I am continually surprised at the popularity of Get Rid of Your Toxic Attitude Once and for All. It gives me joy knowing I have [hopefully] impacted another’s life for the good! When I find myself struggling with my tude, it always renews my positivity to re-read my own ideas, because the key points are often lost in daily life. So, aside from just rereading, I decided a “program” was needed to really change my life.
The 21 day attitude fix!
It’s a program aimed to increase positivity and gratefulness, in turn, reducing conflict. I truly hope this will bring you as much success as it did me.
Attitude is All in Your Perspective
Attitude is a way of thinking and behaving that gets set into motion by letting things bother you. I hate to say it, but it really comes down to perspective. What is this a photo of?
If your first instinct was a negative one, like, “Oh, there’s water missing, ” you, my friend, likely struggle with looking at things in a positive light. Often time, that can be me. Instinctively, I feel there is something wrong when I look at the photo. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, just a fact of who I am. So that means that one of my challenges in life is to focus on seeing things a bit different than my initial reaction. That’s okay though.
Everyone has struggles. Everyone has things to work on. Everyone is put on this earth to learn different lessons.
Just because a glass half full attitude may not come natural, doesn’t mean that is a lost cause. Once I completed the 21 day attitude fix, I really saw a change in my gut reactions, permanently. In turn, conflict was, and remains, reduced.
Before You Begin the 21 Day Attitude Fix
Making personal changes to your soul involves something spiritual, weather you believe in God or not. You don’t necessarily need to be a Christian to complete this, but it certainly helps. This program is effective because it is focused on unconditional love and patience, so naturally it involves some teachings from the Bible.
- Start your mornings slowly. Get up early every morning of this process so you may have solitude and peace during this process. Get up before your kids, family, etc; give yourself a solid 15 minutes alone. You must begin your day with these exercises to place your whole body, mind and soul into the right state of mind. It will not work at the end of the day, I promise.
- Dedicate yourself to do this daily (or at least 6 days a week) for the fix.
- Get a new journal to use through this process. You will want to revisit your notes, thoughts and personal assignments once it’s over for continued reminders and boosts. Remember to number your days at the top or bottom of the page, it’s interesting to see thought processes at certain points throughout this journey.
- When I dedicated myself to this process, I personally needed a daily reminder that surpassed my alone time in the morning. Do you remember the w.w.j.d. bracelets? Well, I recreated the same type of idea with a few natural stone bracelets. (See day 8 for details.) You may find that another trick works for you. Whatever it is, something on your person is a good idea, so it’s always staring you in the face, reminding you of your commitment to have a better, positive attitude and to to be a better person to others in your life.
The 21 Day Attitude Fix
Day 1 – Focus on Change & Forgiveness
Write this down:
I will change my negative, condescending attitude.
Make the above a daily prayer or mantra.
- Think about who in your life you are the most negative and judgmental towards. How have you brought them down? Then imagine how they would feel if you built them up vs. tearing them down. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you’d like to be treated by them, then imagine yourself doing just that. Act out a play in your head to practice for real life.
- Forgive yourself. Everyone has struggles. This is yours. The most important part of this is realization and your readiness to change. If you’re reading this and thinking of doing it, you’re on the right path.
- Forgive others. Let the one you’ve been critical towards know that you’re sorry and are working on being a more positive person.
Prayer: Forgive me for being negative, quick to anger, unforgiving, disrespectful and prideful.
Day 2 – Focus on The Ultimate Goal
When a tough situation arises and you feel yourself becoming too overwhelmed with negativity and anger, step back and reflect first. Slow down! Don’t let yourself go from 0-100 (that’s your goal).
It is often helpful to remember your ultimate goal with the person you’re getting upset with. If it’s a spouse, the ultimate goal is to stay together and be happy. If it’s family, the ultimate goal is to stay in a good relationship with them. Boss? The goal there is to eliminate resentment and keep your job. Whichever situation is yours, it likely involves being in a good relationship and remaining happy. The bottom line then is to take steps to attain the goal and not allow daily struggles to get in the way of that.
