What was your new year's resolution?
- to lose weight?
- to get healthy?
- to get a new job?
- to make more money?
Will any of the above make you happy? Perhaps for a few weeks, but soon you will more than likely be caught in the same rut as before.
It is ironic that in today's society, we are healthier, wealthier and live longer than any previous generation, yet are we happier? Unfortunately the answer is a resounding NO.
Following are 9 steps to happiness in 2008.
1. Be Grateful
It is necessary to focus on the positive. By showing our gratitude for all things great and small that appear in our day, we allow ourselves to focus on all the good events. Noting that you are grateful to see the sunshine, to smell the roses, to make a fantastic sale, to complete a small task - whatever you achieve, show your thanks. Spend just a few minutes each day and think about what you should be grateful for.
2. Simplify Your Life
Our lives seem to be so cluttered with needless people, things and chores that we seem to have no time to get on top of. So spend a little time and declutter. Turn off the mobile phone for an hour or so. Don't constantly check your e-mails.
3. Avoid Shopping
Why do we spend so much time worrying about what we don't have - the ipod, the gps system, that car, that holiday or that plasma television that we can't afford? Think what you DO have. Don't waste time and money fighting the crowds at all the New Year Sales. Go for a walk or do some exercise instead.
In the world today, obesity and idleness is rife. Performing just half an hour of exercise each day is enough to elevate your moods and lift your spirit. There is no need to sweat it out at the gym. Exercise not only makes us fitter and feel good about ourselves, but it releases hormones and other feel good chemicals.
5. Take Pleasure in the Simple Tasks
We all get amazing satisfaction from performing simple tasks extremely well. What about completing a crossword? Or playing a game of tennis really well? Or cooking a delicious meal?
6. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Much more happiness and satisfaction is achieved when you reach realistic goals, rather than shooting for the moon, or having no goals at all. Put your energies into achieving something you know you are capable of, even if your goal is aimed a little higher and you need to take tiny steps to get there.
7. Don't Try Too Hard
Don't try too hard to find your happiness. It will turn up when you least expect it. You never know, if you stop looking for happiness, it may just come looking for you.
8. Avoid Commuting
It is a well known fact that spending many hours each day commuting to and from the office is stressful and correlates strongly, and negatively with happiness. Life becomes miserable. If you must commute, use the time wisely. Read or listen to personal development books or tapes, or music that keeps your spirits up. However, if you want to find happiness, get a job closer to home, or work from home.
9. Smile and Add Humour
The only way you'll ever feel great inside your own skin is to smile. Look around you. What can you smile at right now? Try to find humour in each situation - look at the good side. Practise smiling at people and notice how they smile back.
"Make one person happy each day, and in forty years you will have made 14.600 human beings happy for a little time, at least." - Charley Willey
By following the above 9 Steps to Happiness, you will allow yourself to enjoy and achieve happiness in 2008 and beyond.