I booked a keynote presentation (How to Stay Positive When Things Seem Negative) at an association meeting a while back. Here are my top ten tips to maintain personal motivation based on the research I did for that keynote. Let me know if you have any others.
1. Ask expansive questions (EQ’s). People who let negativity affect them often ask lousy questions (LQs), such as “Why does this always happen to me? Who screwed up this time? How come he’s not pulling his weight?” All these questions are legitimate AND lousy because they don’t lead to positive thoughts or actions. Expansive questions (EQs) are: “How can I make sure this doesn’t happen again? What can I learn from this? How can I ensure I pull my weight?” EQ’s focus on action we can take, instead of the blame game we can play. The more EQ’s we ask, the more we choose responsibility and better we feel.
2. Write S.M.A.R.T. goals and review them daily. We move in the direction of the dominant images we place, or let others place, in our minds. Goals keep you focused on the big picture.
3. Use positive affirmations and self-talk. Since we all talk to ourselves anyway, write a few of your favorite qualities on 3x5 index cards. Repeat them to yourself throughout the day, especially when sinking thinking elbows its way to center stage.
4. Listen to positive audio-programs in the car. Are you spending or investing your time in car?
5. Read positive books before you go to bed. Have something other than the nightly news dancing around your brain all night.
6. Spend more time with positive people. Spend less with those who are “optimistically challenged” or "negaholics."
7. Use the “secret complimentor” to increase your team’s or family’s look-for-good culture. People who look for good often find it.
8. Start your meetings or dinners with an uplifting story (e.g., Chicken Soup for the Soul) or humor.
9. Go for a short walk (i.e., 20 min.) walk with a loved one 3 times/week. Discuss only positive things.
10. Make a list of what you are thankful for once a month. Focus on what you have.
Which of these work for you now? Which one's should you try? Let me know how it goes.