- Ask yourself, “What is positive here?” Or focus on a good thing about that person vs. the negative one in your head.
- Ask yourself, “Where is the opportunity to build them up vs. tear them down or be positive.”
Add value to someone else’s life. LIVE LIFE FOR ANOTHER.
Day 3 – Don’t Engage in Fights
Attitude is the start to a fight and is pure EMOTION. Stop. Be rational and decide. Fights don’t just happen between people. Triggers are presented from either side and choices are made to let those triggers get under your skin or not. Before you react, ask:
- Is this situation so distressing that it needs to be addressed?
I once read a suggestion to wait an entire three days before addressing an issue to be sure it’s really worth it. Personally, I think that’s a bit extreme, but I like the principal. Don’t be so reactive. Wait and cool off prior to saying what’s on your mind. When I employ this tactic, I typically find out most things aren’t worth the fight.
Daily Mantra: I can control my life through controlling my emotions and attitude.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1: 19-20
Day 4 – Patience
True love is not selfish. If we lose patience, get angry or harsh, it’s usually because we have begun to put ourselves first. Put up with some sh*t from the ones you love – sorry to say, but this world has gotten us accustomed to believing we should always be happy at whatever cost. If you want happy relationships, you must live life for another, not yourself.
Only respond in love. Step away, hold your tongue until you can respond lovingly.
Think about times when your patience string gets small. For me, it’s when I’m rushing or tired. Transition times are often stressing too, like getting ready to go somewhere or for bed. Start early and avoid rushing. Allow plenty of time to do what you need to do. This will give your patience a boost.
Remember: Be like Jello and absorb crazy emotions (like from a toddler and a stressed husband). Then filter those emotions through prayer. You need to be the strong emotional backbone of your family or circle. Someone has to do it.
Day 5 – Listen & Pray
This morning, BE STILL. Close your eyes and think of healing waters flowing next to you, overcoming your thoughts and emotions. Let that water wash away all your hurt and hardness. Let go of your anxieties and cares.
Now, think about the following question.
What do you need?
Write down what you need (not what you need others to do for you). For example, these were some of my needs:
- Not focus on the negative
- Not react negatively
- Not react to negative stimuli
- Learn acceptance
- Repair the hurt; rebuild
What are you hearing in the peacefulness of your morning? Listen for an answer. Clear your mind of any thoughts. What is God saying to you? Write it down! Even if it’s just a word, write it down.
A song kept flooding my mind this day, so I listened to it and really read into the lyrics. Answers can come in many forms – just listen.
Day 6 – Kindness
Fight negativity with kindness. Even in nature, chemistry for example, extreme opposite substances react more drastically, there is always a clear change. Ions are transferred, reactions take place and new products are produced. The same goes with life. The only way to fight bad is with good. Today, is simple, there will be NO:
- NO criticizing
- NO condemning
- NO contempt
Instead, today I will practice:
Imagine and play out in your head how you will implement these practices today and this week.
Day 7 – Reflection
By now, you may be feeling stronger in your positive feelings. If this is your case, awesome.
If not, DON’T GIVE UP! I had the opposite happen to me. I felt as if things were getting HARDER! In most big life changes, the universe (weather that be God or some other force) will throw all there is at you to inhibit the change. PUSH THROUGH, because after the hardest part, there is a great breakthrough and then it gets easier.
Literally, on day 7, I wrote, “It’s getting more difficult. Am I going backward? Yes. I’m crumbling.” You’re not alone if you feel this way. I can attest to that. If you’re being broken down, that’s actually a good thing! Let yourself be ripped down and be rebuilt. God is in control of this and it is a necessary evil of change.
You must be broken to be made whole.
