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Happiness Hack #65 – One Small Step at a Time

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Accomplish One Small Thing

Sometimes the chaos of life can be overwhelming.  It seems like our to-do list gets longer instead of shorter every day and each project we complete seems to lead to two more projects. It can be sad and frustrating just thinking about everything that has to be done.

The secret is to step back and pause. Pick one small thing you can accomplish. Fold the laundry, clean a room, or write a list of next steps for your next big project.  Find something small you can accomplish in less than 15 minutes and get that one thing done.  Getting one small thing done will give you that little bit of confidence and sense of accomplishing something so that you can find that next small step. We all have mountains to climb, and we can’t jump from the bottom to the top. We have to take one small step at a time.

Find something small you can feel good about accomplishing in a short period of time and then build from there. You will feel happier and be more successful.

 

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MyHappiness App

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #64 – Send Yourself a Happiness Email

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Take 15 Seconds to Create a Memory

Spend around 15 seconds each day sending yourself an e-mail about something that made you happy.  Keep it quick and easy, but do it every day so it becomes a habit.  You can keep it to 15 seconds or spend more time if you have it. Type your memory into the subject line of the e-mail.  Start your subject line with “Memory:” so you can quickly separate it from other e-mails, and then add your happy thoughts.  You can manually or automatically move the emails into a memories folder so you can go back and review them at your leisure.  If you have more time, you can add a picture or spend time describing your experience in more detail.  For fun, you can share with the people who were a part of your happy memory.  Over time you will create an electronic journal of happiness.  Any time you are sad or need a boost, just review some of your past happy memories.

This activity combines three different areas of happiness research.  First, remembering three great things that happened during your day makes you happier.  Second, writing down your thoughts and feelings and especially writing your personal stories also helps you be happier.  Lastly, remembering the small events in life can make you as happy or happier than focusing on just the big events.

Send yourself daily happiness e-mails and you can create a reservoir of happy memories you can access whenever you need them.  Plus it will make each day a little happier.

You can also use the MyHappiness App to track your daily happiness and keep a history with pictures and recommendations for happiness.  You can access it on iPhone or Android in the app store by searching for MyHappiness or on your browser at MyHappiness.io

 

 

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MyHappiness App

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Practice Autonomy

Success Tip: Focus on the Choices You Do Have

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“You are who you choose to be.” – Hogarth in Iron Giant

Create Success by Focusing on the Choices You Do Have

People who feel like they have autonomy are more productive, show more persistence at a task, and experience less stress and burn-out.  You and your employees feel more motivated when you have autonomy over how something gets accomplished. There are many things you can’t control. They key is to focus on what you can control instead of what you can’t control.  Successful people differentiate themselves by focusing on the choices where they can make a difference and have an impact rather than complaining about the things they don’t get to choose.

Quick Tip:  There is a difference between not having choices and not liking your choices. Take a moment to acknowledge you do have a choice even if you don’t like the outcomes.

 

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MyHappiness App

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #63 – Don’t Wait for the Weekend

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Be Happy Today!

It starts when we are young; sitting in classrooms dreaming about how much fun we will have on the weekend. The sheer anticipation of no class and no homework makes us happy. Then recess starts or we go to lunch and talk to our friends and find additional reasons to be happy. But as we get older and our lives and the week become more stressful, anticipation turns into expectation.  We look at our crummy day at work and expect that we will be happier when the weekend comes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work.
The difference is subtle but important for our happiness. Anticipation makes us happier today as we think about positive outcomes in the future while expectation puts off happiness in the hope that something will change and we will find happiness in the future. Anticipation leaves us open to happiness today while expectation gives up today’s happiness because it will come later. The challenge is that happiness really doesn’t come later.
New research is showing that for many of us, we actually become less happy on the weekends. We build up our expectations of happiness to such a high level that we end Saturday disappointed.   Then on Sunday, we start worrying about what challenges we will face next week. It creates an unhappy cycle of not enjoying today because the weekend will be happier but then the weekend can’t make up for all the happiness we missed during the week.
The solution is to be happy today.  Anticipate happiness so you can enjoy today more.  But don’t give up your happiness today by expecting happiness in the future. Certain aspects of today will be stressful and crummy; so what can you find to enjoy today? Can you take a moment to be grateful for something or focus on a great memory? There is something good about today.  Find it and focus on it.  Do the same thing for weekends. Enjoy and be present in your weekends. Don’t think about the coming week and what you will miss or how bad it will be. Think about today and what is great about today.
Don’t wait for the weekends to be happy. Find reasons to be a little happy today and every day. Happy moments create happy days.  Happy days lead to happy weeks.  Happy weeks build happy years and lots of happy years create a happy life full of wonderful memories.  Create a happy day!

