According to happiness expert, Gretchen Rubin, what we do everyday matters more than we do once in a while and if we can create habits in our daily life that help us pursue happiness then we will in fact, be happier!
Therefore, in order to be happier we first need to identify the elements in our lives that either contribute or detract from our happiness and then manage and monitor our own behaviors/ habits.
So many people say they want to be happier but can’t explain to anyone else let alone themselves what exactly that would look like and/or can’t pinpoint what would make them happier. Can you relate?
In order to be happier, I’d recommend that you start your very own happiness project and this is how to make it happen!
HOW TO BE HAPPIER – 6 STEPS TO START YOU OWN HAPPINESS PROJECT
1.) Identify the main elements or sources that contribute or detract to your happiness.
- Grab a blank piece of paper and just start writing things down, anything that comes to mind.
- For me I know automatically that I would write down career, finances, kids, husband, family, free time, cooking, reading, etc.
- What made you happy today?
- What made you unhappy today?
2.) Take that list and prioritize them depending on which one you want to dive in to first.
- For example, which one is the one that causing you to lose sleep at night?
- Which one are you thinking about the most?
- Hold no judgment and just let it go.
3.) Give yourself a set period of time to focus on one element at a time.
- For example, focus on one element per month or maybe give yourself a quarter.
- You could even approach this long term and focus on one per year.
4.) Assess your current level of happiness in each element and decide what the key objectives would help you increase your level of happiness in that area.
- For example, if I know that finances is one of my key areas of focus then I would establish how “unhappy” I am in that area and why.
- So I would write down something like, I don’t follow a consistent budget, I don’t even know how much I’m actually spending or how much I need for retirement.
- Therefore, the objectives that I would focus on for that month are: (1) establish a budget (2) write down every single penny that I spend. Does that make sense?
5.) Manage and monitor.
- You manage what you monitor so if you’re not taking the time to monitor your habits and behaviors then it will be impossible to manage them and make them better.
- To some this task will be annoying but it’s the most crucial to your success.
- Establish what will be realistic for you.
- I recommend monitoring daily, weekly and monthly (yes, yes, I am type A).
- Find out what works for you and start where you are.
6.) Daily and consistent action.
- Nothing will change unless you take action.
- It won’t be easy especially since you’ve probably been used to blaming others and life situations/ circumstances for your own happiness.
- Action will force you to take a good luck in the mirror and take some responsibility for your own thoughts, behaviors and reactions.
- But on the plus side – you will be able to identify opportunities to make it better.
- It all starts with our own thoughts!
This is what my 2018 Happiness Project looks like. And to put things in perspective my life isn’t necessarily “bad” at all nor is it “perfect” but like anything, there are always opportunities to help ourselves be happier.
Brenda’s 2018 Happiness Project
January – Money
- Establish a realistic household monthly budget
- Review budget weekly
- Live below my means
- Establish an effective tracking mechanism for business expenses
- Increase and expand my income
- Long term financial strategy: savings, retirement, insurance, kid’s savings, trust, etc.
February – Time
- Every minute is accounted for
- Monthly, weekly, daily – what needs to happen?
- Date nights
- Customer meetings
- Time for follow ups to customer meetings
- Brenda time
- Workout time
- Family time
- Household chores
- Reading time
- BrendaSillas.com time – marketing, coaching, follow ups
- What else??
March – Career
- 2018 goals
- 5 year plan – re-visit and update
- Ask for a raise
- Is this still working for me?
April – Marriage
- What’s working?
- What would I like to be different?
- Read books about marriage
- How would I define my role as a wife?
- What are my expectations from my husband at this current stage of life?
- What are his expectations of me at this current stage of life?
- What does love have to do with it?
May – Discipline
- Pain of discipline or pain of regret
- I get to choose every single minute with every single action, thought and behavior
- Desire is good thing
June – Parenting
- Read book – Conscious parenting
- The life span of a parent – what is my purpose in all of these?
- Be a better parent – identify areas of opportunity
- I’m not their friend
- I am responsible
July – Family
- Show my family I appreciate them
- Make time for family
- Chosen family
- Family tree book
- Dig up my roots
- Visit my Abuelita Eva more
August – Friends
- Make new friends
- Show my friends I appreciate them
- Invite friends over
- Be social
September – Attitude
- Only thing I am in control of is MY attitude and MY reactions.
- My reaction – pay attention
- Thoughts fuel my emotions/ feelings which impact my behaviors and actions
October – Play
- Lighten up
- Get dirty
- Laugh like you’ve never laughed before
- Wake up your inner child
November – Passion
- What makes me come alive? Do more of that
- Who do I have amazing chemistry with? Surround myself with only those people
December – Mindfulness
- Put it all together
- What matters most
I’ll let you know how I’m doing periodically throughout the year – it’s been quite interesting so far!
So what do you think? Will you be starting a happiness project? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!