I am going to be positive for the entire month of March. That is such a simple statement to write, but the thought of actually applying it to my life is positively (pun partially intended) terrifying. Most people who know me will attest to the fact that I am not the friend who sees the glass as being half full. Instead, I tend to think of the glass as being broken, with the water gushing out over the shards of glass. This negative mindset that I have so often is quite honestly terrible, and I am going to use the next 31 days as a jumpstart into what I hope will be a life of more positivity.
So what am I going to do? I am so glad you asked! I am going to break the month into four weeks that each involve a specific positivity challenge that will build on the previous weeks. They are as follows:
Week 1: Do not say anything negative.
I obviously do not believe in starting something gradually, because I kicking off my month-long challenge by striking anything negative from my speech. This is an important place for me to begin because it was when I finally noticed my constant stream of negative speech that I knew that I should undertake a challenge to be a more positive individual.
The plan is for me to work on filtering everything that I say. It will not be easy, since I am so used to blurting anything and everything that comes to mind. However, I am confident that with practice, I can learn to control the words that I say. My hope is that through this process, I will become a person who more people want to be around because of how I will be radiating joy instead of a dark cloud of cynicism.
Week 2: Kill the sarcasm.
The next week’s challenge builds on the previous week, but it goes a step further by working on the way that I talk about most things. I know that some people have come to associate my personality with sarcasm (because I use it in almost every conversation), but in the long run, I believe that it does nothing to enrich my life or the lives of those around me. This is going to be immensely challenging for me, because I love to use my sarcasm to make people laugh, make a point, or thinly mask a negative feeling as a “joke”. My goal is to become someone who people can take at face value and not have to worry about whether or not I am saying something that I actually mean.
Week 3: Gossip. A lot.
I am sure that you were a little surprised when you read my goal for week 3, but trust me, it is a positive goal. I have found that I love to gossip, and I am often as vicious as a coked up Real Housewife of New Jersey when I start talking about people. There is a thrill that comes from sharing a juicy bit of information about someone, and it makes gossip so fun to partake in. So I have decided to repurpose the art of gossip in a way that still gives me the chance to talk about other people, but it does not allow me to say anything negative.
So for week 3, I plan on having positive gossip sessions. If I am talking with someone about a mutual friend who I admire, I want to feel free to go off on a tangent about something that impresses me about that person. I believe that the world could be a little bit of a better place if we took the time to engage in positive gossip from time to time. In week 3, I want to have fun highlighting the great attributes of my friends by sharing them with others.
Week 4: Counteract the negative.
You may have noticed that I have this challenge set up to get rid of negativity in the first two weeks and then begin to add positivity in the following weeks. Well, that continues with week 4. I plan on writing out everything that is self-defeating and then countering it with a positive statement that negates it.
For instance, if I studied hard for an exam and found that I got a less than ideal grade on it, I would do the following:
I did poorly on an exam.
This grade was only worth 8% of my final grade, so if I see what I did wrong in my preparation for this exam and implement those changes for the upcoming exams, I can still pull an “A” in the class.
This is a really simple example, which may seem somewhat silly to some, but I see it as a way of training my mind to think in a way that takes the negative in my life and sees how it can be used to help me grow and move forward.
This is a challenge that I desperately need, and I am looking forward to what is in store for me in the upcoming weeks. It will not be easy, but I am believe that by the end of the month, I will have a more positive mindset that will help me become a better person.