We are 20 days into 2017. How are you doing? Are you making progress towards your goals? Has your happiness level improved?
If you find that you’re already lagging, here are some tips to give yourself a kick in the butt!
- Stop Complaining and Start Doing. I’m blessed with a completely unsympathetic husband. Anytime I start crying and whining, he just stares at me with his robot eyes, occasionally offering a half-hearted hug. And then, when his frustration limit is reached, he asks me, “So what are you going to do about it?” It’s so easy to complain. So easy. You know what’s hard? Actually taking action to change whatever it is you’re complaining about. (See #2.)
- Set Specific Goals. I have fudged my way through goal-setting for a long time. “I just want to be happy.” “I just want some sort of job that’s related to my field.” Envision Your Life in December 2017. Write down these goals and then work backwards. Break it down, step-by-step, stretching all the way back to January 2017. You’ll feel more accomplished in the first couple of months of 2017 then you felt in all of 2016. I’ll admit…. I’m still procrastinating from doing this for my 2017. So let’s peer-pressure each other — write your goals in the comments section!
- Make Time for the Good People. In my recent post on Goal-Setting for 2017, I asked you to think about the Good People in your life in 2016. In 2017, make more room for those people. Meet them for dinner. Call them. Ask how they’re doing. Help them move or watch their kids for a night. Support the people that support you. And guess what helps make room for the good people…
- Get Rid of Negative People. One of my pillars of happiness is to keep around people that serve you, meaning they contribute to your happiness. Now sometimes these people are family, your boss, your co-workers — And you may think,”Ugh but I have to deal with that person!” But even that can be improved! I see two ways to deal with negative people:
- (1) Change how you react to them. As Michael Jackson sang, “I’m looking at the man in the mirror, and I’m asking him to change his ways.” You can’t change how other’s behave, but you can change how you react. Try to empathize with that person. My mom always reminds me, everyone has an untold story. Most people don’t wake up and think, How can I be an asshole today? And yet…! Perhaps if you aim for understanding, it’ll make it easier to deal with that negative person. Maybe they’ll even turn into a positive person for you!
- (2) Cut them out of your life. Yes, that’s always an option. Don’t let other people control your happiness. Change the circumstances that force you to be around them. Hate your boss? Look for a new job. Difficult family? My mom was abused mentally and physically by her parents. After years of therapy, she decided in her early 30s to completely end her relationship with them. No visits, no phone calls, and no invitations to any family events. I should add, my mom is an extremely giving, open-minded, and loving human being. So her decision to cut off her relationship with her parents spoke volumes to me. Is that harsh of her? Maybe. But she had to make the decision that was best for her own peace of mind.
Happiness doesn’t come in one day. Start with these 4 easy changes. They might not feel easy at first, but that first step is always the hardest.
I’d love to hear about if these tips help you out. Write us a comment or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.