It can be hard to switch the way you think, this is how I’m taking teeny tiny steps towards a more positive mindset.
Just mere months ago I was floundering. Unhappy with my weight, finances, career and house, I truly felt like I couldn’t do anything to make things better.
I’m a terribly negative thinker you see. I have been for as long as I can remember. I’m the kind of gal who can’t get excited about a KFC for pure fear that I’ll get there and they’ll have run out of gravy.
But as I moped through life one day at a time, I realised my mood and mindset was affecting those around me. Namely my wonderful long-suffering husband who was just about putting up with my never-ending mood swings.
For my husband, the glass is always half full. Quite honestly, I’m in awe of his ability – considering he’s suffered from debilitating anxiety – to always remain positive. I realised that to be optimistic like him, I needed to try and start thinking more positively too.
It isn’t easy, and I am in no way all there yet, but following these simple steps has helped me to start shifting towards a more positive mindset.
4 simple steps to a positive mindset
1. IDentify the ‘big things’
The first thing I did was identify the big things that were causing me to feel low. I wrote everything down in a notebook, but knew I couldn’t possibly focus on everything. So I circled the 2-3 that were zapping the majority of my energy. These were:
- Money worries
- Low self-confidence and weight gain
- The mess in the house
This activity took me about 10 minutes and seeing the worries reflected back at me made me feel better almost immediately. I urge anyone currently feeling overwhelmed by negative thoughts to give this a go. Honestly, it works.
2. EXPAND ON THE ISSUEs
The next thing I did was expand on the issues to try to understand both why these things were making me sad, and what was in my power to change.
Take money worries as an example, I couldn’t immediately snap my fingers and earn more money, but I could get better at spending what I have wisely.
And take weight loss as another example. I couldn’t magic a waist like Kim K, but I could make a choice to stop moaning about my weight and start doing something about it.
Again, I just mind mapped all this out in a notebook, making sure I really thought everything through, and highlighted the areas that I felt I could work on.
3. Create a plan of action
Once I knew what was in my power to change, it was time to create a plan of action. This was different for each of my ‘big things’ and I was so so cautious not to overwhelm myself.
There are no miracle steps here, I (and you) will not become a bad ass Beyonce overnight. This exercise was all about the first baby steps I could take. It looked a bit like this:
I made a budget for the coming month and told myself I needed to stick to it. All I wanted to do was simply not to spend more than we earn. So no dipping into my emergency fund and no putting anything on a credit card to pay back next month.
I did a spreadsheet with all our earnings and outgoings, and transferred exactly how much we’d need for everyday expenses into a Monzo account, with a budget for each week.
Low self-confidence and weight gain
I vowed to join a local Slimming World class. I signed up for 12 weeks and made a commitment to myself that I’d stick it out that long and go to class every week. I put no pressure on myself to lose a certain amount, just decided that I’d try and give myself an hour a week in group to focus on me.
The mess in the house
I decided to start de-cluttering. A unit at a time. With the aim to be done by the new year.
As you’ll see, the theme here was to not promise myself too much. I know what I’m like. Claiming that I’d be through the clutter in the house like Marie Kondo in three days was unachievable. As was the concept that we could start saving money straight away. I made realistic plans I felt I could stick to with a bit of effort.
4. Tell other people
I obviously shared my plans with my husband. He was thrilled that I wanted to try and make myself feel better, and entirely supportive of the goals.
We were also honest with our friends and family about the money sitch. I was hesitant to do this but they were fab. They also know the goals we’re working towards and suggest Weatherspoons over Wine Bars so we don’t feel left out.
So how does this all help with A positive MINDSET?
I’ve found that as I’ve started achieving the things in my plan of action, I’ve started thinking more positively.
Having very specific goals has meant I have super clear outputs, and each time I achieve one I feel myself gaining more and more confidence that I can do it.
Since I put these plans in place, these are a few things I’ve achieved:
- Slimmer of the month at Slimming World
- Lost 4lbs in two weeks
- Will not dip into savings of credit cards this month
- Clothes, bedside tables and make-up decluttered
I’d spent the few months before that dreading checking my bank account, worrying about money, putting on weight and adding more and more crap I didn’t need to my already overflowing wardrobe.
If these results aren’t going too shift me into a more positive mindset, I’m not sure what will.
I still have a long way to go, but I can feel the changes already.
Are you looking to shift your mindset? What tips have you got? Share them in the comments below!