a pocket full of optimism to appear, I have to work towards finding it. Just to be clear, I’m not saying I’m miserable, but I can admit that being a mom opens up a whole new door of questioning and anxiety. Is my son making friends? Is my daughter confident enough? Am I too involved with my children or am I not involved enough? Did I set the alarm? Did I just offend that other parent? Scattered, uncertain thoughts like these can definitely become a buzz kill in the circle of happy parenting. Thankfully, I recognize the need to CHILL OUT in order to live a happier, healthier and stronger life. Here’s my simplified 4-step plan to becoming a more positive person, partner and parent.

Find Your Jam:
We all need a motivational mantra to get us out of our brain funk. Whether it’s singing lyrics to an encouraging ballad, reciting a quote to build up inner strength or rocking out to your favorite fight song, don’t underestimate the power of positive words. Create a parenting play list to help boost your mood and motivate yourself with out getting overwhelmed or psyching yourself out. One quote that keeps me upbeat is written on the wall at a local hair salon. It reads, “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely,” by Roald Dahl.

Set Clear Expectations:
One of the biggest pitfalls of completing a goal is not seeing results as quickly as you want. Once you muster up enough courage to lose weight, start a new business, or ask for a raise–you instantly expect success. If you don’t receive that positive feedback you easily become discouraged. Recognizing fear is a major factor in self-sabotage. Expect obstacles and distractions, but keep moving forward. A great way to calm nerves is working out, meditating or even getting a massage (also helpful for maintaining a feel god attitude).

Laugh it off:
You ate too many carbs, you made a mistake at work, you yelled at your kids for screaming “Mooooom” when they really had a good reason for calling you. You have a choice, you can beat yourself up and throw a major pity party or you can find some humor in these social blunders and not take the mishaps so seriously. Eliminating the emotional reaction and searching for some comic relief will help calm you down from overreacting and quitting your goal.

Get Real:
Who says you only have 12 months to complete your mission? According to U.S. News and World Report, 80 percent of resolutions are dissolved by the second week of February. Ditch the pressure people! Whenever I have a moment of weakness I always imagine what I would say to my child if he or she were having the same issue. Doing this technique helps bring me back to reality and puts matters into perspective. Just like friendships, marriage and parenting –staying healthy and happy is a job and you have to work at it everyday.