Have you ever noticed that people put off being happy until…
Until they have more money.
Until they lose weight.
Until the kids are older.
Until they know more.
The problem is that there is no guarantee life will be better when “until” arrives or that “until” will arrive at all. There are things you can do today to be happier that don’t require money or any of the other things we often associate with happiness and success. Here’s how you can make your life better right now!
1) Get around positive people.
Negative nellies can sap your energy and happiness. Instead, strive to surround yourself with people who are positive and supportive. This can be easier said than done, but if you find yourself around negative or toxic people, offset it by being positive. Negative people will try to out do your negative, but they often will try to soften their negative if you respond positively. For example, when people tell me their kids are a problem, I often respond with, “I’m so glad my kids are well-behave and kind.” All of a sudden, the other person finds something nice about their kids.
2) Don’t set a goal for perfection.
Perfection isn’t necessary and not attainable. Life if messy and rarely goes as planned. Accept that and instead strive to do well. You’ll get more done and be happier for it.
3) Don’t compare yourself to others.
I used to teach yoga and one of the first things I’d always say was to not look at others in the class, because there will always be someone who is stronger or more flexible. Comparing yourself to others results in the same feelings of inadequacy as striving for perfection. It also stops you from trying if you don’t think you can be as good as others. Finally, in most cases “others” don’t have it as great and wonderful as you suspect. Be you. You’re the only one who can do that.
4) Have fun every day.
Too many people cruise through life on autopilot and don’t fit anything fun or fulfilling into their day. TV can be fun, but not if it’s a go-to mindless activity. Instead, choose something you’ve always wanted to do or don’t feel you have time for. Read, make crafts, tinker on the car or house, write, go for a walk in nature, play with the kids, learn magic tricks…whatever sounds fun, fit a little bit of it in your day every day.
5) Do at least one task every day that moves you toward your goal.
That statement a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step is true. Often people are impatient and want results now, but when they can’t happen now, they put off the effort. As a result, goals are never achieved. But small steps everyday will bring you closer to your goal.
6) Be grateful for what you’ve got.
Maybe you’re not living the life you want, but odds are there are things in your life that are good. Research suggests that people who show gratitude are not only happier, but also have more good stuff bestowed on them.
7) Give forgiveness.
Grudges and anger only hurt you. The other guy doesn’t care that you wish him to fall into a pit of fire ants. Negative energy pulls you down and holds you back. So forgive. Even if the other guy doesn’t deserve it, you do.
8) Take care of you.
This isn’t anything new, but clean eating, regular exercise and plenty of sleep is the best prescription for a healthy, energetic life.
9) Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Worry and angst don’t help. Stuck in traffic? Turn on the radio and sing. Stuff happens, but we don’t have to let frustrations and annoyance sap the life out of us. Take care of what you can, and let go of what you can’t.
10) View set-backs, problems, failures, and obstacles as learning moments.
We have Murphy’s Law for a reason, stuff happens. But instead of giving up, take the problems that come your way and use them to learn to handle or avoid them in the future. Remember the fire swamp in the Princess Bride, when Buttercup was certain they would die? Wesley explained how their experiences (fire, quicksand) had taught them how to navigate the dangers. You can do the same. Take the hard knocks and use them to improve yourself and your results.