Friday, January 25, 2013

Ten Things that Will Make Me a Happier Person

This is the month for articles and blog posts on getting happy, making changes, and reaching goals. It’s a new year and what better milestone is there to use as an excuse to do better than before? Do this, do that, or not... all with the prize of happiness hanging just out of reach. But the title lies... happy is not my goal, happy is not even on my radar. I just want to be peaceful, content, and fulfilled. No small potatoes, eh?

With that in mind, I made up my own list of things I believe will get me there. They are in no particular order, and one is as important (or not) as another.

1. Make a short daily To Do list that has two or three things on it that I want to get done for that day. I can make the list the night before or first thing in the morning while I am getting the children off to school. What kinds of things go on this list? Schedule a necessary appointment, pay a bill, do one load of laundry, prepare a grocery list, write a blog post... bite-sized bits of running my life. Checking those things off my list will help me to feel that I have done my job for the day. All the other things I manage to accomplish will be frosting on the day’s cake.

2. Pick something in my environment that is bothering me and make a strategy for changing it so that it no longer causes me stress. The first thing I have chosen is my kitchen pantry because I am tired of stuff falling out of it every time I open the door, and even more tired of only getting to use the front edges of each shelf. When that problem is resolved I will pick another, and little by little I will revamp my surroundings so that they work with me, not against me.

3. I will get rid of things. Say it again, louder this time, I WILL GET RID OF THINGS. Seriously, instead of stuffing it away somewhere hoping that I will fix it, find the rest of it, reuse it, give it away, shrink back into it, craft it, sell it, find a way to keep it out of a landfill... I will chuck it in the garbage.

4. Do something healthy for myself everyday. I am not talking about working out or dieting or anything time consuming and potentially guilt inducing... I mean stuff like I will take a multivitamin or drink ice water during the day instead of tea or coffee. If eventually I add in a daily walk or some super good foods, yay.

5. Make time for laughter. I am going to make a point of watching stand up, or a great comedy, or at least an episode of The Big Bang Theory every week or so. It feels so good to bust out with a real guffaw. Laughing is good therapy, really really good therapy.

6. I will write down one most important long and short term goal on a paper along with a visual of those goals, and then stick it up on the wall right next to my computer. Then I will break the goals up into steps, and get started on step one of each goal. The long term goal is to make our house bigger and the short term goal is to finish the book I am writing. Since I am way past step one of writing the book, I will make a list of steps that begins where I am already at.

7. Practice saying yes to things that make my life easier and no to things that complicate it. This not only means being judicious with my time (no, I can’t be the room mom, or on the PTA, or in a book club, or at the gym) but also with my resources. Yes to online grocery shopping, housecleaning help, pressure cooked meals, an occasional nibble of Valium, and going places without my all my kids.

Did I say ten things? Heh, that would be too overwhelming. Seven is good enough. How about you? What concrete things can you do this year to get a little closer to the contented life you deserve?


Anonymous said...

Loved your post. Just got up and took my daily vitamin and wondered why do I not do this daily? Filled up water glass to drink. Off to make a simple list of goals.

Lisa Morguess said...

Well, I think this is an excellent list. Maybe I'll steal it.

Deanna said...

This is an awesome list. I especially like the one about making a bite-sized list.

DandG said...

Hmm. If you followed #7, would you have adopted Autumn and Masha?

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