Many of us can find it hard to stay positive, especially when life keeps throwing lemons at us. I am not naturally a positive person myself. In fact, when I had just graduated from high school, a friend gently informed me that I complained too much. Still, it hit me hard and that’s when I began to make a transformation. It has been slow going and it isn’t all continuous. I make progress here and there but it adds up in big ways. The lesson I learned then has stuck with me.
When I began my weight loss journey this time, one of my focuses was to be more positive. I’m not even sure how or why this got driven home so well, but I’m glad it was! I’m thinking it was a combination of reading motivational articles and receiving consistent positive support and encouragement from my friends on SparkPeople. Part of it had to be a natural gravitation on a personal level as well though, because I know it wouldn’t have had this much of an impact if not.
Either way, I still may not be the most positive person but I learn more and more each day on how to be more positive. One thing I have learned is that the more positive I am in general, the happier I am and the better my life is. I can see so much more beauty in the world each day than I ever could have before!
Here are some questions to ask yourself in the moment:
- What can I learn from this negative experience?
- Is there any way that I (or someone else) benefits from this?
- Can I spin this problem/experience around and squeeze any amount of good out of it?
There is always something positive to be found in each day and there is also something good in every bad. Sometimes we just have to dig deep or look hard for it!
How you can stay positive each day:
- Embrace the good times. Whenever you are happy or enjoying life, take the time to be grateful for it! It helps train your brain to focus on those happier moments. Those little things you might otherwise not give a second thought to, are some of the best ones to focus on.
- Never stop looking for the positive. Even in moments where you might not otherwise take the time to really see your surroundings, simply be observant. Notice all the positivity going on in your life.
- Appreciate the beauty around you. Whether you are in a car, bus, on a bike, or walking… or even playing the waiting game for whatever reason; look around you and appreciate the beauty in the little things.
- Repeat positive affirmations to yourself. Tell yourself nice things: “I am beautiful” or “I am worthy.” My favorites are “I am strong and I am capable.” The more kind things you say to yourself each day, the more the world opens up to you!
- Do nice things for other people. When you are nice to other people, even doing something as small as smiling at someone passing you by, it can lift your spirits and remind you that there is so much good in the world!
You may be wondering by now, what is all this about a “Positivity Jar” mentioned in the title. Well, I have been seeing this idea all over the place but on Facebook mainly, about a New Year’s memory jar. You write down good memories and put them in a jar to look back on at the end of the year.
My spin on this is to put anything positive in there, not just memories necessarily. You can write anything good that happened each day on a piece of paper, fold or roll it up, and drop it inside. Then you can take them out and read them throughout the year, whenever you’re having a hard time or needing inspiration, as well as at the end of the year. This encourages you to focus on all the good happening in your life instead of letting your life pass you by. Then you get to remember even the “little” things that happened throughout the year when you read them again.
Some ideas for jars:
- Positivity Jar: To put positive happenings in each day.
- Positive Affirmations/Positive Thoughts Jars: Fill the jar right away with positive affirmations, or positive thoughts, that you can pull out whenever you need a boost!
- Gratitude/Thankfulness Jar or Blessings Jar: These you can write down things you are thankful for or consider a blessing and drop them in over the course of the year.
- Smile or Happiness Jar: Whatever makes you smile or feel happy each day or whenever the feeling grips you!
- Inspiration Jar: This one kind of works similar to the positive affirmations/thoughts jars. You can fill a jar with things that inspire you and then read them as needed to spark your inspiration. You can also add inspiration ideas as you go along as well!
What you can write down to put in the jars:
- Weight loss or fitness related achievements
- Goals of any kind, progress or achievement
- Career happenings
- Finance progress you’re working towards
- Life in general
Really, anything goes for what you want to write to go into your jar each day. You can make the jar however you want. I personally used the coffee cans you see in the above picture. Then I put labels on them and wrote what I wanted it to say. Your ideas for your jar might change over time. Also, don’t be afraid to make two jars. It can be double the fun and double the dose of positivity.
In the short amount of time that I have been using my jars, I have noticed great results. They are a fun way to focus on the positivity in my life and end the day on a good note. Not only that, but they are also very easy to make and use. Now, who doesn’t love easy things that actually work?
Here are some blog posts by some women who are doing similar jars themselves:
Michelle from Dishes and Dust Bunnies has a “DIY Dollar Store Memories Jar” with a free printable for the jar! This post is from 2015 but she has made an update in there for a 2016 printable. Check it out here: Memories Jar.
Heather from Mommypotamus discusses making her own as well. You can check it out here: Gratitude/Happiness Jar.
And finally, Vicky Barone has a post from this year for making a “Happy Things Memory Jar 2016” and also has a free printable for it as well. Check hers out here: Happy Things Memory Jar.
You can also search Pinterest for even more ideas or just visual inspiration for your jar! Remember you can use anything. There is probably what you need in your house right now. Either way, take the idea and run with it if you want!