Column: Giving up negative people

Published 8:15 am Sunday, January 12, 2020

When I think of January, I think of crowded gyms, talk of new innovative diets and a lot of goal-setting. I have definitely fallen victim to these common resolutions and many others. Since 2020 will be the start of a new decade, I think it’s time for some new and improved resolutions to focus on in the new year.

My mom made a joke at the start of 2019, saying she was going to “give up negative people” for her New Year’s resolution. I thought it was pretty funny at the time. Looking back on this past year, I now think her joke had a lot of merit to it.

I find it easy to get wrapped up in the “bad news” of the world and a lot harder to focus on the good. It often seems like things aren’t going our way, times are tough and our lives could be a lot better than they currently are.

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When it comes to making a resolution, it’s difficult to take one on full-force and all at once. Goals are easier to accomplish if we start small and work our way towards them at a gradual pace. This is true for most things: losing weight, saving money, learning a new skill, etc.

The one goal I find will take the longest to accomplish is reaching an overall positive state of mind. No, you don’t have to “give up negative people” to get there, but you do have to come to terms with the fact that more often than not, you may be the only one looking on the bright side.

Will life ever be perfect? Probably not. However, that is actually a really good thing; if everything was perfect, we would never have anything worth setting a goal for.

Resolutions are great if they drive you towards some higher state of self. If we work towards something that makes us happy and has a positive impact on our overall well-being, we are more likely to stick it out until the end.

I think the reason gyms start to become less crowded towards spring and diets wear off early is because we think these things will make us happier, but the other parts of our lives (specifically, the “negative ones”) start to get in the way.

What I mean is this: If we go into the year with the mindset that we are going to focus on ourselves because we want to reach a happier state, the goals we set will reflect that. If losing weight goes hand-in-hand with striving to have a more positive body image, we may be more inclined to work hard at losing weight. If we want to learn a new skill, we should try to make it one that will effective our mental and emotional state in a good way.

I think 2020 will be a productive year, filled with a lot of positive outcomes and influential people. I also think 2020 will have some tragedies, some destruction and some negative impacts on our world. The latter is inevitable, but if we have the right mindset, so is the former.

Instead of “giving up negative people,” I decided my resolution is to change the way I see negativity: learn from the past, grow through my mistakes and never stop looking on the bright side. Sometimes, we just have to work a little harder to find the good.

Danielle Puleo is a staff writer for The Coastland Times. Reach her at