Day 8 – Be Positive & Loving – a Reminder
After my breakdown, I felt as if I needed a daily reminder to keep me going in this difficult transformation. As mentioned above, I researched natural gemstones and decided on three bracelets to aid my process. Hey, it’s worth a shot, right? Natural healers have used gemstones for ages for healing mental and physical ailments.
Do they work? I don’t know. It may be a mental thing. They may actually promote energy changes. At the very least, they reminded me of my journey. And the gems were interesting to read about, nonetheless. This is my compilation of what I found from my google search of what these natural gems have been thought to do (not science-based). (Mind you, I always only rely on research proven ideas and facts, but this is different….just an FYI.)
Smoky Quartz – Mood stabilizer
- Protects against negative energy by transforming it into positive energy
- Elevates mood to overcome negative emotion and relieve depression
- Also treats below the torso to help cramps and infertility
- Also assists adrenal glands and regulates fluid balance
Rose Quartz – The “love stone”
- Unconditional love that opens the heart to all forms of love (self love, platonic love, romantic love)
- Brings love and warmth to life
Yellow Jade– Interconectedness
- Increases love and nurturing
- Aids emotional release (especially irritability)
- Brings joy and happiness
- Also treats kidney and adrenal gland toxins
- Also aids in fertility and birthing
- Also balances fluids, aids in digestion and elimination
If you’re not into the bracelet thing, I suggest you find something like this that works for you. Write daily note card reminders and keep them in your car, kitchen and bathroom. Draw something on your hand. Think of something you’ll always see or feel.
Day 9 – A Loving Voice
Today focus on love. Love is a choice. It doesn’t always come naturally, it often is not the easy way. Most of the time, the cost is to put your wants and needs on the back burner.
Making loving choices can bring a substantial change in your life and your relationships.
In my opinion, daily prayer must be part of your life to help you with this daily choice. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill your life, soul, mind, heart and home so your initial reactions will be unconditional love. The entire goal of this process is to respond with love. To talk with a loving voice and in a loving manner. Often times, it’s our voice and the way we say things, as opposed to what we say, that is our attitude. A tude in the voice is very harmful to relationships and will always lead to a fight or negative feelings.
Focus today on a loving voice, all day, no matter the circumstance.
Day 10 – Be Content
To be content means to be satisfied to the point where you are not disturbed or disquieted. It should be our goal to be content no matter our surroundings or situation. That is true peace and happiness.
…I have learned to be content in whatever state I am in. Phil 4:11
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Phil 4: 6-7
Count your blessings, NOT what is lacking.
Refocus your energy on the good in your life, not the bad. It was once my job to walk into a kitchen and inspect it for safety. In other words, I had to look through the good to see the bad. Now, my brain must be re-wired to see the opposite. If you’re a boss, manager or supervisor, I’m certain you have some responsibilities that require you do the same.
Remember: Positivity embarks change.
Day 11 – Dig Into the Struggle
This morning I want you to write down your challenges and struggles. I chose to organize them into struggles with individuals. You may wish to split them by category. Once they are on paper, answer these questions:
- Why am I facing these challenges?
- What are these struggles trying to teach me?
Go back to each struggle and write down why they exist. Be honest with yourself, no one will read this, so be real with yourself. If you tend to play the victim role, this may be difficult for you. Just shift the blame from others back to yourself to find the answer.
I kept seeing the same reasons: I needed to live life for another, to put others first. All my challenges were there to allow me opportunity to do so. They were also there to practice all forms of love – patience, kindness, humbleness, respect, slowness to anger. When you know why things occur and what the lesson is that needs to be learned, you will succeed.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Cor 13: 1-7
Day 12 – Unconditional Love
Have you ever wondered what your will in life is? I can tell you what God’s will is for you:
- Love him with your entire heart (soul)
- Love others
- Represent his love
We don’t need to BE LOVED, we need someone TO LOVE.
Life has no meaning without love. But what exactly is love?
