2019: The zen of January. The New Year resolution solution

It’s that time of year when everyone is making their new year resolutions, or proclaiming how they won’t be or don’t believe in making new year resolutions – and it can get a bit sanctimonious on both sides! So how about this?

Your resolutions, or lack thereof, are none of my business, and you cordially care less about mine too.

Could that be the zen of January? A simple, gentle, inclusive, live and let live. It works for me.

Money Mindset, Lakshmi statue

Money mindset: what if abundance comes first?

A couple of years ago, I spent some time reading A Source of Miracles, by Kathleen McGowan, and I found her take on abundance very interesting. The part of her question that arrested my attention was

“what if abundance came first and deserving second?”

Read more »

Being resourceful, creative and whole: what if we are all naturally like that?

When I was training as a coach, we were invited to see our clients as naturally being resourceful, creative and whole.

Whatever the client might feel, whatever evidence of stuckness, we were to regard the person as a whole; as capable of finding their own solution; as endlessly creative and able to generate new possibilities and thinking. Read more »

How to turn a pessimist into an optimist

It’s a golden oldie in the positive psychology world, but I still swear by Dr Martin Seligman’s process on how to turn a pessimist into an optimist (check out his book Learned Optimism).

Dr. Martin Seligman's "Learned Optimism" teaches us how to turn a pessimist into an optimist

Dr. Martin Seligman’s “Learned Optimism” teaches us how to turn a pessimist into an optimist

The founding idea is that pessimism is escapable if you know how.

Dr Seligman points out a simple causal relationship between what we think and what we feel.

Our thoughts dictate how we feel. Our feelings influence how we act. Our actions have consequences. Those consequences create a new set of thoughts. The thoughts we have again and again over time become the beliefs or the mindset that create the lives we lead.

The good, in fact, the absolutely great news, is that we can learn how to turn a pessimist into an optimist.

By doing so we can improve a whole range of life, health and success outcomes!


  1. Think of a situation that is current but not drastic. Describe it in a few sentences.
  2. Is your description factually accurate? Re-write it until you have the most neutral possible description.
  3. Write a list of all the thoughts you have about this situation and yourself in this situation.
  4. Go through and highlight the most powerful negative thoughts. Making a list of evidence for and against these beliefs.

Ask yourself:

  1. What is the effect of the negative beliefs in terms of how I feel, what I say and what I do?
  2. What would happen if I changed them to something more empowering? [You may also like to note the effects of positive beliefs you’ve identified in terms of what you feel, say and do.]

Check in with how you feel in your body, mind and spirit after this disputation.

Repeat this process with any subject matter where you want to change your mindset.

Notice when you’re making sweeping negative statements. In fact, that’s a hallmark of pessimistic thinking and won’t serve you.

Read more: What is a mindset?

What is a mindset?

Mindset is one of those terms that people bandy about but actually, what is a mindset and why should we care?

A mindset is an established set of attitudes. Or: A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations. Read more »