It’s a new year and you know what that means; it’s time for people to share the resolution that they’ve made for the coming year. I’ve noticed that a lot of times people make resolutions that are surely going to be broken and often have to do with giving up something rather than acquiring a new skill or expanding one’s way of thinking. That is why this year my resolution is to be more positive.

It may sound simple but it’s really not, at least not for me. It often seems that positivity is something that doesn’t come easily to most of us. Why else would we need to be reminded to focus on the positive? I’ve found that staying positive often seems even more difficult for me, compared to others. Coincidentally, there was a lecture in my psychology class this semester in which we talked about the characteristics of people who are prone to depression. Two of the characteristics that stuck out in my mind is that depressed people tend to ruminate about things and have a lot of trouble seeing the positive side of life’s events. Well, that describes me pretty well, especially the ruminating part. Basically, when something upsetting happens to me I replay it over and over again in my mind. I think about what was said, what I should have said and what I would say now if given the chance. I play out numerous scenarios and always imagine them going badly. This type of thinking is why I need to be more positive.

So what am I going to do in my life to be more positive? As always, I have a list.

1. Forgive and try to forget. Just as I was thinking about how to be more positive and move away from negativity I happened to read an article about forgiveness. The article mentioned how we can’t truly be free until we forgive people for their transgressions because then we remain in the victim role and don’t allow ourselves to move on to bigger and better things. I agree with that wholeheartedly. I am notorious for holding grudges and not forgiving people and that’s something I need to change. Forgiveness will allow me to come closer to achieving a sense of peace and moving on to more important things in life.

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I don’t know if it’s possible to include GIFs on these blogs but on a certain well known gossip website I’ve often seen various gif with the words “No1 curr!” (no one cares). And although it may sound blasé or cynical, I think I need a bit of No1 curr in my life. It is so easy to fall into the cycle of getting annoyed by every little thing and finding fault in everything. I’ve realized that in one of the online communities I post at, probably 90% of my posts are complaints. And really, who wants to be around a complainer all the time? It’s easy to let the little things get to us. After all, as my brilliant psych professor constantly reminded my class, stress is additive. But it’s time for me to develop a thicker skin and not let the really little things get to me.

3. Look for the good in people. It’s time for me to accept that while there are some people in my life that I find annoying, disappointing, aggravating, etc. they still have some positive traits. So many times it’s been difficult for me to see the positive side because I feel like their negative traits are overwhelming. But I know that everyone is complex, we all have a ton of different personality traits and no one can be perfect all the time.

So that’s about it. I am genuinely excited to start my year off with a positive resolution and I think it’s one that I can not only keep but continue to build on throughout my life. So with that said, happy 2011! Here’s to a great year.