January 5, 2020

Sara Rusniak

Running with Rusniak: New Year, New Mindset

New Year

What have you resolved to do better in 2020? As a recovering perfectionist, I regularly find myself seeking out the faults in my behavior and actions, constantly looking for ways to improve. The one big idea I’d like to achieve in 2020 is to improve my mindset overall so that I focus less on what is not perfect and instead focus on what is good.

A few years ago, I heard Shawn Achor speak at a local Chamber event about how to be happy. He rattled off many recommendations and tips about how to incorporate happiness practices into daily life. I furiously typed them into the notes app on my phone, with every intention of implementing some of his suggestions and seeing how my perspective would shift.

That was about two years ago—and I’ve not done a thing!


New Year

The Best Intentions Won’t Happen If They’re Not a Good Fit

Looking over that note, I can see why I failed. Incorporating any of the ideas that Shawn suggested would be a really big shift for me personally. I’m not one to journal, and exercise is also not a favorite pastime of mine (although I am making a point to be active for about 20 minutes every day). I don’t meditate, and I’m also pretty reluctant to share praise or emotion with other adults. Honestly, there’s not a lot on this list that fits with my current lifestyle. I try to say my prayers each night and thank God for all of my blessings. But sometimes by the time my head hits the pillow after a long day of chasing my three-year-old daughter, trying to teach her how to be a decent human being, and keeping up with the demands of a household and the seven clients I serve, I forget.

I want 2020 to be a year of positivity for me, and I want to be more intentional about gratitude. To make that happen, I need to be aware of what circumstances contribute to success for me as an individual. In other words, I have to make it easy for myself!

I know that I’m much more effective at committing to something if I do it first thing in the day. I also know that physically writing by hand is not something I enjoy. For three weeks (the 21 days Shawn recommends), I intend to keep a document on my computer (a virtual journal) containing entries on gratefulness, meaningful experiences, and praise. Each morning when I get up, while I’m making breakfast alone in the kitchen, I’m going to type out the three new things I’m grateful for, memorialize a meaningful experience from the day before (including at least three details), and prepare a “thank you note” for one person. I’m hoping that by the end of the three weeks, I’ll feel encouraged enough to share some of the experiences and praiseworthy moments with the individuals who inspired my recording of them.

Your Turn

Thank you for being here to help me hold myself accountable. I’ll report back soon on how this plan unfolded! What are your goals for 2020? How are you making it easy to achieve them? I look forward to hearing how you are setting yourself up for success in the New Year.


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