Positive thinking is how you think about a problem. Enthusiasm is how you feel about a problem. The two together determine what you do about a problem.
- Norman Vincent Peale
How’s it going with your New Year’s resolution? Positive motivation usually falters right around now (it’s no coincidence that gym attendance, at a hopeful high in January, drops off by mid-February). Has that happened to you? No worries.
Reboot your resolution this weekend. It’s the perfect time: There’s a whole new New Year. Chinese New Year. The holiday is traditionally observed on the first day of the lunar year, which (this year) falls on Sunday, February 10.
You don’t have to be Chinese (or Chinese American like me) to celebrate. If you’ve hit a bump with your resolution, why not take this opportunity to start fresh?
Here are three tips to help you think positive about the change you’re making in your life and stick with it.
1. Pay attention.
Take note of when you tend to go off track with your resolution. Does it happen when you’re stressed? Bored? Tired? Or at a particular time of day? Then figure out ways to break out of the pattern. Say your goal is to eat healthy but you find yourself combating the late-afternoon energy lull by grabbing candy from the break room at work. Some solutions: Stash healthy snacks at your desk. Instead of the sugar rush, take a quick walk around the office to energize yourself.
2. Follow the two-day rule.
It’s simple and it works. Don’t go more than two days without ________. Fill in the blank with the positive habit you want to develop. (If you want to read more, I blogged about this rule last year.)
3. Move on.
Did you have a slip-up? That’s no reason to give up. Just take it as a reminder of what you need to work on. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Combat those negative thoughts with positivity: Look back at the progress you’ve made, then look forward to your goal and keep moving toward it.
Gung hei fat choy! That’s a New Year’s greeting in Cantonese; it means “Congratulations! May you prosper.” Which is my Chinese New Year wish for you: May you prosper with your resolutions.
Amy Wong is the executive editor of Guideposts and was a founding editor of Positive Thinking. She lives in New York City with her adopted dog, Winky, a natural-born positive thinker who believes that everyone has a treat for her and every day is the best day of her life. Amy hopes to be that optimistic someday (she’s working on it!).