As we approach the new year, we often set new goals, big objectives, and positive outlooks. We strive to see all the colors in the world, and the moments are optimistic. Then the year continues, and our energy for our goals dwindles. How do we sustain energy for our goals throughout the year?
Consider the strength of positive thinking and passion for keeping us focused on sustaining our goals for the year.
Our minds are at the root of maintaining the mental energy for our goals. Unfortunately, our minds treat positive thoughts differently than negative thoughts. Rick Hanson, Ph.D. in psychology, explains the brain is like “Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones.” It takes extra effort to counteract our natural biases. “Evolutionary psychology has highlighted our brains’ negativity bias  which predetermined us to scan the environment for, pay more attention to and assign more ‘weight’ to negative stimuli. Once upon a time, this was crucial for our survival…”  Neuroplasticity allows us to re-wire the brain to think positively.
In a Psychology Today article, 11 recommendations are made to boost positive thinking.  I have chosen to focus on 3 of the ideas but consider reviewing the list in its entirety.
•Strengthen your memory for Positive information – Memorize a list of positive words. Use these words when connecting with positive news.
•Practice gratitude – “One way to train your brain to focus on the positive it to practice gratitude. Gratitude is when we feel or express thankfulness for the people, things, and experiences we have.”  What better time to practice gratitude than during the holiday season?
•Savor the good moments – Stop and enjoy the good moments. Make a point to spend the time to embed the good moments in your memory.
Make the time to change your thinking and use this change to drive your goals the entire year.
Second, let’s set our goals around our passion. If you are genuinely passionate about your goals, then you will want to drive them throughout the year. JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, set a great example of following her passion. She placed her mind toward the one thing that was important to her (her passion.) Even after 12 publishing rejections, she didn’t give up.  You may not be the next JK Rowling, but your passion can help you drive your goals toward completion.
By focusing on positive thinking and passion, you can re-wire your mind and see all the world’s colors shine through in your goals.
Please give feedback and comments. An interactive audience enables learning for us all.
 Hanson, Rick. Hardwiring Happiness – The new brain science of contentment, calm, and confidence. New York: Harmony Books, 2013. Print. https://www.psychalive.org/thinking-positively/
 Pratto, Felicia; Oliver, John P. (1991). “Automatic vigilance: The attention-grabbing power of negative social information”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 61(3): 380–391