Six Steps to Being Happier in 2014

I love New Year’s resolutions. I love new goals and New Year’s is the perfect time to set them.

However, I realize that time isn’t a limitless commodity. I love goals, but successful people can get trapped by continually moving the goal once they achieve it. I’ve started asking myself if I spend all my time working towards goals, will I ever enjoying having met them?

So, I’m doing it differently this year.  I’m throwing away the way I’ve looked at things in the past.  My resolution for 2014 is to be happy. And as Abraham Lincoln said “Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Here is how I’m going to do it.

Ignore ads to buy stuff.  We are bombarded all day with ads and articles that make you feel that there is something you can do or buy to make yourself happy.   The perfect wrinkle cream will make you young and irresistible. The perfect car or house will make all your problems go away. We’re told every day that if you try harder and spend more, there is a way to be a perfect person.  Don’t believe it- not for one minute. It is totally untrue.

Don’t listen to others– Starting with all the people who tell you you’re crazy to try New Year’s resolutions- let people’s snarky comments and manipulative sentences roll of your back. This is your journey, not theirs. You know best what is best for you.

Get to know yourself- Vow this year that you’re going to think about why you do the things you do. If you’re a “Type A” personality and find joy from a jam-packed schedule- enjoy it! However, if you’re someone who feels like their life is a giant treadmill that they can’t seem to get off- admit it to yourself. This takes self-reflection and the ability to acknowledge who you are. Vow this year that you’re going to accept these things.  It’s the first step to living a life you’re happy in.

Be good to yourself: Most people are much harder on themselves than others. When you’re beating yourself up, be your own best friend. A best friend would not expect perfection as we are not perfect beings.  Forgive yourself and move on.

Give yourself time:  If you want to change something in your life, break things down into small steps to move forward. A teacher of developmentally disabled kids once told me that if you make the steps little enough, anyone can walk.   Want a fabulous job that needs a degree?  Maybe you can’t enroll this semester. But, you can get a class listing from the local college and read what they have available.  Anyone can do that.

Make it fun:  It is really true that the joy is in the journey.  I saw a video of myself at a party once. I was shocked to see that I wasn’t smiling- even though I was having a great time.  So, I started spending more time with really funny people and I learned that laughing is a habit. When you laugh, others will laugh with you, and it makes even the hardest work a little easier. Find ways to have more fun every day.

And really, that is my goal for 2014. I don’t want to wait until I achieve something to enjoy it. Life is too short for that. I want the journey that I’m on every day be the best life I can have.

So let’s make 2014 one that is different- one that makes us happier in the end.

Comments

  1. I needed your first reminder so very much! In the past I’ve done a good job at tossing catalogs as soon as I receive them, but lapsed over the holidays. Things and more stuff are very tempting. I’m also getting very tired of Facebook’s ads and am planning to use it less often. I can choose to be happy! Thanks!

    • For me shopping is such a habit Phoebe that I really need to keep reminding myself. The marketing machine we have here in the US is very effective. Thanks for the comment. V

  2. Great one. In church on Sunday our Preacher said that we need to focus on one thing this year. Not make lists of lists and not hit any of them. Just make one to start and if you need to add any do it as you live your life. My one is to focus on Alan and I this year. I had a wake up call just two days before Christmas and it shook me to the very foundation of my soul. Alan got sick and then he got dizzy and ended up on the floor in the bathroom. It was a picture I will never forget – my strong husband, the one I count on, my go to guy on the floor helpless. We spent 5 hrs in ER and he came home. But that made me realize that life is to short and can be taken away just like that. Thank you Jesus that he is OK but I made a promise to myself that Alan and I would be a couple again and to do things together. Happiness is not something you can buy and the only one responsible for your happiness is you. In 2014 I am going to be happy and live my life to the fullest, laughing often, loving deeply, My wish for other is not to wait until your significant other is on that bathroom floor helpless to realize how precious they are and be happy.

    • Yes Dawn, it can be very frightening when something like that happens. We need constant reminders to stay in the happy mindset and just let things be. Thanks for the good thoughts. Virginia

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