 

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MyHappiness App

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

15 minutes prioritized me time

Success Tip: The U in Success

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“Don’t be so busy making a living that you fail to make a life.”

You are the key to success for yourself, your family, and your company.  If you don’t take care of yourself, stay engaged, and make sure you are physically and mentally available, then the great things you can do won’t get done.  If you are resentful because you never get time for yourself then you won’t be as productive, you will lose interest, and you will eventually become over stressed and burnout.  Your success at your career is dependent on you making time for yourself and doing the activities that interest you and keep you healthy.   Make time for you, and you will come to work refreshed, excited, and full of new ideas to help the company grow and prosper.

 

Quick Tip:  Take baby steps.   Make changes in small increments.  Don’t start with a marathon, walk around the block every day until it becomes a habit, then expand from there. Set aside 15 minutes for 30 days, then grow that to 20 minutes.  Make small changes and turn them into habits.

 

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MyHappiness App

Try the MyHappiness App

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #62 – Is Your Thinking Stinking?

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What Do You Spend Your Time Thinking About?

Do you spend your time thinking about what went wrong and why your job or your life are not what you want them to be?  Do you ruminate about a list of people who have treated you poorly and how you will eventually confront them and set them straight? Are you worrying about the things that could go bad in your future? These are all signs of “Stinking Thinking.”

You can fill your head with thoughts about how great life is, what you appreciate about people, and what you are going to do to create a great future or you can fill your head with negative thoughts.  The choice is yours.  “Stinking Thinking” leads to stinky results and positive thinking leads to positive results and more happiness for you and those around you.

It is natural to have negative thoughts, but you don’t have to let them overwhelm your thinking. You can create the habit of replacing those negative thoughts with more positive thinking or at least with possible solutions, rather than just focusing on the negative impacts of your problems. Try to catch yourself thinking negative thoughts and find more positive things to replace them. Replace your “Stinking Thinking” with more positive and productive thoughts and you will become happier.

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MyHappiness App

Try the MyHappiness App

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Your To-Do List is Your Life. What’s On Your List?

Look at your to-do list. Right now, right here, this is your life. The to-do list sitting on your desk is how you are going to spend your day and your life. Think about how you spent yesterday and the day before. Was it running around trying to get everything on your list done? Are you really busy now, hoping that eventually, you will get caught up, and then be able to relax and do what you want? Your to-do list is your life. It is a list of how you are choosing to spend your time each day. For some people that is a really good feeling, while for many others, knowing that your to-do list is your life is extremely scary.

The good news is you create your to-do list. You can always make a new list and change your direction. You can always choose to build a different life, starting today.

 

What’s On Your List?

Think about what is on your list and what you want to accomplish. Is your to-do list full of things that will make you better? Things that once accomplished you will feel good about? Does your to-do list have items that will make other people’s lives better? Is your to-do list filled with actions that will make you happier today or in the near future? Are you going to make a difference for someone today? Are the things you are going to do, going to matter for your family, your friends, and other people in the world?

 

What On Your List is Hard?

