10 keys to happiness
Welcome to 2015! I hope you have had a great Christmas and are looking forward to an amazing year ahead.
I wonder if you have been doing the New Year resolution thing? Have you been listing all the usual promises to yourself for 2015 – change career, lose weight, get fitter, etc. etc.. They may sound horribly familiar and could be similar to the list you created at the beginning of 2014.
So instead of these big resolutions which often fall by the wayside, I’d like to suggest something much simpler.
How about deciding that being happy will be your New Year’s Resolution for 2015?
Simple and yet challenging at the same time, but certainly something that has the potential to transform how you experience you life in the year to come.
Do you measure happiness in terms of what you have (or haven’t) got? Are you waiting till you can afford a new car, a bigger house, the latest new gadget, expecting that then you will be happy? And yet do you find that when you have got it, you just start striving towards the next acquisition?
Looking for happiness in the material stuff we collect is unlikely to prove a successful mission in the long term.
Do you think certain things ‘should’ make you happy? Are you chasing a dream that will disappear in a puff of smoke once you get it?
This is the classic situation people can get themselves into at work. They are in a high powered job with status and a good salary, but find they are working ridiculous hours and feeling highly stressed. So although they may have the outward trappings of success and feel they ‘should’ be happy with their lot, in fact they are miserable.
Do you see happiness as something over there on the horizon that you have to work towards? Have you got there yet? If not, how about exploring how you can create happiness in the here and now rather than always seeing it as something that you will earn or achieve at some point in the future?
Happiness does not necessarily mean those big, ecstatic moments of delight, but rather the sense of contentment that comes with doing small, everyday things that give you pleasure or a sense of purpose. So monitor with honesty what gives you the most pleasure on a day to day basis and just do more of it.
Action for Happiness
They offer a menu of 10 Keys which will make you happier and they look like this:
Giving: do things for others, however small. Look for opportunities to support friends, family and strangers every day.
Relating: connect with people. We are naturally social creatures so nurture your close relationships but reach out and connect with others too.
Exercise: look after your body. You don’t have to ‘go for the burn’ in the gym if that is not your style, but making the point of moving your body every day will lift your mood.
Appreciate: stop and wonder at the special things around you. Taking time to be mindful and to appreciate the things you have will boost your happiness on a daily basis.
Learn: nurture your natural curiosity. It is never too late to learn new things and doing so will fuel your confidence and creativity.
Set goals: have a sense of direction in your life. Goals don’t need to be big, but they give you a forward impetus and build a sense of optimism that you can achieve things.
Resilience: build your bounce back-ability! This is not an innate quality but one you can learn by monitoring how you automatically interpret events and then adopting more positive thinking habits in the face of challenges.
Be grateful: give thanks for all the good things in your life. I have written about this before on a previous 5MCC. It is only too easy to focus on the negative, but make a positive choice to look for the good things – you will always find them.
Acceptance: love yourself for who you are. Rather than always trying to improve your weaknesses, learn to celebrate and use your natural strengths. You are just fine how you are now!
Meaning: find something bigger than your own life that you can contribute to or be part of. What this is will be up to you – your faith, charity work, parenting, making a difference. All of these will add to your sense of happiness.
So with this in mind, New Year good wishes take on a different meaning. May I wish you a truly Happy New Year!
From the 5 Minute Career Coach January 2015
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