Sunday, July 3, 2011

Attitude Adjustment

Mittens pees in everything

You know when you get in one of those $hitty moods where the people around you start thinking that you woke up to someone peeing in your corn flakes? Well that’s sort of the way that I am feeling today. I know, I know, how does Mr. Smileypants get into a funk on a perfect sunny long weekend with no clouds in site? Honestly, I think it might be due to the fun overload I have had over the past couple days! It was Canada Day on Friday and there is no other day that is more fun than this day here in the nation’s capital. I got to sleep in, wake up late, and get out and enjoy all the festivities with my friends while keeping my budget in check! I can’t believe I only spent $40 on Canada Day, especially when the drinks were $6.50 for crappy domestic beer! I guess it helps that I was working the merch table for my friends’ band for the day so it kept me away from other more pricey items! The next day I got to spend an amazing day with my friend’s family at their pool, playing ping pong and croquet, eating delicious food and feeling incredibly spoiled by some of the kindest people I know. I think that’s what my little funk is about, it made me miss my family and all the wonderful times I have with them; that and maybe the sunburn that I got from 6 hours in the sun despite the SPF 45! I’m telling you, I went from snow white to lobster red! All my freckles (or melanoma) are out in full force now!

Open wide indeed!
Those of you who read my blog regularly may have noticed that I really try to stay focused on my goals and don’t really spend much time complaining about the things that I have the power to fix. Lately I am finding that I am just complaining for the sake of complaining about the most insignificant things like a lousy coworker or general frustrations, but what is that helping other than spreading my negativity and wearing my friends out with incessant whining? Just going back and reading my first paragraph, I can’t help but notice that I really don’t have any reason to be upset about anything, but yet here I am in a stupid mood wasting time feeling like an a$$hole and for what? This blog entry was going to be about how I was managing my money after having to pay over $500 at the dentist this week after a surprise triple filling (which was supposed to be one filling and $170) but I think that blog entry would be kind of a cop out. Most of you know that I would resort to my savings account to help cover the shortfall then reevaluate my budget to get myself back on track. So, instead of weighing you down with a Complainy Complainerpants blog, I really feel that it’s important to highlight how the right attitude can really make or break you when working toward a goal.

Obtaining success with any major goal, i.e. saving up for your wedding, taking better care of your health, or paying off debt, you need to give yourself a little pat on the back for your hard work and remember that not everyone is going to constantly praise you for everything little thing you do. They might not even notice that you’re even doing it (and that’s okay). It’s imperative that you remember to thank yourself for all the hard work that you put in and not beat yourself up for the times when you feel like you have let yourself down. For example, in my goal to pay off debt, it took a lot of mental preparation and a ton of will power to keep me from spending my money on things that I didn’t need, but really wanted. I remember one day when I went shopping with one of my friends and there were all these great clothes that fit me so well on sale. After trying on a stack of clothes, I set them down on at that cash register and said I didn’t want any of them (because I knew I couldn’t afford them). My friend was really impressed with my transformation, and so was I, so I gave myself a little mental affirmation that I had done something positive toward achieving my goal. My ability to say no had left me with $200 more toward my debt repayment, so I took that money and put it all on my credit card. It felt amazing; kind of like a big F.U. to MasterCard. It feels good to be able to celebrate small victories so make sure that you do!

Now there will come a time when you will screw up and you’re going to want to kick yourself and get upset about losing focus on your goal; you’ve been on track for weeks and all of a sudden you muck up. I have done this on more than one occasion since I started the debt repayment process. At first I feel bad about spending money where I shouldn’t have but the important part is what I do next. I get in a mode where my brain punishes me for a small mistake, but this is where I focus on changing the way I think. It is entirely possible to do. When you make a mistake, start off by recognizing the error and then identify the reasons that you steered off course. For me, it’s usually because I was drunk, or brought too much money with me so I end up spending more than I wanted. Other times it’s simply because I entered a situation where I know that I am weak when it comes to spending like my favorite store, the pizza parlor, a prophylactics sale, you know, the usual stuff people are tempted by. Once I have identified what triggered my counteractive behaviour, I make a promise to myself that next time, I’ll put down the whatchamawhozit, and back my sweet a$$ out of there! When I actually do this, I feel really good about myself and give myself a reward of more me time, or a special treat at the grocery store.

Change your attitude, change your life
Getting to the point where you achieve your goals really does take a positive outlook. I’ve worked really hard to get to the point in my life where things are looking up, and my positive attitude has been instrumental in getting there. Teach yourself to find the positive things in your life. For example, I acknowledge that  my negative mood is just that – mine, and no one else’s. So I look ahead at the positive things that will keep me going forward.  I’m now only 2 weeks away from starting my new job, and another 4 weeks away from my vacation and seeing my family! And let’s not forget that I will be receiving 3 paychecks in August and more of my friends will be moving back here again, so things are looking on the up and up! Do you see how easy that is? If you can’t find anything positive, then make an active decision to do something about it. There’s one piece of advice that my friend told me years ago that I have never forgot and have kept with me ever since. If you don’t like something in your life, CHANGE IT. You hate your city? Move. You don’t like your school? Find another one. You can’t stand your job? Get a new one. YOU are the only one who can decide what is best for you. 

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