New Year's resolution: Focus on the positive

January 5, 2017

New year, new—you? According to a 2016 Ipsos poll, "focus on the positive" is one of Canadians' top new year's resolutions. Read more about making your resolutions work, and find out what our faculty and staff had to say about other top resolutions, including living a healthier lifestyle, spending more time with loved ones and learning something new.

Randi_ZiorioThe sandwich generation. Membership in such a group might sound mouthwatering, but according to Randi Ziorio Dunlop, nurse educator in MacEwan University’s Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing program, the term actually explains why many people are unhappy. “People are trying to fit everything in,” she explains. “They’re trying to work, take care of kids, look after parents and older adults, and go to school at the same time. It just stresses people out and they can get very down or negative about it.

With schedules stuffed as full as a turkey bacon club, positivity tends to plummet. As a result, one of the top New Year’s resolutions of 2016 was to focus on the positive. If this resolution speaks to you, here are Randi’s thoughts and advice on penciling positivity into your hectic life.

Why do you think this resolution is such a popular one?

We have trouble making time for things that are positive for us because we have all this other stuff going on. Self-care is probably the biggest thing people are willing to let go of, but it's really important in order for them to do the things they need to without burning out.

What is the biggest challenge in staying focused on the positive?

“Focus on the positive” is a little too general of an idea. I think people have to reflect on what it is specifically that makes them happy. You have to think, “What do I really want? What do I value? What is enjoyable to me?” and try to find things that fit within that, because everyone's different.

How can people be successful in their pursuit of positivity?

You have to plan it into your day. Even as a mental health professional, I have to carve out time for myself the way anybody else does. I've learned to schedule time for myself. That can be hard and people might think they don't have time, but it can take just five minutes of mindful meditation, where you're just sitting, not doing anything and really trying to clear out your thoughts. Or it can be as simple as turning the TV off 30 minutes before bed to read a book, if that’s something you like to do. You have to make that time or you’ll let a hundred other things pile up.

What is your New Year’s resolution?

My resolution is to make more time for myself!  

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