Happiness is much less about creating the perfect set of circumstances in your life and much more about choosing how you relate to whatever situation you find yourself in. Some of the poorest people in the world, with the fewest resources, are remarkably happier than the typical middle class American (who has TONS of resources). In fact, if you are looking to give yourself a kind and loving, attitude adjustment this holiday season, I’d highly recommend the documentary, Happy, to help you shift your perspective.
Cultivating more happiness in your life really comes down to shifting your perspective about your circumstances, and then acting accordingly.
The best way I know to do this is by building up new muscles to help you see, feel and experience things differently. Our default is often to either do things the way we’ve always done them or to focus on fixing what is ‘wrong’, and quickly. For example, if you don’t like the way you look, you might sign up for a gym, start a diet and get a makeover in the same week. We like quick fixes, right?!
But, long term sustainable changes in life come in small steps. And one of the keys to success, is having the patience to be in the process. The payoff comes in the form of meaningful, long term change.
As the holidays approach, I’d encourage you to make a commitment to one healthy habit change in your life that will lead to more happiness and fulfillment. This is not a New Years Resolution scope of a habit change. This is a small, incremental step that will grow and develop over time.
If the dark days of winter get you down, perhaps try committing to a 10 min walk in the sunshine three days a week. Or, if you want to throw your partner out the window once a week (but in your heart really would rather not), practice saying thank you to them for one specific thing they do each day to enhance your life, your family, your home etc. Would love to hear your commitments in the comments below!
Small steps are really the way to go. Before you know it, the snowball effect will take place. You’ll be feeling motivated, accomplished and ready to take more positive steps towards healthy habits in all areas of your life.
I’ve been partnering with SooJin Chu of Swagger and Glide and Zoe Keller of One Beet Wellness to bring a workshop entitled Healthy Habits, Happy Women to venues throughout the Boston area this fall. We’ll be presenting in Belmont this spring if you’d like to learn more – details to follow. If you have venue ideas, I’d love to hear from you – we’d love to spread the healthy habits message!