I have always believed that being happy comes from within. You have the power to make yourself happy, and you don’t have to make drastic changes in your life to be happier.
HERE’S A LIST OF 26 THINGS YOU CAN START TODAY TO BE HAPPIER:
- Start something you’ve wanted to do. I’m guilty of not following through on so many things I have wanted to do. But 2017 is different for me. I’ve already started one thing I have wanted to do –a blog!If you have been eager to start something, do it. You’ll never get to where you want to be without taking a leap. If you’re interested in starting a blog, like I did, you can learn about blogging here.
- Pick up where you started. There are so many things I have started and then quit, just because I didn’t feel like doing it anymore. When I was in elementary school, I did Tae-Kwon-Doe every week. I got to a blue belt, and at the time, I only had to get red belt before I would reach my final destination of black belt.I’m not sure if this sequencing is still the case as it has been a long time, but I digress. The point is sometimes I wish I had never quit. I have been considering picking up where I left off. And you should, too. Go back and finish getting your black belt. Go back to school to finish your degree. Whatever the case may be, if there is something you have been thinking about picking up again, do it.
- Make a year-end goal. Whatever your goal may be, try to make it as specific and detailed as possible. Your goal could be something like losing weight, being a generally nicer and more positive person, to reach 1,000 email subscribers on your blog, or take predetermined steps to start a new career path.Once you’ve determined your goal, write it down, but not just anywhere. Put your goal somewhere where you know you’ll see it often, such as on the refrigerator or as your screen saver on your computer.
- Read more. Is it just me, or do you find yourself only reading on screens lately? I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing (reading is reading), but sometimes I just want to cuddle up on the couch with a good paperback book.I’m not sure what it is about physically turning those pages, but it somehow makes me happy. If you love reading on screens (hey, I read several articles a day on screens, too), do it more. Read for knowledge, learning, or simply pleasure.
- Listen to motivational podcasts or talks. Back when I was working the 9-5, I was determined to keep a positive mindset, so on my morning commute I would listen to a Ted Talk. These talks are so inspiring and many times informational. If you’re having trouble finding time to listen to a talk, try swapping it out your TV show aka background noise when you’re cleaning your house. Put on an inspiring talk instead and see how your mood shifts.
- Create a happy home. There are so many ways to create a happy home that I wrote an entire post about it. From making flower arrangements to making your bed each morning, there are so many easy things you can do to brighten your living spaces.
- Listen to music from when you were younger. After I graduated college in 2011, I started noticing that I was completely out of the loop when it came to music. New music didn’t fall into any of my newfound core focuses. I no longer know all the lyrics to new songs, which is no fun if you’re in the mood to belt out in your car. So I started to put on my “oldies” more often.I do still listen to the radio, but it’s definitely not the same. I have even been whipping out CDs – yes, I’m sure you forget that term. Try making some fun playlists on Spotify that capture your favorite years of music.
- Get in a beauty routine. It doesn’t have to be an hour-long makeup production each morning. It could be as simple as putting lotion on every night. What makes it so wonderful is that it’s a routine – something you can look forward to each day that falls in the realm of self-care because it is important to your happiness.
- Smile more. When you have a tough day, it’s hard to smile – I get that. But at the end of each day, when you’re laying in bed and can’t fall asleep, think of all the reasons you should be happy – and smile. When you’re outside on a walk, take it all in and smile. Smile that you get to experience Mother Nature and her beauty. When you’re out with friends or family, and they’re having a bad day, try your hand at making them smile – I bet you’ll smile in return.
- Laugh more. Hang around people who make you laugh – and I mean the ones who really make you laugh. For several minutes straight. It’s good for the soul.
- Be kind. Being kind takes zero skill. Is it just me, or do some people start to lose their sense of kindness as they get older? I guess it makes sense; you start to deal with everything life offers: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Try being more mindful of people and do simple, kind acts. Some examples are holding the door open for people, complimenting a stranger, and saying “thank you.”
- Gossip less. Let’s be honest, everyone does it. Except my brother. But he’s an extremely rare case. Gossiping is so easy to do and many times creates a bond between you and a peer. But, is it really helping you in any way? Venting is one thing, and I can completely understand that, but try to minimize the amount you gossip. It’s helped me become happier, and I hope it helps you, too.
- Get outside. I realize it’s not always a perfect 70 degrees (or whatever your idea of perfection is). But, it’s still nice to get outside and take a quick walk as much as possible, even when it’s a bit chillier.
- Learn to appreciate what you have. This can be a tough one. It’s so easy to focus your attention on what other people have or on their successes. But, I’m sure there are things in your life that you should be thankful for. When you can’t sleep at night, come up with a list of things you’re thankful for.
- Reach out to an old friend. Social media is awesome for reconnecting. If there’s someone you have been thinking about reaching out to, even if it’s just to say hi, do it! No time is better than the present.
- Give a gift. This can be as simple as picking flowers and making a bouquet for your best friend or mom. Or, send a card to an elderly relative that you may not have seen in awhile.
- Make time for your friends. Life gets busy and friend time tends to decrease. But it’s important to interact with people other than your family and coworkers. Take a minute to reach out, even if it’s just a quick text.
- Meet new people who have something in common with you. II have a new addition to my family, a baby girl, so I’m looking to find a mommy group. There are so many different types of groups out there, so check them out. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new best friend.
- Get a new hobby. There are so many fun things out there to do. I recently learned how to crochet, as I wanted to make a baby blanket for my little girl. It was pretty time consuming and really strained my hands. OK…maybe this is a bad example! But there are certainly new things to start learning. I have also been getting into photography because I want to have awesome pictures on my blog and I want to capture beautiful moments of my girl as she grows up. Photography is no joke and there are so many things to learn, but it’s interesting and I love learning about it.
- Start a craft. I love DIY crafts, but I’m very particular about what I make. I spend a lot of time on my DIY crafts and like to mimic expensive things I’ve found on websites that I know I can make for so much cheaper. Try your hand at it; maybe you’ll like it.
- Go dancing. If you don’t like dancing, skip this one. But for those of you who do like it, think back to the last time you went dancing. Thinking, thinking… exactly. It’s been that long that you don’t remember. Go dancing! It’s so much fun.
- Help others succeed. This is probably one of the top 10 things that makes me happy. I love helping other succeed. Or just plain helping others.
- Make time for your physical needs. You have no time, I know. You have to make time, like anything else in your life. After I had my daughter, I started physically feeling sore because she’s heavy to carry around. I want to be able to keep up with her when she starts running around. Find some inspiration like I did, and you’ll find a way to make time for working out, doing yoga, or whatever it is that you like to do.
- Organize your life. That’s right – your life. I’m talkin’ your closet, your home office, files on your computer, your tangible file folders, your car, your kitchen cabinets, your expense sheet, your bathroom cabinet, your dresser, your linen closet, everything!
- Treat yourself. This is so important! Save up for that massage you’ve been wanting. Splurge on yoga sessions or a new handbag. You deserve it.
- Get into the habit. Make habits for things you want to do. Get up 20 minutes earlier to enjoy the morning air, replace your TV habit with a reading habit. Whatever it is – make it a habit.
What are you doing to be happier this year? Leave a comment below – I would love to know!