This new year, I made a personal commitment to make a change in my life: Be more positive. Even if this seems simple, developing a positive mindset was something that I always struggled with over the years and never made a priority. Upon reflecting on my 2021 and setting goals for the new year, I realized that cultivating positivity does not have to be a drastic change but rather should be incorporated into my everyday actions and outlook on life.
Throughout 2021, I looked to the “that girl” aesthetic as a goal for my life. On social media, there was a constant stream of influencers who followed this routine, meant to promote self-growth, self-love and fulfillment. The schedule involved waking up at 6 a.m. and starting the morning with a quick meditation, followed by working out, making a healthy breakfast and setting goals for the day.
Videos and photos of green smoothies and lemon water, extensive skin care routines and minimalist bedrooms filled my social media pages. By starting the morning early and productively, the expectation was that the rest of the day would also be fruitful.
Last summer, I successfully incorporated a semblance of that routine. I was working out almost every morning, constantly drinking berry smoothies and feeling productive from accomplishing my summer responsibilities. But I quickly found out the problem with this lifestyle: it was not sustainable. More often than not, life would get in the way and distract me from my “that girl” goal; big Sunday lunches with families and late nights made it impossible to get up early the next day.
When I came back to Hopkins in the fall, it became even more difficult, since I also had to factor in classes, extracurriculars and weekly chores. After using the extra time during the holiday season to get back on track, I was determined to set a better routine for the new year.
Rather than strictly adhere to the schedule dictated by social media, I decided to personalize it and create my own lifestyle. After all, this routine was not meant for anyone else’s self-fulfillment except my own.
Instead of forcing myself to wake up at dawn, which is just not the life for me, I wake up at a reasonable 8 a.m. to work out at the gym, do my skincare routine, eat filling and nutritious breakfasts that I enjoy and get ready for the day. I do not force myself to write down my goals in my notebook everyday, but make time when I am feeling overwhelmed and need to take a step back and reflect.
There are days that deviate from this routine, such as when I decide to attend an afternoon F45 class instead of a morning workout or dedicate extra time to school work instead of journaling, but I no longer beat myself up over those instances. Instead, I am able to recognize that rest and relaxation are necessary parts of life to avoid burnout.
However, setting and following a routine are only part of the path toward renewed growth. Every day has been a battle to reform my mindset and self-perception to be positive and confident, but it’s gotten easier with time. The power of manifestation and the Law of Attraction have been integral to my personal development.
Yes, these are the videos that may be filling your TikTok For You feed. Though it may sound silly, there are TED Talks and motivational speakers who attest that they work. According to the Law of Attraction, anyone is capable of “attracting” their goals as long as one dedicates their energy towards them. As part of this, voicing positive affirmations and clearly visualizing your objectives are meant to help you “manifest” favorable results into your life. In this way, your actions and decisions will be better oriented toward achieving your goals.
Even if life does not always work out the way I expect, this outlook has allowed me to cultivate a greater trust that everything happens for a reason and the universe will bring to me what is meant for me. While I may not completely understand the pseudoscience behind the Law of Attraction, such as the energy and spiritual aspects, trusting in it has slightly eased my anxiety. As a junior still figuring out the purpose and trajectory of my life, this perspective has helped me reframe my goals and turn negative thoughts into positive actions.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that this belief has made me solely rely on divine intervention to bring opportunities my way instead of seeking them out. Rather, the change in mindset motivates me to set a purpose and intention in everything I do and give meaning to the seeming monotony of each week that passes by.
Having a steady and consistent routine has made this semester fly by even quicker than before. Whether it be due to my new outlook or the warmer weather, my mood and mindset have definitely improved for the better. Of course, there are still days that are harder than others, but c'est la vie, and I look forward to carrying this outlook into the rest of the semester.
Michelle Limpe is a junior from the Philippines studying Chemistry and Public Health. She is a Managing Editor for The News-Letter. In her articles, she likes to reflect on finding the silver linings in life to give meaning to her struggles.