It's a new year, it's a new day, it's a new life ... for you... let's make sure you're feeling good.
Following a year of unexpected upheaval and being compelled to change the way we all live, any of us can be forgiven for calling out for a little more happiness and a little less stress.
In this blog, we explore 10 simple ways to build more happiness and fulfilment into your life, no matter the circumstances.
There is a recipe for happiness but everyone can bake it in a different way. Sometimes it has a little more of one ingredient than another but there is one ingredient that it simply cannot be made without, you. Sometimes to make your happiness cake rise higher, you need to sprinkle more of yourself into it. What I’m saying is, ready-made, off-the-shelf happiness cakes don’t exist. No-one can buy it for you and you can’t buy it for yourself and even if someone brings you an ingredient they think will make you happy…it still depends on chemical ingredients in your part of the recipe to see the happiness cake rise. Here are the basic ingredients, how you interpret the recipe is up to you.
Over to you...
As you read this, take a notepad and pen and take notes and ideas about how this recipe could be applied to your own life.
1) Clear, Achievable Goals – humans need purpose and drive and if you’re stuck in no-man’s land with no road map, no wonder you’re feeling frustrated. What is it that you’d like to do? If you're not sure, why not explore a bit(see the Goal Mastery plan at the bottom of this page)? Your goals, however big or small give you a reason to get up in the morning, something to look forward to, to contribute to and that builds your self-worth and connection. More than anything, you're moving forward because when we don't grow and don't do 'anything' our lives get stagnant and unfulfilled. Get a pad and pen out and start jotting down ideas of what you'd like to do - let's start with a list of 50 to push you a bit!
2) Caring About Others – connection to others is a core part of happiness, if you feel isolated why not volunteer at a local charity? Or, if you're still reading this in a pandemic, connect with others on video calls (some charities might also need this). What can you do to connect with wider groups of people? Jot down 25 ideas.
3) Appreciation and Gratitude for what’s around you builds positive happy feelings and changes your focus to the positive. Just stop, look and breathe! Notice how it feels when you notice all the things you love around you. Does your body soften, does a smile twitch at the corners of your mouth? You have achieved a lot, whether it seemed like that when you got up this morning or not. Again, connect, appreciated, take time over things that you love, like wrapping your hands around a cup of tea while you read your favourite book. Small things build big building blocks of happiness. Remember, this is a decision to remember to regularly reflect and appreciate what's around you. Do it every day, or multiple times a day, the more you do it, the better you feel.
4) Get Passionate! What do you love doing? Do it! Or find a new adventure/hobby to put your energy into. Jot down a list of adventures you could go on and things you've never done, or could do it you switched off the TV and put down your phone. Find 30 things that you could explore.
5) Exercise & Nutrition – the body and the mind are connected and both exercise and nutrition feed the mind and invigorate the body. Heard how the gut is now considered the second brain and over 90% of your serotonin is created in your gut (not your brain). How could you move more on a daily basis? A longer walk?
6) Watch Your Thoughts & Actions – you can’t choose events but you can choose how you react and think about it, which in turn determines your emotional response. This inner self-talk is crucial to personal mental wellbeing but also in enabling you to to take action on the changes and goals you want in your life and keep doing them!
7) Love & Accept Yourself – stop comparing yourself to others, focus on what you love and want to do. You cannot control what they think and do. If they don’t like who you are, then they are not qualified to be in your circle. You have talents and strengths, what are they? Jot down at least 25 things that are your talents, strengths, qualities, values or just things you love about yourself and physical being.
8) Ditch Your Demons – let go of the past, it can’t serve you other than hold you back. It can sometimes be hard to know where to start with this, it can be as simple as 'deciding' to leave it behind you but sometimes these old demons can nip at you from behind. This is why at Life Ladder we have 7 steps to our Subconscious Catalyst System to enable individuals to resolve their memories and move forward.
9) Don’t Audition for your Life – Take the Leading Role!
In essence, humans like us need key things in our lives. Different things will be more important at different life stages but essentially, we all seek meaning, purpose and contribution and that is what we’ll explore over this series of blogs and put together an action plan that you can implement in your life.
10) Make Your Happy & Successful Life a Lifestyle - yes, really. It can be tempting to think I'll just do that one thing, then do it once, twice, maybe three times. Sometimes people are tempted to think it's overwhelming to create change, particularly if they already feel they're wading through life treacle. It doesn't have to be big and dramatic. It is a mindset for 'choosing' the things that make you happier and more successful. You do not have to allow your focus to stay sitting in what doesn't make you happy. How do you do it? Small, consistent steps make the most progress and build the best foundations. This is why we approach both happiness and success as a lifestyle, choosing the approaches, habits, decisions and thoughts that support the need and desire for them.
Find out how Life Ladder can help you create those foundations through our 7-step SCS approach with support from the online community.