Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Power of Positive Thinking

My truly insightful and supportive friends, the Ducks have me thinking a LOT today. First, I got a wonderful response to my first posts via email. LOVED getting those emails and would adore having a comment or two here! Then today’s thread topic was all about thinking positively, which went right along with one of the responses I got about my first postings. I DO need to focus on all that I have accomplished! I have eradicated $12,500 of my debt in less than 4 years (one year of which I made $13/hour for a time, then it went up to $30,000 annually – NOT good for living in DC while paying off massive debt). I have made some serious sacrifices and trimmed a lot of fat from my spending, including donating my car and continuing to live in a small rented 1BR basement apartment with Cute Man – things that you’d think would be tough but have actually IMPROVED my quality of life. I am much happier walking and taking the metro than I ever was stuck in DC traffic. I am so relieved to be free from all the clutter I used to have before I moved in with Cute Man. I simply cannot accumulate things that I don’t have a place for.

All this reminds me that positive changes have many unintended consequences. When I set out to improve my financial life, I didn’t foresee the other ripple effects that it’s had in other areas. By changing my thinking to be more frugal, I’ve enriched my life in an amazing way. Now, when I’m faced with a choice of what to do, I usually pick the option that doesn’t involve spending money (or spending less). It gets me out DOING things more than out BUYING things. Who would have thought? I know that I will remember all of the experiences I have with people I love way more than any piece of stuff I could buy.

If I translate this over to thinking about my weight/health, I realize that I would like to do the same thing. When I have a choice to do something active versus not, I would like to choose the active choice (just like the frugal one comes naturally to me now). I can’t say this shift has already occurred, but now that I’ve noticed the connection, I plan to let it take hold. The key is that it’s not something I have to do – it’s something I want to do to improve my health and how I feel. Just like when I first stopped using my credit cards, it was an adjustment to wrap my head around NOT just buying whatever I wanted, I need to consciously practice making the healthier choice repeatedly before it becomes second nature. A great quote about this is “We are what we repeatedly do”. I can’t remember who said it, but it’s spot on.

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