Dec 29, 2011 / by Alisa Hafen / 1 Comment

When asked what they want for the New Year, 2012, most people state quite simply that they want to be happy. The state of being content is definitely possible and a goal worth shooting for.  There are some things we can do to help us accomplish this.

I believe it’s vital to establish a positive attitude.  Even for someone like me, who thinks, writes and speaks about the importance of being positive, it is not always easy.

Happiness is a choice.  Teaching myself that fact is one of the greatest things I have ever done for myself.  I used to blame my unhappiness on all sort of outside forces – fate, experiences, relationships.  There are no winners when playing The Blame Game.

When I find myself in a bad situation, I know it’s up to me to find the good, to be happy regardless of what’s happening around me.  Pointing fingers or placing blame is of no use.

I have realized that I have little control over some things that happen in this life; what I do have control over, however, is how I choose to feel about it.

I am in control of my happiness and no one – no one – can take that away from me.

I also discovered that if I want to a live a joyful life, I cannot be surrounded by negative people.  You are only as good as those around you.  Negative attracts negative.  Negative also reflects negative.So, surround yourself with people that make you feel good about yourself – people that have positive outlooks.

Everything – good and bad – is a learning experience.  So, at the very least, you can learn from bad experiences.  Once I started thinking more positively and adapted to a more positive attitude, I realized I had to reinforce these thoughts and behaviors in myself so they would stick.

As with any sort of training, practice makes perfect, and, yes, you can practice being positive.  One of the best ways to do this is to be positive and not critical when it comes to who you are.  Give yourself credit when you have a done something well.

Find your assets and build on them.  Be honest with yourself – but look for the good.  And, whatever you do, don’t focus on the negative.

Nothing good can come of telling yourself that your latest career goal wasn’t met or that you are having a ‘bad hair day.”  It’s ok to not like everything about yourself, but don’t spend energy dwelling on the negative.

Remind yourself of the good in you – your positive attributes – and remind yourself of them every day.  Believe in yourself and remember that a positive outlook is a choice.  Choose to be positive.


Attitudes are contagious.  Are yours worth catching?

 -Dennis and Wendy Mannering