Some things on your to-do list are hard and you are not sure you can complete them successfully. But you can still enjoy trying. Hard work for a good purpose is worthwhile and will help you feel happier and accomplished.

 

Should I Do Things that Are Not Fun?

We all have things we have to do that won’t be pleasant. We can’t completely eliminate the mundane, the boring, or the things that are necessary but not fun. Our challenge is that, often, those things crowd out the good things in our lives. We get focused on doing and forget we are also supposed to be living and happy.

 

Re-Write Your To Do List

If you want to be happier re-write your to-do list. Start with a blank sheet of paper and at the top, prioritize the things that will matter or make difference for someone else. Add additional items that will make you feel accomplished or fulfilled; even if they are only baby steps that move you in the right direction. Then add the rest of the mundane, boring, and must do’s. Always make time for the items at the top of your list, and the bottom of your list will become easier and more enjoyable.

Your life is made up of todays not tomorrows. Don’t sacrifice your todays hoping tomorrow will be better. Create a happier to-do list today! Decide how you will spend your life today and every day.

 

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MyHappiness App

Try the MyHappiness App

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Success Tip: Focus on What Went Right

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Don’t spend your commute ruminating about what you did wrong that day at work.  Instead take the time to review what went right and why it went right.  We all have to handle problems throughout the day, but you can end the day on a positive note that builds on your strengths and gives you reasons to be happy about the day.

Fill your memory with a list of small successes and it will provide you the confidence to create the bigger successes.

Quick Tip: At the end of each project ask the team what they were most proud of or what they learned.

 

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MyHappiness App

Try the MyHappiness App

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Check the Boxes

Through everyone’s life and career, there will be opportunities to make changes.  Some of those opportunities will not be specifically in our plan (driven by forces outside of our control) and some will be part of the evolution of our life plans.  During decision making in either example, it’s best to have a well calculated evaluation process that is fact based to help you cut though all of the obstacles.

I call that process – Check the Boxes.

In a Check the Boxes process, as you begin considering the opportunities, identify the key items that are most important to you and that you want to ensure you either maintain or acquire with the upcoming change.  As you outline these factors give each a rating of 1 to 5.  By using this simple system, you will be able to eliminate options from your processes and focus only on those that provide a favorable rating in your system.

By way of example, let’s say that you have the opportunity to look for a new job.  This may be because you want to continue to expand your career or that your current company is making some changes and you happen to be caught up in a force reduction.  Either way, look at it as a positive opportunity to make some changes and align closer with your ideal role and goals.  I use this process often with the university students that I mentor and colleagues I work with.

Start the process by identifying all of the potential factors in looking for a new role, whether they are immediately important or not.  Factors like: company, type of industry, location, work environment, commute times, salary & benefits, travel requirements, opportunities to advance, stability of company.  While the list could go on and on, each of the factors are relevant in a position.

Once you have the broad field of factors identified, begin to narrow it down to the key items that are critical to you and give them a weight of importance.  For instance, if type of industry is one of the most critical factors, give it a high rating and as you begin to evaluate opportunities, only include ones that align with this value.  This is what I call Checking the Box.

At the end of this initial process, you should have 4 – 5 key factors that you will want to consider in your decision making process.  As you go through the process, chose to move forward with those options that have the most boxes checked.

Again, the Check the Box process is one that can be used in most decision making situations, at a personal level or professional level.  Buying a car or entering a new market.  Taking a new job or hiring a new employee.

One of the key parts to the process is being true to yourself and basing your decision on fact based logic.  Obviously emotions will always play into a decision, but by using this Check the Box process you can begin to minimize the impact of pure emotion on your decision.

As you have learned from my previous posts, I like to keep it simple.  I hope that this is another simple process for you to use in your personal or professional life.

Have a great day!

 

Why Exercise Makes You Happier

16 Ways Exercise Makes you Happier from JanesBestFitness.com

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MyHappiness App

Try the MyHappiness App

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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