- Love is the way you treat people
- Love is what you do for others
Surprisingly, it’s not the way we “feel” towards someone. Love is how we act toward them; completely opposite to what our culture leads us to believe. Love, as explained earlier, isn’t always easy and typically comes at a cost.
The costs of love are:
- Giving up pride
- Breaking down walls
- Keeping a good attitude when you are let down
We all fail daily to love others; it involves complete selflessness. That is why God is the ultimate love, it requires perfection. But remember, God forgives every time.
Daily prayer: Make me a blessing to others everywhere I go. Let them see you in me.
Day 13 – Your Soul
What is a soul? Your soul makes up your mind, your will and your emotions. It’s based on thoughts and attitudes and it determines how we live. When people say, “follow your heart,” I think what they really mean to say is, “listen to your soul”. When we’re at peace, difficult situations won’t trouble our soul.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. Mat 5:8
We must guard our soul, for out of it flows life.
Take some time to listen to your soul. If you’ve never “gotten in touch” with it, now’s the time. Many who practice meditation and/or yoga focus on the “inner being” and merging body and mind. Quieting the mind and coming to know the soul are why these practices are so effective at stress relief and boosting morale.
Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul. -Dorothy Day
Day 14 – Find Joy in Simplicity
My sister once said to me that she finds joy in deep cleaning her house because when she’s done, she knows she did the best job she could have done. It was cleaned by giving her all. Small tasks and big tasks can be fulfilling if your mindset is altered a bit. Focus on the task at hand and do it well. This is why gardening, cleaning, organizing and doing other “mindless” jobs can be healing and therapeutic.
Today, relax and become simple. Focus on disallowing overwhelming feelings from overtaking you by focusing on small tasks. Be thankful you have a place to clean; thankful you can move freely without chronic pain or a wheelchair. There are a millions thanks we can give in a day, we just need to recognize them.
Day 15 – Live for Today
Living in the past causes depression.
Living in the future causes anxiety.
Living in the present enables you to make healthy, sane choices to foster your emotional well-being.
Make a choice today to be positive. When you’re positive, you have FAITH; faith that you are not in control of this world and that it’s okay. Today could be your last day here on Earth, don’t let it be a depressed, pitty party, full of negativity. Live today as if it is a gift – because it is. Each minute you are still here and breathing is a gift of life that will one day be taken away.
Live life slower. Eat slower. Drive slower. React slower. Take life in. This will allow you to be more in control.
Goal: Honor God with a positive mind. After all, he gave you your mind and your life; it’s the least you can do.
Day 16 – Be a Friend
To have and be a friend is what makes life worthwhile. -unknown
Life is all about whom is in it, not what is in it. Friends are sometimes family, and sometimes not. Whomever they are, let them know how valuable they are to you. Imagine your life without them; this always helps me realize how appreciative I am for their presence in my life. Write down who it is and why they are so special to you.
How to be a good friend:
- LISTEN. Try not to give advice-based solutions. Insights and feedback, of course is always welcome. Why? Everyone has the answer in them. It’s our job to help them identify it.
- Be VULNERABLE. Thank them. Apologize. Tell them how much they mean to you. Don’t go overboard, but sprinkle them with compliments and loving words. It’s our job to build them up.
Prayer: Thank you for my friends who are family, my friends in the past, my friends today and my future friends. Allow me to be the friend they need me to be.
Day 17 – Anger
There is no unhealthy emotion, only unhealthy reactions.
If, or should I say, when you get angry, Follow these 3 steps:
- Stop. Just stop. The heat of the moment is a terrible place to bring up any issue. Leave if you need to. DO NOT ADDRESS ANY ISSUE when angered (more specifically, when your heart rate is up or you feel overwhelmed with emotion). By the way, this is my hardest challenge.
- Think. Why did I get angry? Break it down and talk about it calmly, later.
- Later. Implement the 24-hour rule.
