The 12 Days of New Year’s Resolutions
I’m spending 12 days posting ideas for new year’s resolutions you might like to choose for yourself. Each day focuses on a different life area.
Remember: go for progress, not perfection.
Following is an edited extract from the introduction to Module 8: Strategies for Happiness in Get Organized Wizard for Smart Women.
Day 8: Organize your Strategies for Happiness
Do you want to be happy? Of course – we all do! So what do you do to create your own happiness? Is it something you cultivate, or do just hope it shows up in your life? Is that proving an effective strategy?
Before you protest that pursuing your own happiness is selfish, check out the list of ways that happiness makes you less of a drain and more of an asset to your family, friends, workplace, society, even world!
Happiness is linked to physical health, mental health, better coping skills, long life, greater resilience, work satisfaction, good relationships with colleagues, friends and loved ones, immune system strength, self-liking, altruism, liking others and conflict management.
That means you can feel really good about making happiness a goal for yourself. Happiness isn’t just an end in itself; it’s also a means to being, doing, and giving more. So let’s get organized to be happier!
- Cognitive strategies
Is it time to upgrade negative thinking habits? Target black & white thinking, perfectionism, assuming the worst, catastrophizing, labeling, being a drama queen, taking things personally, deflecting positives, assuming feelings are facts, etc.
What negative beliefs do you hold about yourself, your life and your future? Come up with more empowering beliefs. Challenging your negative beliefs can powerfully affect your happiness.
Are you pessimistic about yourself, your life, your future? If you want more optimism, make it a point to notice unhelpful mental habits and choose better ones. Awareness starts you thinking differently.
Strategies for happiness
According to psychology research, the following areas are linked to happiness.
This may be one of the most effective happiness strategies there is. Make it your thing in 2009 to have an ‘attitude of gratitude’.
Think about your particular strengths (ask a friend if you’re not sure what they are). Plan ways to use them more in your life.
How can you do some DIY resilience boosting? Consider nurturing self-esteem, having a supportive network of friends, thinking positively, being more optimistic, expressing yourself and avoiding too much stress.
- Mood boosters
For times when things go wrong or you feel down, have a list of little pleasures for cheering yourself up. Build an inventory of mood boosters.
Psychology research suggests that kindness and happiness are related. Explore opportunities for greater kindness in your life.
Releasing barriers to happiness
Following are attitudes and tendencies that can sour your thoughts and make happiness almost impossible – so release them!
If this is a problem you want to to address this year, how might you approach tackling worry?
It’s time to gain awareness of grudges you hold against yourself or others, and to start to let go.
Cynicism can destroy your capacity for joy. Turn your focus to enjoyment, beauty, wonder, curiosity, and seeing the good in others. Don’t be a slave to cynicism.
Address the negative things you say to others about yourself, your appearance, your abilities, the world, other people and life. Acknowledge you’re ready to stop, and you’ll start to change.
- Negative self-talk
Target the negative things you say to yourself about you, your appearance, your abilities, the world, people and life. Becoming aware of your negative self-talk helps you change it.
Question: What area of your Happiness Strategies will you work on in 2009?
Note for users of Happiness Wizard and Get Organized Wizard for Smart Women
Your Wizard contains guided worksheets for each one of these items, plus others, as well as additional prompts, ideas and suggestions to help you organize each one.
Tomorrow – Day 9: Money & Finance
Picture adapted from image by Aldon.