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Tips To Help You Tap Into Your Happiness Today!

The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

As we jump into a brand new year, it's a great time to reflect on what is working well in your life and where you might be feeling stuck. Is there anything holding you back from truly being happy? Take a moment to identify what is going on in this season of your life. Are you happy with where you're at and the direction your life is going? If you are, celebrate your happiness today! If you are not happy, what are some of the things you can put into place that would make you jump out of bed in the mornings, feel happy again, and feel excited about the day, the week, the year ahead?

Happiness can come in many forms, and it does. What might make me happy may not look like your "happy list," but yet we might just have some things in common. For me, I think the way we look at and approach life in general is a huge contributing factor. Are you seeing everything in your life as bad or going wrong right now? Or are you able to see the blessings in the midst of the chaos.

One thing that worked for me for tracking my mood one year was a journal where I logged:

1. Three things I was grateful for that day

2. My goal or top-3 for the day

3. My energy level

4. How I felt that day

5. And, what inspired me most

Where my journal was the most beneficial was in looking back at my progress; that gave me energy to keep going, as well as elevated my mood when I was feeling low. I could see how many days, weeks, and months had been super great, compared to the one bad day. Those were the days that I was reminded of how good I really had it. I recommend this exercise in my therapy sessions as well.

So, my journal might look like:

I am grateful for my family and friends, my coaching business and wonderful clients, and helping others.

My goal for the day really consists of focusing on what I call my top-3 for the day. What are the top-3 things on my list that I really needed to accomplish. This make me feel productive, as well as happy to have achieved them. Identifying and leveraging your Strengths (CliftonStrengths) can also be a great indicator of your happiness.

My energy was usually indicative of how I was feeling emotionally that day. For instance, if I felt happy, that meant I was energized and ready to tackle the day ahead with great vigor. For anyone who has ever been sad or depressed, you'll understand that feeling this way may leave you wanting to do - well, nothing. Understanding this gives us great insight into our patterns, cycles, and how we get better. Just taking one initial step forward - or out of the house - can leaving us feeling happier, than when we couldn't get out of bed.

Finally, and I really love this, ending my day with what inspired me most always brought a smile to my face. It could be brushing my daughters hair, hearing my son tell me how much it meant for me to share a personal story with him, walking the dogs with my husband and hitting our step goals, watching the sunset, or even enjoying rain in San Diego. If you're from San Diego, you know what I mean. Seeing rain means we stop and "awe" about it. Like, that never happens, and we need it.

I held a self-care party not too long ago and I challenged the participants to create their own "happy list." The ones that created their list shared it with me and started making plans for the "happy" activities they would do. Creating this list got them excited about the future. When we are sad, we don't want to do or plan for tomorrow, but when we have something to look forward to, the anticipation of something longed for builds momentum and excitement about our expectations and the possibilities of the sun shining in our face once more.

Could those possibilities lead to a new friend, a new job, a long awaited vacation, or seeing family we haven't seen in a while? The promise of something longed for is enough to make us happy!

Some things that get me going, build momentum, and make me happy each day:

1. Waking up early and making my bed

2. Reading my Bible and devotional

3. Making a healthy breakfast for my husband and me

4. Arranging fresh flowers every week to display on my kitchen table

5. Getting my top-3 done

6. Spending quality time with my family

7. Hanging out and catching up with dear friends

8. Walking and playing with my dogs

9. Volunteering my time

10. And, getting in my "me" time

As you reflect on your life today, take a moment to consider what is going well. Are you feeling happy about your life and the direction it's going in? How are you feeling blessed today? Where are you struggling or feeling stuck? What are the things that make you happy, jump out of bed, and get you excited about the year ahead?

I encourage you to create your own "Happy List" today, discover and leverage your Strengths (CliftonStrengths), or make journaling a practice using the below journaling prompts.

1. Three things I am grateful for today

2. My goal for the day

3. My energy level

4. How I felt today

5. And, what inspired me most

Take some time to examine where you are in your "happy meter." What's going well and where you can improve?

1. Are you happy with where you are in your life today and the direction it's headed?

2. Is there an area of your life where you are struggling or feeling stuck?

3. What is one thing you can do today that will change the direction of your life and make you happier?

As one of my favorite president's says: “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln

These things have I spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11


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