What if everything you have right now went away, and was no longer in your life one year from today? What would that do to who you are as a person?

What if your company went a new direction and handed you a pink slip effective immediately?

What if your house suddenly burned to the ground, taking all your personal belongings with it?

What if the relationship you held most dear to your heart suddenly took a shift, and he or she was no longer in your life?

One minute its in your life; the next it isn’t. No warning; just immediate action.What If It All Goes Away- How To Change Your Life For The Better

Would you survive? Of course you would. Most of us will face at least one of these situations in our lifetime. And most of us bounce back after a period of time. It changes us. It makes us become better … if we let it.

I listened to a podcast the other day and took away a new twist on an old concept.

If you’ve been around the self-help genre for any length of time, chances are you’ve heard the saying that “you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with”. If you want to improve yourself, change those five people.

The host twisted it and turned it in a different way.

You are the average of the five thoughts you’ve had throughout the day.

I like that concept, and immediately began looking at my thoughts throughout the day. Its very revealing.

So the question becomes, what types of thoughts have you had throughout your day?

Where do your thoughts lie? Do you choose anger or gratitude? Do you choose regret or contentment?  Do you spend your time thinking about all the things you’ll give up or won’t do, or do you spend your time contemplating the things you can do if you put your mind to it?

Do you tell yourself you’re stupid? Do you think of all the things you couldn’t/shouldn’t/can’t do? Do you let others influence the way you feel about yourself?

What if you changed that around? What if you focused in on what you can do instead?

In the coming days, you may be thinking about creating a New Years resolution list. Many of us do it every year. Studies show that around 65 percent of us make a list every year, yet less than 8 percent of us are successful in achieving any of the resolutions on the list.

There are a lot of reasons for this. But in many cases, it’s simply because of lack of focus and commitment. We set ourselves up for grand plans, with no intent on completing them because they aren’t aligned with our true feelings and desires.

You can’t lose weight if you’re telling yourself you are fat and stupid all the time, right?

What can you do instead?

What’s Your Word For The Year?

Instead of creating a list of resolutions you’ll never accomplish, choose a word for the year instead. I’ve done this for the last several years, and I like the impact it has on my life more so than a resolution list could ever have.

Word of the year concept is growing in popularity, partially because it’s easier to take in.

By choosing a word, you can use it to guide you in the tasks you take on, the projects you create, the direction you head, and the life you create. Your word should influence the things you do … and the things you don’t.

For instance, I chose the word “reawaken” in 2014 because I knew it would be a huge year for opportunity, growth, and new beginnings. I allowed the word “reawaken” to guide me as we made plans to move 1200 miles away. I allowed it guide me as I began building new portions of my business after adjusting to the sale of an old business.

Whenever a new project or opportunity came my way, I would contemplate whether it would allow me the opportunity to build on who I was in order to create a bright new future. If it held meaning to me, I jumped at the chance, no matter how terrified I may have been in the process.

My words in the past have been:

Refinement – 2012
Chaos – 2013
Reawaken – 2014

After thinking about it these past few weeks, I’ve made my decision. My word for 2015 will be … Thrive.

To empower; to be unstoppable.

To grow vigorously, to gain in wealth, to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.

It works for me because of all the plans I have for the coming new year.

Start A Gratitude Journal

A word of the year can help guide you, but only if you believe yourself capable of achieving that which you truly desire.

Just like you will never lose weight if you continually tell yourself you’re fat, for example, you can never move forward if your internal words hold you back.

A gratitude journal allows you to refocus the way you think, and change the way you talk to yourself.

Every morning, I spend time meditating, doing a little yoga, and writing in my gratitude journal. I write 5 empowering phrases on things that are happening in my life. Sometimes its things I’m working on, sometimes its things I’ve accomplished, and sometimes it’s the simple things in life. A daily entry may look like this:

I’m grateful for finishing chapter two of the book I’m writing, or

I’m grateful for being able to enjoy lunch out with my daughter on a Wednesday afternoon.

Even the little things add up.

If you’ve never written things like this on a daily basis before, it can be very difficult, especially when you’re having a bad day. But over time, it helps you hone in on the things that are truly important, and it gives you positive energy for your day ahead. It allows you to look at the positives, not focus on the things you can’t do or hold you back.

It sets your mind in positive mode, and helps you take away the negatives.

Its difficult to continue to think you’re fat if you start your day grateful for losing 5 pounds, or grateful for attending a cooking class to put together more nutritious meals!