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Recently, I’ve felt a real shift in the underlying message behind a lot of my posts on here. While I first started this blog to show people how to save and make money in order to create the lifestyle you want, I’m now realising that my real, core message is to find the balance in your life that makes you happy. Sounds simple, right? But it’s not that easy to always think positively.
Last year, before I had built up the courage and drive to do something about my miserable job position, I felt everything so negatively. I felt like I’d already had my lot in life decided.
It was flipping that perspective upside down – thinking positively, that began the change that would soon envelop my entire life. If you’re new and wondering what the hell I’m talking about, I explain exactly how I went from a miserable 9 – 5 to making money travelling the world here.
This idea of positive thinking – and more so, putting that thought process into intentional lifestyle changes – has really stuck with me for the past few months.
Everyone goes through hard times as well as the good, but it’s the way we look at every event, from the small inconsequential ones to huge, heart-breaking, head-over-heels changes, that really shapes who we are.
Self-care is very much a big trend at the moment, and I am so down with the ‘shape your lifestyle by caring for yourself’ message. Our society definitely doesn’t take enough time to reflect and really look after ourselves.
I’ve been pondering some of the biggest lifestyle changes I’ve made to create a positive thinking habit in myself, and how I can shape my lifestyle more intentionally.
Below are some of the best methods I’ve found so far.
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See if you can implement at least one of these into your routine this week, and repeat to yourself the mantra: ‘think positive, live intentionally’. It’s really rooted me at times when all I want to do is curl into a ball and stay in bed all day – even if you’re already having a sunny day, it’s a lovely reminder to remain present.
I’ve been practising yoga on and off since I was 16 years old (that’s almost 10 years!). It is the one thing that never fails to help me connect my mind and body and to simply move. There’s something very calming about syncing your breath with your movements, and the reminder to be gentle, to be aware of your body and how you are feeling for each and every practice is something that stays with me for the rest of the day.
Whether you are a total beginner or have been practising yoga for some time, try getting on your mat (or into a class) for 30 minutes today. Let everything else go and just. be.
Ever since I first discovered yoga, meditation has been like that one mysterious friend to me that you’ve always wanted to get to know better, but never quite find the right time.
That being said, recently I’ve made an active effort to get to know meditation. The ability to think positively and to reflect within yourself is at the root of meditative practices, and it can make a huge difference on your outlook for the day.
Many of my friends are practising Buddhists and meditate without fail every single day. I may, of course, be biased, but I always see this lightness around them, this unjudging ability to love and to sit with themselves – and I really admire that.
If you haven’t ever tried meditating before, I recommend trying out HeadSpace. They offer 10 free lessons before you need to subscribe to the service, but even those free lessons are a fantastic introduction to an amazing gateway towards shaping your lifestyle around positive thinking and intentional living.
I remember reading that smiling can reduce stress, even if that person isn’t feeling particularly happy at the time. I’ve been trying to remind myself that even if I don’t feel like it, a simple smile can make the day seem a little brighter.
Do I feel kind of silly grinning to myself? Absolutely. But does it also make me then laugh, genuinely, at my own ridiculousness? Absolutely!
If you’re having a miserable day, try to remind yourself to smile and see how it affects your mood.
We live in a world where moments are instantly shared through social media; a local news story can go viral within minutes, and people can rise to fame through social media and become more influential than celebrities in just months – so it’s no wonder we can all feel like we’re missing out on life sometimes.
Even if we’ve all realised by now that social media is a highlight reel of the good stuff, it can be difficult to think positive when you’re at home in your PJs at the weekend while everyone else seems like they’re wining and dining and having the time of their lives (although the first option still sounds pretty sweet to me..!).
There is a huge pressure, all the time, to be working on your side hustle, your main hustle, and even your mini hustle, with many people feeling like they’ve missed the boat even in their 20s. This isn’t true. Most people don’t have a clue what they’re doing even when they look like they’ve figured it out.
Take a deep breath. Focus on you. Slow down. You’re doing just fine.
Judge By Intention, Not By Actions
There’s a quote that really makes me think about how I perceive others in the world. It’s this:
We judge ourselves by our intentions. And others by their actions.
– Stephen R Covey
When we’re looking to shape our lifestyle around positive thinking, it’s important to remember that how we see the actions of others is not always how they intended them to be seen.
I find myself often trying to analyse a situation in multiple angles – my opinion, the other person’s opinion, and a range of other ways! While sometimes this isn’t exactly practical, it’s a useful tip when you find yourself angry or confused.
If you consider the intentions of the person causing you pain, you may realise that you are simply judging their actions and not what they really mean.
Re-framing our outlook to judge others not just by their actions, but by what they may have intended, can lead to a far more understanding relationship between yourself and other people.
Working out is not only great for the body, it’s great for the mind, too. I always feel a million times more positive and happy after leaving the gym – those endorphins are my therapy.
Don’t neglect your body in pursuit of more money or other material possessions; at the end of the day, our bodies are our homes for life. A positive lifestyle should include not just a good mental attitude, but a healthy body, too.
Clear Your Clutter
Tim Ferris (of The 4 Hour Work Week, a sort of digital-nomad bible) discusses performing an 80/20 analysis of your life in his iconic book the four hour work week (if you haven’t read it and are trying to make some extra income, I highly recommend it!).
“The goal is to find your inefficiencies in order to eliminate them and to find your strengths so you can multiply them.” – Tim Ferriss
Pareto’s Law suggests 80% of your results come from 20% of the effort, so you need to identify the 80% of tasks you do that take the most effort, the most stress, and the most time, and cut them out, leaving you with the 20% of tasks that get you the most profit (and that profit isn’t necessarily in the form of money!).
I’ve already covered how cutting down nearly all of my possessions instantly made me feel more free in detail, but I’m constantly working to make minimalism a real part of my lifestyle, and it has a huge impact on my ability to think positive and live intentionally every single day.
I have a free Declutter Checklist for your home that is my sworn-by way to declutter without the stress – get your free copy of it here.
Set Achievable Goals
If you feel overwhelmed with information and have a million and one things you want to achieve this year, sit down and make a plan. Write it all down. Set yourself achievable goals to meet at specific time points.
Setting goals that you know are achievable if you put your mind to it will help you organise your life more clearly, cutting down a huge amount of worry and negativity that can often hold us back.
Living a positive lifestyle takes an active effort to achieve every day. We all have ups and downs, moments where staying positive is the last thing from our minds, and that’s probably healthy. However, a conscious effort to see the good in each day is a step closer to a happier way of life.
How do you maintain a more positive lifestyle on a daily basis? If you’ve got any of your own tips or tricks to keeping calm while achieving your goals, drop them into the comments below – I’d love to hear them!