Positive Thinking Day is a time set aside each year to concentrate on all things positive. An American entrepreneur started this day in 2003 so that people could commemorate the many rewards that can be found in thinking positively.

I still remember that Friday afternoon when I ran into a fellow professional and it’s almost as if she knew I was seeking more.  She grabbed my hand and said, “You have to get involved with Goalfriends.”  I said, “What’s Goalfriends?”  She replied, “It’s next Tuesday at 6, can you make it?”

I agreed to attend and didn’t know much about it, but I was excited and ready to explore something new.  My life was at a point where I was always the one encouraging everyone telling them, “Keep going, you can do it, you’re incredible, etc.”  I do mean it when I say it.   I get out of bed every morning feeling blessed.  I have a good job, a nice home, food on the table, family and friends, and more work than I can keep up with!  I do feel blessed, but life had kept throwing some serious curveballs my way.  These curveballs were making it harder every day to find joy in the little things.

It was time for my first GoalFriends meeting and I even arrived early (which if you know me, you know this is rare). I recognized only one face, but the women were so welcoming!  I could see a genuine love and respect they had for one another. The GoalFriends meeting was open, honest, and genuine. I drove home feeling loved and appreciated and wanted.  So why was finding joy such a struggle during this storm of life?  That night, I realized I was going through the motions of life and being everyone else’s cheerleader.  I had been forgetting to be thankful in all things and that life can be hard.  However, I’m the one in charge of my happiness.  It’s up to me how I handle the highs and lows, and it’s up to me to be my own cheerleader. My own curator of positive thinking.

WOW!  Wait- what? Lightbulb moment.  I have to take ownership of my own life and get back to the power of positive thinking. The part where I don’t let the little things get me down so low, where I encourage everyone else, but forget to give back to myself!  Life is a roller coaster, and a big one at that. There are highs, there are lows, there are some dips, jerks and jolts.  But, there’s also some unbelievable views, a rush of emotions, and unrepeatable highs. Your journey, your story and your happiness begin with YOU.

September 13 is the “official” day set aside for positive thinking, but why limit it to just one day?  Challenge yourself to set aside a minimum of five minutes everyday to make a list of all the things you have to be thankful for. Physically writing something down makes it more real, more significant, and more likely for you to remember it and believe it. Consider keeping a journal of “positivity” and refer back to it when you need a small reminder or some encouragement.

For me, I wake up and tell myself that this is my journey, my life and I choose to be happy!  We may find that we list the big picture items first – whether it’s a job, food, a home, a bed, clothes, unconditional pet love, family and friends, gym memberships, eyes, ears, legs, or maybe good health. The more you do this exercise, the more you will find how much you truly have to be thankful for and be positive about.

After a few days, you may find yourself trying to come up with some worldly items we may take for granted, you will probably note comfortable shoes, a heated blanket, Chapstick, scented shower gel, electricity, mascara (let’s be honest, this is major for some of us and such a luxury item for so many).  This is your list.  It’s your journey to constant positive thinking and a heart of thankfulness.

Harness your inner cheerleader.  Use it for good to benefit you, others, and who knows?  Just maybe you can change the world!  Today, I am happy to be alive, grateful for finding new energy through Goalfriends and being reminded about the power of positive thinking.  With it, we can do big things!  Go forward and think positive, for you are fearfully and wonderfully made.


Jennifer Martin, GoalFriend since 2018

Executive Director, Shop Local Raleigh