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Sarah Coleman: The optimism project

Sarah Coleman
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Sarah Coleman writes a monthly health and wellness column for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Who is ready? Men’s Health says the biggest difference between an optimist and a pessimist is simply this — “for the optimist, adversity is temporary and for a pessimist adversity it’s unchangeable.” So, I dare you to be the change. See the change. Create the change. It starts with you.

Introducing the optimism project. Simply put — redefine each day with the following and see how your view on life and the world can begin to be reframed. Little by little this practice will become routine and your optimism will start to really shine.

1. Breathe — take five really deep breaths before you even get out of bed. This reminds your brain and your body that you are in control.



2. Do not, I repeat, do not begin your day with social media or email checking — give yourself a new morning routine (it doesn’t have to be long) to set your intentions right for the day. Guess what? The email will still be there when you are done.

3. Start each day with gratitude. A simple thank you to something or someone that supports you in a positive way. In positive psychology research, “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.” Who doesn’t like that?



4. Meditate — make it simple. Just three to five minutes of grounding work. This could be as simple as taking in your surroundings by seeing five things, hearing four things, feeling three things or creating an intention for the day. For example, one clearly defined word — strength, happiness, focus, guidance, joy — to guide you through the day.

5. During your day, check back in with yourself, or your intention, frequently to stay the course. You can constantly reframe just by checking in. Even better, get an accountabili-buddy to hold you accountable.

6. When crap does hit the fan, because, let’s be honest, it will, recognize how you are reacting and see if you can reframe in the moment. Give yourself grace, don’t beat yourself up and learn from your mistakes or failures — it will make you a stronger, more positive, resilient person. Can you focus on the good the moment brought you?

7. Get creative — nothing reminds the brain that things can change as a spontaneous or creative outlet. Sky’s the limit. Start small as in, maybe, a new food to try, a different route to work or a new pen color.

8. Visualize greatness — if you believe it, you can achieve it. Again, start small by seeing yourself simply putting one foot in front of the other.

9. Unwind at the end of the day by looking back on the day — what did you learn, what can you change, what was a win?

10. Speaking of winning, go out and win the day. A reminder, it is 202WON. Wins come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, it is just getting out of bed.

Remember, “the pessimist thinks burpees make them tired. The optimist thinks they make them stronger.” How will you see the world in a brighter shade?

Sarah Coleman is a wellness and recovery coach at Foundry Treatment Center Steamboat Springs, a fitness fanatic, a personal trainer, a CrossFitter, a food connoisseur at Bitchin Kitchin and an outdoor enthusiast everywhere.


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