CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - Instead of making a long to do list of all of the things you want to change, try working on just one simple thing: finding happiness.
Calendar Nirvana Coach Gretchen Duhaime shared some tips for finding happiness in the new year.
5 tips for happiness this year:
Tip #1 – Forget the Resolutions:
Testing your resolve probably isn't the intention, but that's what happens. Whether it's cutting down sweets, exercising more, or curbing spending, what you're really aiming for is setting better habits. Resolve relies on shame, a negative motivator, and proven detrimental to achieving goals.
Tip #2 – Pick a Fun January Goal:
Instead of making resolutions, try setting concrete short-term goals. If you usually resolve to cut out sweets, this year you might decide to limit dessert and sweet snacks to once a week each, and reward yourself February 1st with your favorite decadent dessert. Then in February you can set a new goal, or continue with January's.
Tip #3 – Practice Gratitude:
If you're on Facebook you've probably seen the image of the "good things" jar urging you to write down the good things that happen, then read them all on December 31st next year. If that works for you, great. You could also try writing in a gratitude journal, posting on Facebook, emailing a friend, or telling your pets, children, or spouse. It doesn't matter how you celebrate the little things as long as you do it. It's the "eat your vegetables" of happiness advice – but a lot more fun.
Tip #4 – Get a Buddy:
Support is key to feeling at home with yourself, and happy. I like to set a regular date with my buddies, where we check in by phone, give each other virtual hugs, and cheer each other on. If you don't have someone you can call on for this, try Meetup.com or even a google search to find people either in your area or with your interests.
Tip #5 – Learn Something New:
If practice gratitude is "eat your vegetables" then keeping the mind sharp is the "get plenty of exercise" of happiness advice. Curiosity is a key character strength that is proven to build happiness. Taking a class, reading a how-to book, even listening to an online workshop, greases your brain's wheels and keeps it humming along. As a parent and small business owner, I've always got a queue of books and seminars – and I make sure to slip in something just for fun, too.