“You can have it all, but not at the same time.” I’m not sure when I first heard that phrase but it’s stuck with me for years.

“You can have it all” being the main point I choose to focus on. Knowing that all of my goals may not come to fruition at once.

I’m an unapologetically optimistic person. And this year one of my goals is to do some research on optimistic. How to be optimistic. Why some of us are, some of us aren’t, and how practicing optimism could change our lives. So when Frost Bank reached out to see if I wanted to partner with them and share their Opt for Optimism initiative as well as some of how I put my optimism into action I nearly burst into tears at how fitting this partnership was.

Here’s the thing. Personally I think optimism is brave. These days it’s easier to be skeptical. To doubt that good things will come. To suppress belief. It takes courage to believe that better days are ahead.

Sometimes I think optimists get a bad rap. As if we’re walking around in some kind of fantasyland with blinders on, oblivious to reality. But I understand simply thinking good thoughts isn’t going to get me where I want to be. I also have to put in the work, and address any issues that may be in my way.

Being a positive person doesn’t mean I’m ignoring life’s stressors. I just try to approach hardships in a more productive way.

Dreams come true. How this selfie with Oprah came to be during Disney's A Wrinkle in Time Premiere

I attribute a lot of my success to optimistic techniques and hard work. From saving to put 51% down on our dream home, to meeting my idol. There was a lot of preparation, hard work, and positive thinking.

Frost Bank’s study found that optimists are 7Xs more likely to experience more financial health than pessimists. If that’s not motivation to give optimism a try I’m not sure what is. We are also more likely to take the taboo out of money discussions, and we tend to seek for progress rather than perfection.

Optimists generally view setbacks as temporary. They believe that if they take steps to fix the problem, they can improve their circumstances.

Whether you’re an optimist at heart, or wanting to give it a try, I think there are ways you cna act on optimism to uplift you from day to day. Here are five ways to put optimism in action.

How to be more optimistic

1. Look for the good

Sometimes when things are less than pleasant I try to find any silver lining in the situation, no matter how small. Or I reframe the scenario into a positive. This doesn’t work for every situation but it works wonders for my day to day gripes. When Lee Lee is having a rough day, and is acting cranky and clingy I remind myself how it felt these days would never end with my older two, yet they’re big kids now. And I hold on to the fact that though it’s a challenge in the moment, it’s just that… A moment.

2. Focus on solutions, not problems

When I get frustrated about something that’s bothering me I make it a point to state my frustration out loud. It’s my way of releasing it then transitioning to a mindset of looking for an appropriate solution. Try shifting your focus from solutions to problems you can solve, instead of clinging to ones you can’t.

Service is another excellent way to do this. Serving others and helping them solve a specific problem can help uplift your spirits as well.

3. Take a step toward improving your situation

Dreams don’t typically come true overnight. But we usually can do something each day to improve our situation ever so slightly, or step towards those goals. You don’t need to make great strides every day. But you know the saying: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

When we were saving for our home I tried to do a little something every day to work towards that goal. Whether it was making a more frugal choice, or putting in another hour of work.

4. Visualize where you want to be

I like to do this through meditation, picturing how I want my day to go, or visualizing a bigger picture of my goals. Like imagining my new home and yard long before it was built. I also have a vision board I keep displayed in my office so I have a visual reminder of the goals I’m (read here on how to make a vision board) working towards.

5. Express gratitude

When we have family prayers at night I just love hearing our children’s prayers filled with gratitude. They rarely ask for much but boy do they express all of the things they were thankful for that day.

This year we also started a family gratitude jar. We contribute to it whenever there’s something we’re especially grateful for in a moment. The idea is that we’ll take them all out and read them together at the end of the year.

Recognizing what you’re grateful for and noting it in some way, whether in a journal, prayer, or stating it out loud can improve your well-being, health and relationships. Even your income!

gratitude journal

Frost Bank believes optimism is a powerful tool you can use on the path toward better financial health. If you want to learn more about their project and ways you can use optimism to turn around your finances visit optinforoptimism.org.

As for me, I plan to continue to share my findings here on my blog as I delve into this topic all year. Feel free to shoot quotes, articles, stories, books and podcasts my way if you find something juicy.

I want to be a good example for my kids, you see. I want to teach them good habits that last a lifetime. Good habits with relationships, studying, money and food. I want to try to live the way I want my kids to see me living. But as a mom it’s hard to be… read the rest.

Are you allowed to say vomit on the internet? I mean, I guess anything goes online. What I mean is will anyone really click on a headline that contains the word “vomit”? Well, you’re here, so I guess some people will. Thank you for not letting that scare you away. Don’t worry, this post isn’t… read the rest.

Six months ago my son was thrust out of being the baby and given the title of big brother. He wasn’t sure what he was getting into—to be honest, I wasn’t either. But he’s settled into his role beautifully. Cheering up his baby sister when she’s upset, sharing his toys, and teaching her new tricks…. read the rest.

I rarely scroll through my Facebook feed. It’s actually disabled on my computer. But I was on my phone, and probably nursing my baby while absently scrolling with my thumb. I stopped on a photo of a little boy mannequin with a red Mickey Mouse balloon tied in one hand. The shirt was the focus… read the rest.

When my daughter told me she wanted to try out to be a cheerleader I had to check myself. On one hand I was excited that she was interested in a new sport and I didn’t care about the outcome. On another hand I knew if I was going to be making that kind of… read the rest.

Let’s look past the fact that it’s the middle of February while we dive into the goals I have for 2019. Last year I met my lifelong idol, we built and bought our dream home, and had a baby girl that turned out to be the stuff that dreams are made of. I had the… read the rest.

Every year I take thousands of pictures. That’s no exaggeration. One of my traditions at the start of a new year is to clean out some of the images I don’t need and free up some space on my computer. Inevitably it turns into a wonderful stroll down memory lane and it never fails I… read the rest.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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