15 Positive Practices for 2015

Leave Places Better than You Found ThemI really don’t like resolutions. The word itself tends to evoke feelings of failure from years gone by. This year instead of resolving to make a dramatic change or completing a major project, I am going to focus on continuing the positive acts I already do (many of which oddly relate to shopping.) Some are simple and need no explanation, others take a little more thought but I know they are worth the effort.

Maybe we can work on them together?

1. When in doubt, be kind – it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking “it’s not my job” or “why should I do it if no one else does?” While that may be true, it still feels better to be kind.

2. Smile at strangers.

3. Give it away – Instead of throwing things away, offer them to friends or family or donate them to Goodwill. Recycling is great, free sharing is even better.

4. Compliment others often– if you like someone’s necklace, haircut, or the way they decorate their home, let them know. Never miss an opportunity to make someone else feel good.

5. Return your shopping cart.

6. Leave places better than you found them – pick up after yourself, and others. This means picking up trash, or even returning items to their rightful place in a department store. Imagine if everyone did that how clean and pretty the world would be.

7. Bring your own shopping bag.

8. Value yourself and your time – don’t give your time or energy to people who don’t value you. This doesn’t mean you should be mean or rude to anyone, it just means you must get clear on the give and take of the world. If you find yourself growing resentful of someone, it may be time to set some stronger boundaries.

9. Know when to walk away (and know when to run) – O.K. so this is an extension of #8, stolen from Kenny Rogers, but if you struggle with people pleasing as I do, it needs repeating.

10. Show people their value – go out of your way to thank those who help you, even if that is their job. For example, I have a massage therapist who is phenomenal and charges a very reasonable rate. Even though it is not expected, I always tip her well so she knows how amazing I think she is.

11. Bag your own groceries.

12. Mail a little happiness – I have close friends who I send silly photos, cards or newspaper clippings throughout the year. I don’t do it because I “have” to, as is unfortunately the case with the many other holiday or birthday cards I find myself mailing. Instead, I send these crazy messages because they make me really happy. Email, texts, or Facebook posts can all be nice, but there is nothing like taking the time to mail something the old fashioned way.

13. Stay humble – I am on Facebook quite a bit and I have noticed a trend of people sharing lots of advice that they aren’t living themselves. In fact, the loudest preachers seem to be the worst offenders. No one is perfect, and most of us aren’t fully equipped to be our best selves just yet. A humility check is always important.

14. Think, “It’s not about me” – I take things so personally, and that is dangerous and exhausting. Sometimes people are just having a bad day and their crappy behavior has nothing to do with me. “It’s not about me” is also helpful when a little self-awareness (#13) is in order. My problems are not everyone else’s, so I may just need to get over myself. Harsh, I know, but sometimes tough love is good medicine.

15. If you have food, water, clothing, shelter and love, you are incredibly blessed. – Those are the only true needs. Everything else is a want. If you have more than enough, consider giving back. If someone has helped you get what you have, say thanks. Remember that there is a balance to all things.

How about you? What positive practices are you going to work on this year?

2 thoughts on “15 Positive Practices for 2015”

  1. I love you and I respect so much the person you have become and are becoming. I thought you were fabulous before, but your consistent work toward embracing health and positive emotions is so inspiring.

    1. Michelle Traub, M.A., R.D.

      I love you and respect you too! Thanks for such an uplifting comment. It is easier to be positive with positive people in my life.

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