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Can you believe how quickly this year flew by? I feel like we were all just celebrating the new year and here we are again, another year has passed. I don’t know about you, but our year was not too shabby! We have a lot of fun memories to look back on, both with our families and friends.
But there’s always room for improvement, right? Just the other day my husband and I were talking about being a little more intentional this year, so we really make the most of our days off. Kind of intentional spontaneity, if you will. Then last night someone posted in a Facebook group I belong to that every year she makes a list of 100 things she wants to do over the course of the new year. She tries to pick 12 from her list and they are anything from very basic, like learning how to cook a certain dish, to extreme, like visiting another continent. I thought that is a brilliant idea! I mentioned it to my husband right away and he’s all in. At this point we’re shooting for a minimum of 12, but hopefully we’ll be able to cross more off the list. We’re doing a “his, hers and ours” list because we have a lot of time apart due to his work schedule. This way we can work on our individual lists and have the “ours” list to look forward to. This sounds like so much fun to me! And fun = happy, right?
So this got me thinking about how we can have the BEST year in the coming year.
Of course happiness will be the key- this is Looks Like Happy, after all! So where to begin?
1. Thoughts- the good and the bad.
Of course no one consciously tries to let the bad thoughts seep in. We all have them, but it’s how we deal with them that is important. I think it’s safe to say if given the choice, most people would choose to be happy. Unfortunately for some of us it’s just not that easy. If you have enough negative thoughts you will surely start to believe them in time. Thoughts are funny that way. I find it is really helpful for me to acknowledge my happy thoughts. That means if I find myself in a joyous moment I stop to actually enjoy it for a bit, and then reflect on it later. The more time you spend thinking about things or instances when you were happy, the less time you have for the negative thoughts to creep in. Sometimes we need help sorting through all of this and if you need help, please value yourself enough to find a therapist that understands you. I have heard great things about Talkspace, although I’ve never used this service, so if you are looking for an easy way to speak with a counselor a text to Talkspace is an easy way to start.
2. Leave Work at Work
This is a hard one. Especially if you work from home because the work is always there waiting to be addressed. My husband works at least 50 hours a week in his office and then works a couple hours in the evening, and usually hours on the weekend, too. It’s insane. In fact, we’ve embraced cruise vacations because no one from work can bother him. It’s funny-but-not-funny that it’s come to this.
Create a ritual that marks the transition between work and personal life. For some people, this means washing your hands. For others, it means burning sage and smudging. For others, it’s as simple as immediately changing out of work clothes and into something comfortable. Try a few different rituals to see which helps you the most.
It’s so easy, but so smart! I feel like on days my husband and I are together dinner can be this ritual. On days we are apart we will need to be creative and find something that works for us individually. Even the most ambitious workaholic must admit they aren’t always happy to be at work.
3. Make Time For Friends.
This sounds easy, but if you’re the type who gets home and wants to stay home, it’s not as easy as it sounds! But think about it, the last time you made plans with friends you may not have wanted to go either- but you had a great time! So when you think you’re going to bail just GO. Most get-togethers with friends are happy times and you’ll be happy you went!
4. And Lose Your Negative Friends.
Easier said than done? Maybe. Or maybe you just fade into the sunset and naturally go your separate ways. If someone, family member or friend, is constantly negative around you it brings you down. Misery loves company, you know. Even an overly negative co-worker can cause unnecessary anxiety and stress. Do what you can to minimize contact. Life is too short to surround yourself with negativity!
5. Show Gratitude to Those You are Grateful For.
I think I feel the happiest when I am doing things for others. Beyond volunteering, take time to acknowledge the people in your life you are grateful for. It takes just a minute to let someone know you appreciate them.
6. You Do You.
You can’t please all the people all the time, so stop trying. You’re not in charge of their happiness, you’re in charge or your happiness! If you find yourself trying over and over again to make someone else happy and they just aren’t happy, the problem is theirs, not yours. Take a step back and be good to yourself.
If you’d like some more ideas on “life,” I think you’ll really love these blog posts!