With the New Year just around the corner we are often focusing on one of two things:
- What we want to accomplish next year a.k.a. New Year’s Resolutions
- Where we failed, fell short, or didn’t accomplish in the past year
We live in a society that is driven by goals and outcomes. So our brains spends a lot of time working out how to get our goals met because we think this is when we can feel happiness.
We attach the concept of happiness to a reached goal. We lose sight of all the beautiful things that happen on the journey.
When we take up our mental space on future and past that means that we miss out on everything that is happening right now. We fail to be present.
Being present allows us to switch from autopilot mode and pay attention to what is happening around us right now. Notice our behavior and habits that make up who we are.
James Clear, the bestselling author of Atomic Habits, highlights how instead of needing better goals what we need are better systems. By systems, I mean the collection of small habits you have in place in your day-to-day life.
Let’s look at some small habits you can add to your routine that can bring you happiness right now:
- Practice Gratitude. Write down 3 things that you feel thankful for. It could be big things like the fact your family is healthy or small things like a delicious cup of coffee. Choose a time in the day that nicely fits your schedule. The beginning of the day or before bed is a very beneficial time to do it. It will help us count our blessings and realize we have many reasons to be happy right now.
- Breathe Deeply. When you feel overwhelmed by emotions such as anxiety, stress, or sadness. Take a moment and take a deep breath. Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for 7 and breathe out for 8. A slower and longer exhale can help calm down our bodies and give us time to respond rather than react. Allowing us to manage our emotions better and avoid doing this we might regret.
- Schedule Down Time. Make sure to block time out in your schedule for some ME time. The same way you schedule meetings and gatherings. Set out a time to do the things you love and keep your word to yourself and do it. When you take care of yourself first, you can then take better care of others and show up as your best self. It is also a great way to show appreciation for yourself. You deserve good things.
- Know Your Values. Set out time to find what are your values. Having awareness around what we believe in can help us because it guides us like an ethical GPS so our behavior is aligned with what we believe in. In her podcast, Unlocking Us, Brene Brown teaches us how to live into our values, here is a link to get started https://brenebrown.com/resources/living-into-our-values/.
- Connect with Others. Ask someone how they really are, reconnect with an old friend, schedule a video call with a loved one, or set a lunch date with a friend. In the interaction, be present. Don’t look at your phone. Ask open ended questions, like: What were your favorite moments this year? Or What are you proud of in the past year? Then, listen. Ask follow up questions. Ultimately, we all want to be seen and heard. Really listening is a precious gift because it allows for connection and connection heals.
While there are only a few days left before the year is over we still have plenty of moments to bring happiness to ourselves and those around us.
Instead of being in a constant search for happiness, the truth is that happiness is easily within our reach if we allow ourselves to stop for a minute and grab it. We don’t need to chase it.
Psychologist and Emotional Intelligence Coach
Our Destiny Mapping 2023 is a complimentary service which is about creating happiness by achieving your New Year’s resolutions. Our coach will help to hold you consistent and accountable for what you want to manifest. Click HERE for details.