I’m on a roll now . . . thinking about the little things that make me happy. A hot cup of McDonald’s coffee, a tidy closet, a sleeping dog at my feet and the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains under bright blue skies just outside my front door. But we are all unique. What makes me smile may be very different for you. The challenge is to figure it out for ourselves. Here’s how to get started.
- First, watch yourself for a couple of days. Pay attention to what you enjoy, what makes you smile, what gives you a sense of contentment. Not the big “Wows” – those exciting events or moments are great but temporary by nature. The question we really want to answer for ourselves is “What are the simple sustainable things that I do regularly that contribute to my sense of positive well-being?”
- Second, look for the themes. These things will naturally fall into some general groupings. Using me as an example, I quickly noticed that my physical environment is key to my happiness; my personal relationships are very important; my health & wellness can make or break a day and the icing on the cake is always professional and personal growth. That’s just for starters. Now for you (because we’re all different), what themes or groupings are you noticing?
- Third, now come up with some action steps for yourself. I got wonderfully inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project (2009). She works on one theme per month and in a funny but practical and realistic way she moves herself forward toward a bit more happiness each and every month. So, start right now in January. Keep it simple by just working on one theme per month. You know what works for you – just do more of it.