The 24-hour rule is something you should consider implementing in your relationships, especially if you often find yourself bickering over “nothing”. Like mentioned earlier in day 3, I had once read a recommendation to wait 3 days before bringing up an issue. I chose to modify this idea to the “24-hour rule”. Here’s how it works. You can let them know you’re upset, but NOT right away. You have to wait 24 hours. The purpose of this is to limit volatility and promote more patience.
If it doesn’t bother you after a day passes, forget it.
Likely, the majority of the things you’d typically bring up (and fight about) will be avoided. And if just one fight is avoided, then I would consider this method a success.
Goal: Limit your bickering and fighting. Practice taking it on the chin. This is a practice of unconditional love.
Day 18 – Men vs. Women
This day is exclusive to love relationships between women and men. If you’re attitude is not related to a problem between your significant other, feel free to revisit another day in lieu of this one.
In relationships men and women have different responsibilities. When these responsibilities are not met, or worse, lines are crossed, problems arise. See how you and your significant other fare when it comes to this.
- To understand
- To honor
- To be gentle and not bitter
- To provide
- Most of all, to love
- To defer (submit)…I know… :/
- To be uncontentious (contentious definition: tending to argue or be quarrelsome)
- To be quiet in spirit
- To be helpful
- Most of all, to be respectful
These responsibilities are according to scripture. If you’re finding that you aren’t holding up your side of the bargan, work on it before pointing out your partner’s shortfalls.
Day 19 – Stop Criticizing
Criticism is an evil thing. It is extraordinarily harmful to those you are criticizing. Plus, it’s also harmful to you! When we tear others down it certainly does not do anything positive within us. As negativity leaves our mouth, it tarnishes our heart and soul. So how do you stop criticizing?
- Stop, think and choose your attitude before anything.
- Speak your mind through your heart.
- Reverse damage of defensiveness and contempt with praise and joy. Instead of criticizing, say, “I appreciate you when ….”
- Pretend you’re on camera, always. Only say things you’d want to be broadcasted.
Today, focus on being positive towards everyone, even if they bother you. Find joy in overcoming yourself. You will have an internal game, so root for good. Think of it as winning with yourself as opposed to letting others get away with something (you think is) dumb.
Day 20 – Character & Grace
Your daily actions and reactions shape who you are as a person. As much as we try not to judge others, it is impossible. Everyone is labeled by someone else. Make it your goal to not give anyone the opportunity to say something bad about you.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phil 4:8
Grace is an undeserved gift. God has offered you forgiveness by grace. The least we can do is pay it forward.
Give the ones in your life grace.
Give them a free pass when they act up. Forgive them when they don’t deserve it. People will hurt you (especially the ones closest). Don’t let those walls come up! Remember the incredible gift offered to you and grace will freely follow.
Day 21 – Be a Blessing
Make it a new mission in your life to be a blessing to someone, daily. If you impact one person each day, that adds up to a huge difference in the world. And yes, while you are making someone else feel good, it also changes you for the better too!
How to be a blessing:
- Compliment someone
- Convey appreciation
- Tell someone how much they mean to you
- Tell someone that you love them
- Buy someone lunch or offer to pay for someone else in line
- Offer to help
While you are practicing this, focus on your own blessings. Weekly, write down your blessings during your quiet time in the morning. List who you’re thankful for and what you’re happy with.
HOPE thrives in an atmosphere of thankfulness.
Build others up and openly express affection. These are two easy ways to be a blessing to others on a daily basis. Soon, you will do this without thinking and that is a true transformation.
You Did It!
Well, you’ve reached the 21st day! I truly hope that this process has helped re-shift your focus and attitude. If you remember nothing else, just try to , “live life for another” and speak the truth in love. Shifting focus from yourself to putting others first, will make you a happier person.
I’d love to hear of your process and outcomes if you’ve completed this program. Please leave a comment, as others would be blessed and inspired by your experience!
Disclosure: Any links to outside products are affiliate links and I may be marginally compensated if purchased. Don’t worry though, I’d never promote something I dislike or wouldn’t purchase myself.
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