1. COMPLAIN – It’s often said that it never solves anything, so why do it? Turn your criticism (even if it’s aimed inward) into positivity by taking steps to correct or improve a situation. For example, if you’re unhappy with your job, replace the energy for complaining with something productive such as reviewing your resume for updates, looking for other positions or jobs, or identifying training opportunities to help you advance with your current employer. However, remember to perform any job-hunting activities on your own time or during your lunch hour or they might end your misery prematurely.
2. BE DISORGANIZED – Disorganization begets chaos. If you want peace, get organized. Cleanliness is next to godliness for a reason. Being organized helps you to be more efficient, save time and think more clearly. Physical clutter can affect your mental clarity – and it’s not a good look.
3. HOLD THINGS IN – Unfortunately, every day can’t feel like you’re partying with Diddy in Miami. You will undoubtedly have challenges and face obstacles. While you shouldn’t lash out at the presumed source of your stress, it’s not healthy to hold in your frustration or stress either. Take some deep breaths, calm down and organize your thoughts. Be honest and respectful but state what you want with an “I” statement. For example, “I feel attacked when you criticize my work and would benefit from constructive criticism” will come across much differently than any statement that uses forbidden four letter words or negative connotations. If all else fails, turn your mental stress into physical energy by exercising or meditating.
4. JUDGE – Unless you are presiding in a courtroom, abstain from forming an unfair, unnecessary opinion about another person or circumstance. Although the playbooks are different, we’re all trying to get a touchdown in life. Focus your time and energy on your personal goals instead of others’, particularly when you don’t have a full understanding of what issues they might be facing. If it’s appropriate and you genuinely want to help, offer support but don’t feed into the negativity.
5. PERPETUATE ANY NEGATIVE CYCLE – We’re creatures of habit, so we develop processes and behaviors based on experience regardless of whether they are positive or negative. Take some time and look at what you portray as well as how you respond to others, identify negative behaviors – and stop doing them. Of course, it will take time to correct unhealthy behavior but practice does equal progress, and all positive change is good.
Twelve months in a year is a long time to be miserable, unhappy, jealous, malicious or deceiving. Go for yours, lift up instead of tearing down, find your own joy and inner peace and do big things in 2012.
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