New Year’s Resolution: Positive Thinking

December 29, 2010 Theresa Fung

Most people have the same or similar resolutions for the New Year: lose weight, save money, and, [insert your romantic objective here]. Those are all good resolutions (if you can keep them past January), but this year I’ve decided that I’m going to keep it simple, and just focus on one main objective: to think positive.

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I’m not talking about being an eternally sunny and delusional optimist; by positive thinking I mean just turning around some of the negativity that clouds our minds every day into something more productive. Besides being happier and healthier overall, optimistic people are more fun to be around. Who wants to hang out with the downer who has something negative to say about everything from the coffee to the mailman?

Here are a few common pessimistic thoughts replaced with a more positive alternative:

Negative Thought: Who would want to date me?
Positive Thought: I have friends and family that like me, and I like myself. I’m a good person who just hasn’t met that “someone” yet.

Self-confidence and feeling good about where you are in life is sexy. If you aren’t feeling good about yourself or something about your life, take the time to focus on yourself before worrying about dating. Do a personal self-assessment, or ask a close friend to do an honest appraisal of you with strong points and areas that need improvement. Get out and meet new people, and join clubs or sports leagues where you can find people with similar interests; you’ll probably attract someone without even trying.

Negative Thought: It’s so annoying that she’s always late.
Positive Thought: Maybe she has a good reason to be late.

Your perpetually-late friend may have a nasty habit, or she could have a genuine reason as to why she’s late meeting you. Try to be understanding – does she live far away, or have a handful of young kids? When we get upset, we tend to think in absolutes as in “she always does this”, or “he never does that.” But in reality, most people just slip up once in awhile. If your friend doesn’t appear to have a good reason and doesn’t seem likely to change, outsmart her by setting a meeting time 15 - 30 minutes before you actually intend to meet.

Negative Thought: I can’t believe I’m stuck in this stupid traffic again.
Positive Thought: I can’t control the traffic, so why get stressed out about it?

There are so many things in life to fret about — traffic is not one of them. It is annoying being caught in a standstill, but take a deep breath and tell yourself that you’ll get there when you there. If you always seem to be stuck in traffic and it’s causing you to be late, try leaving earlier, taking a different route, or another mode of transportation. Otherwise, try to think of the temporary stall as a nice break in your day and listen to some relaxing music.

Negative Thought: She definitely didn’t deserve that promotion; I’m much more qualified.
Positive Thought: She worked hard and I should improve on certain skills.

Being envious and resentful of others doesn’t do you any favors. Instead, try to take an objective look as to why your boss promoted your co-worker instead of you. Is your co-worker more dedicated, hard-working, or have soft/hard skills you don’t have? Consider taking classes to improve upon your skills and aim to be a more positive team player.

By trying to turn negative thoughts into more positive ones, you’ll feel more content and might even uncover a few hidden opportunities you might have previously brushed off.

APA Reference
Fung, T. (2010, December 29). New Year’s Resolution: Positive Thinking, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Theresa Fung

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