New Year, Improved Me

happy new year

Picture retrieved from Sally on Flickr

Since we are now into the year 2014, I thought that I should reflect on my progress with last year’s resolutions and the resolutions I’m setting up for myself this year!  If you are wondering why my title isn’t “New Year, New Me”, it’s because I don’t believe that statement to be realistic.  You will always be the same you!  New Year goals just make you an improved you!  Last year, I was getting to a point where negativity was ruling my life, which resulted in a negative view of myself. I made a goal to learn to love myself in 2013, which includes positivity and life changes.  This would be particularly difficult for me, since I’ve spent most of my life being self conscious and shy.  Here are some of the steps I took in order to lead a happier, more positive life:

  1. Accepting Compliments: Whenever someone would give me a compliment, I would say something like, “No, you’re way prettier” or “No, I gained weight”.  A thing that I needed to realize was that these people are just being kind, so you need to return the kindness by responding positively.  Once you accept these compliments, you start to believe that they are true, which leads to a way more positive outlook on your life.
  2. Smile at Yourself and Smile at Others: I noticed that people walking through the halls of the University are often grumpy looking and sad, including myself.  I now smile at people if they give me any kind of eye contact and, in turn, they usually smile back.  I always feel happier when I see others smiling!  Also, when you are meeting up with friends or classmates, greet them with a smile!  This may sound really weird, but smiling at yourself in the mirror does help.  It also sounds super vain, but it has proved to be the opposite.  Seeing myself smiling made myself happier throughout the day, especially on the days that I had morning classes.  I think I realized that I look more approachable to new friends if I look happy and confident!
  3. Surround Yourself with Positivity and Positive People: I feed off of the energy of the environments and people that I am around, so that is not particularly beneficial if I’m around negativity.  The friends I surround myself with now are mostly positive daily and that really helps with my own positivity!
  4. Stop caring about what others think: This was a big challenge for me.  I would often get very worked up over how I was portraying myself and how I was acting.  I wasn’t being myself, so I knew that had to change.  I realized that if someone doesn’t like the way that I am, then they don’t deserve to be in my life.  I’ll be eternally happy, just as long as I’m being true to myself and my beliefs.
  5. Cut out toxic people in your life that don’t fully appreciate you: This is a big one.  I think the word “cut” might be a little harsh, but it gets to the point.  I don’t fully cut people out of my life, I just become less concerned with communication if I’m not getting any recognition in return.  You need to cut out people in a positive way.  Completely ignoring these people will result in a negative and awkward interaction at one point.  Just because you aren’t the closest of friends anymore, doesn’t mean you can’t be civil with each other.

MY GOALS FOR 2014:

  1. Further my goal of learning to love myself
  2. Work out and eat healthier: Instead of thinking about being weight loss, I want to have a special focus on becoming a healthier me!
  3. Speaking out more in classroom settings
  4. Make more of an effort to visit family and friends

That’s all I can think of for now! If I think of more, I will add to the list!  What are your resolutions for 2014?

Be a Tigger, Not an Eeyore!

I went to a presentation skills workshop offered here at the university the other day and one piece of advice the presenter mentioned really stuck with me.  She was explaining that everyone is either an Eeyore or a Tigger, Eeyore being the lazy and negative one, and Tigger being the upbeat and positive one.  She states that when you are presenting, you should channel your inner Tigger to captivate and deliver a fantastic presentation.  I believe that Tigger is in all of us and we should work to bring that side out a little more often.  Maybe not to the extreme of the highly excitable nature of this Winnie the Pooh character, but everyone’s interpretation of their personal Tigger will be different.

When I become a teacher one day, channeling this side of myself will prove to be very important on a daily basis.  If I want my students to be excited about a lesson, I need to reflect my optimism about it first.  My attitude and outlook need to be positive in order to create a great environment for my students.  If my attitude is negative, students won’t be motivated to learn and they will not have the best view of me as a person.  This bad image will make a person unapproachable and uncomfortable to converse with.

I absolutely loved the message my presenter sent because I can apply this to my future teaching and my daily life!  Imagine how wonderful and happy this world would be if we just thought positively and optimistically!  To be honest, I’m the happiest when I act like my usual, over-excitable self!  I also need to surround myself around positive energies.  Lucky for me, my two roommates are perky and positive, which keeps me going everyday!  So take the challenge! Be a Tigger, not an Eeyore!

tigger