- Set a goal for yourself this year that you know you can achieve, but will still challenge you. When you meet a goal you set for yourself, you feel such a sense of achievement. If it’s not a challenge to you though, that sense of achievement will be much less. If it’s too hard for you, you might give up before even getting started. The ideal goal is one you have to work to achieve, but not so much that you are intimidated.
2. Let go of a goal that isn’t something that you really want, but have been holding onto for awhile now. Think about something that you have been saying for maybe years now that you are working on, but your heart isn’t in it. It is constantly hanging over your head and might make you feel guilty for not having achieved it yet. Maybe it’s going back to school, studying for a certification, learning a new skill, etc. It could be anything, but if you have been working on it for awhile and haven’t made any progress, think if this is something that your heart is really in. If it’s not, letting go of that goal will be a huge relief and increase your happiness in 2014. It will be a huge weight off your shoulders that you might not even realize is there.
3. Do something fun everyday. I recently found an app called “1 second Everyday.” You take a video everyday and choose a one second clip to have as your clip of the day. At the end of the year you will have a vision of each day of your life to re-watch. The creator of the app said it significantly increased his fun in life because he sought out things to do each day that would be memorable to record. Things he normally would have passed up on he took the time to do and record. He has done this for two years now and with this app we can take part too.
4. Create a budget and stick to it. Imagine a life without financial stress. In 2010, I made a New Years Resolution to follow Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It was life changing. I learned the power of having a budget and paying off any debt you might have. I had always thought a budget would feel limiting. However, what I found is quite the opposite. Each month you budget a certain amount for a variety of categories. As long as you still have money left in that particular category for the month, you can buy without guilt. You always know how much money you have and can live a full life without stressing about if you can afford it. You always know where you stand. Plus it helps you pay off any debt you have so later you can have more money to do what you want with. The snowball method of paying of debt is quite powerful and if you fully commit, you can pay off debt faster than you ever imagined. The key is having the budget.
5. Learn something new. Think about how excited a child gets when they learn how to do something new. They are so thrilled and proud of themselves. They want to do it over and over and show it off to others. You don’t have to lose this as an adult. Think of something you would like to learn, a new language, how to cook, how to garden, how to sew, how to paint a room, etc. There are endless options. Think of what you would like and learn it. You could combine this with number 1 and set a goal of learning something new. Just don’t make it ambiguous. Determine exactly what you want to learn before you set the goal.
6. Simplify your life. Only keep things in your life that are meaningful to you. This is in terms of possessions, activities, and maybe even people. Be mindful during the day. Stay focused on the present. This is easier to do when a million things that you really don’t need or want don’t surround you. Don’t overschedule yourself or your family. Take time to really enjoy what you are doing, not thinking about where you have to go next.
7. Decide this is the year to be happy. No one or nothing can make you happy. You get to make that decision for yourself. Don’t trick yourself into thinking “I will be happy when …”. That might give you a short boost, but you will go back to your previous happiness set point pretty quickly. Live in the present, practice gratitude, and find ways to have fun no matter what is going on in your life.
Here’s to the best year of your life! It’s up to you.
Written by Kimberly Taliaferro
I have written 2 e-books on healthy living.