Live your life
As soon as the new year clocks around, the first question you're asked is ‘What are your new year resolutions?' or 'What will you change this year?’.
These questions continue to play on the idea that you’re not OK the way you are; that you need something else in your life to be happy; to be fulfilled; to be successful.
It’s perfectly well and good to go after your desires, to learn, to grow, to change and to reach new limits. That is, of course, what life is about. In fact, part of the definition of living is constant change and development. (Look it up in the dictionary!)
The problem is, very few people give themselves permission to be happy with where they’re at now. This creates a state of “chasing life” rather than actually “living life” or “enjoying” it.
Most are never happy with what they have now; living a constant pattern of needing ‘more’ to feel successful or whole. And because this is an inner state, even when they achieve their new goals, they take maybe 3 seconds to be happy, before focusing on their new goal. And then, only ‘when’ they achieve that new goal, will they allow themselves a short glimpse of pride and satisfaction.
To change this pattern, it's critical you make being happy now – regardless of what you have or where you’re at – a natural part of your life, making it possible to feel truly happy and joyful at any point in the future.
This doesn’t mean you become complacent and stop chasing your desires; quite the contrary. You become happier and more motivated to achieve new heights, without pessimism or jealousy getting in your way. By releasing this resistance, you make space for bigger and better things to come.
My favourite way to start the new year is by taking a happiness or gratitude stocktake of my life.
When you do this quick activity, it allows you to feel happy and joyful right now, rather than only allowing yourself to be happy when something or someone comes into your life.
This exercise doesn’t just make you happier and more motivated, it goes so much deeper… allowing you to become more familiar with what you truly value and therefore what is worth going after or changing in your life.
Allocate some time to do this activity thoughtfully, although it can be as quick as 5-10 mins to start feeling the benefits immediately.
The Happiness Stocktake
Download your Happiness Stocktake worksheet here.
Write down 3 things in each of the following life areas that you’re grateful for and that create happiness in your life now. They can be big or small, new or old.
- Relationships (family, friends, partners, children, colleagues, etc)
- Health & Fitness (including mental, physical, spiritual health)
- Character (your personality, qualities, strengths, etc)
- Work (your career including location, colleagues, salary, contribution, etc)
- Home & Wealth (where you live, what you own including clothes or other material possessions, other wealth or belongings)
- Intellectual Life (learning and development – work or personal / fun, education, books, research, courses, lessons, etc)
- Fun (such as sport, music, tv, social, holidays, adventure, or anything else in your life you have done / do for fun)
Review each of the things you’re grateful for in each area and how these things have created joy and fulfilment in your life.
For those things that bring you a great deal of joy, think about how you can spend more time in those areas to bring you even more joy and fulfilment on a daily or weekly basis.
Step 3 (Optional – setting yourself up for greater joy)
Review the areas above and determine 1 or 2 areas that require your attention this year to create more joy or more of what your heart desires. Then write down 1 activity / step in each of those areas you will take this year to enhance your happiness and fulfilment in that area.
This is a very authentic way of setting goals, because you know when you achieve it, it will bring you more genuine happiness, rather than simply fulfilling an expectation that is not actually yours!
If you want more assistance with reducing anxiety or worries, and increasing your daily happiness and motivation, contact me to learn more about private consultations and how they can help.
To making 2017 your happiest year yet!
Recipe for Health