Article originally published on Girfriends Galore AZ Blog.

Do you build up your own self-esteem or do you tear it down? Negative thinking is the one thing that will diminish or destroy your own self-image. We do it unconsciously by thinking about the negative instead of the positive. Why we do this to ourselves, I don’t know – is negative easier than positive? Are we trained from early childhood to focus on the negative? Did our parents, teachers and peers teach us this? Here are some ideas on how to take control of your self-image and improve your own self-esteem:

Sit down and make a list of all your accomplishments and good things in your life!

Take an inventory of everything that you have accomplished – big and small! Grab a piece of paper and number it from one to 101 and start writing. You’ll be amazed at the things you have done and find great satisfaction in recognizing what your abilities and strengths really are.

This list will also help you to focus on places in your life that you want to develop and increase or change completely. Areas of change are some of our greatest challenges and these challenges will always give a structured way for you to continue to grow and that means excitement and ways to stretch yourself and become exactly who you want to become!

Make a concerted effort to improve the weak areas!

Once you have made your list of accomplishments and have discovered your areas that need improvement in your life, it’s time to focus on how you will tackle exactly what you want to change. Resolutions are NOT just for the start of the New Year, you can choose to make a resolution any day of the year!

To stick to your resolution, focus on just one small piece of the goal at a time. Failure for resolutions usually happens when you try to change too  many things at one time. Starting small will help you see your life change one bit at a time.

Be clear in your goals!

When you determine what you want changed, formulate your desire clearly. Say you want to lose weight – don’t just say you want to “lost weight” but rather say, “I want to lose 10 pounds”. It is okay to start small – you’re not going to lose 30, 40 or even 100 pounds quickly, but when you start with just 10 pounds and you achieve success the next 10 will be that much easier to focus on.

It allows you to track your progress, create better strategies and reach your goal faster. Clear goals help you focus on other things in your life as well. You will find that everything seems to fall into place and even find that situations and people will help you stay on track to meet that goal.

Life is a passage or journey!

Remember the saying “the journey is more important than the destination”? Life is our journey – so enjoy where you are and know that life only gets better when you believe!