Here’s how to create a plan of action that will help you think — and act — more positively.
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Many of us go to work with a case of the Mondays every day of the week.
Is that holding you back? Can we control our minds to the extent that we vanquish the Monday attitude all week long? And will a better attitude lead to greater success in the workplace?
Beverly D. Flaxington, author of Make Your Shift, thinks a positive attitude is one of the most powerful self-initiated steps we can take to a better career. Many of us are dissatisfied with our jobs and aren’t afraid to voice our dissatisfaction in some forum. Yet the majority of that voicing merely keeps our dissatisfaction, even anger, simmering at the forefront of our consciousness, bogging down our every action throughout the day.
The Shift approach may sound simplistic on the surface. But what it really does is lead us to logically process our frustration and work out a plan of action that begins with a positive attitude.
Consider the goal
The first step is knowing where you’re going and what you want to accomplish in your career.
If you haven’t already done it, write down your career goal. If we are aiming at nothing, we are sure to hit at just that — nothing. On the other hand, with a goal in mind, you’ll be much more purposeful in your day-to-day choices and actions.
Once you have the goal in mind, consider what steps you may need to take to progress on that path, like a degree, specialized training, or better physical, mental, or spiritual health. Write out your goal and the steps you need to take into a brief mission statement and post it where you will be sure to see it on a daily basis.
Consider the obstacles
Once you’ve established the desired outcome of your daily grind, you’re ready to take on the obstacles perceived to be in your way.
Write out the less desirable aspects of your job that are triggering the week-long Monday syndrome. Once you have the list of complaints, assign each item to one of three categories: those you can control, those outside of your control, and those you may have some influence over. This should be done with care; it’s easy to assign complaints to the column of those outside of our control. But be honest with yourself — many items on the list may be more influenced by your negative attitude than you think.
Now, set aside the list of things outside of your control. It’s time to focus on what you can do.
Consider your plan of action
Your plan of action should be customized to the list of obstacles over which you have control or influence. Consider what action you can take in your work and interactions with coworkers to bring about the changes you desire.
Here are some common areas where a positive attitude coupled with preparedness makes all the difference:
- Anticipate communication. Note an individual coworker or boss’ communication style and cater to it when interacting with each person.
- Welcome new challenges. Be prepared to accept and even volunteer to take on new challenges.
- Accept differences. Your method might work great for you, but not for someone else. Rather than being annoyed at the difference you see in others, consider how their individual personality traits work for them.
Even if you’re doubtful that maintaining a positive attitude has any influence over your career, at least give these steps a try. You may find that a positive, actionable attitude really does open doors for you.
Added bonus on the journey? Lower blood pressure, peace and contentment with where you are at in your career. And that’s better than living a fretful, impatient, irritable life.
Tara Hornor writes for PrintPlace.com, a company that offers online printing services for business cards, catalogs, posters, brochures, postcards for direct mail, and more printed marketing media. Connect with @TaraHornor on Twitter.