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9 Ways to be Happier in the New Year

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to be happier?  More positive?  These 9 tips will help you drastically improve your happiness and don’t take much (if any) extra time in your day.  The key to making them work is actually doing them.  If you can commit to 30 days – just stick it out for a month – I think you’ll find that you’re much happier in the new year!

Come Up with a Plan

Is there a problem that you’ve been mulling over but can’t seem to fix?

Come up with a plan to get a few steps forward.  Whether it’s money, relationships, family, renovations, whatever.  Just think of a way to take the next step forward.

If you’re really stuck, try sleeping on it.  The solutions to almost every problem I face come to me when I’m just about to fall asleep.  Whether it’s what to get my husband for Christmas or which house we should pick to buy.  There’s something about that moment just before you fall asleep that makes everything a little clearer.

Be Grateful

This one suggestion will literally change your life.  Sometimes it feels nearly impossible to be grateful when everything seems to be going wrong.  That’s when you need to be grateful the most!

I’m trying to instill this in my kids from a young age by having rambling streams of gratefulness when we’re in the car.  On the way to town, I’ll just ramble about everything I can think to be grateful for.  “We’re so lucky to have a car to drive in, and to have these awesome roads to take anywhere we want to go, wow look, these people have a business – let’s hope they’re really successful, these people are walking together, let’s be grateful they found each other.”  On and on and on.

Sometimes I say to my toddler “do you want to talk about things to be grateful for?”  His response?  “NO!  No, no no no!”  I guess my tactic is going to take some time to work on him.  It really helps me!

Eat Healthier

Doesn’t everyone try to do this in the new year anyway?  Do yourself a favor and skip the gym membership you’ll probably never use and make small adjustments to your diet instead.

We watched Forks Over Knives and it completely changed how we look at food in our house.  Do you have Netflix?  If so, definitely add it to your list of things to watch.  You’ll be so happy you did!

Get Uncomfortable

It’s just a fact of life that if you stay inside your comfort zone, you’ll never grow.

The secret to growing as a person is to get a little uncomfortable.  Do things you wouldn’t normally do and watch your world open up.  Say yes to things you’re usually too nervous to agree to.  Do something you’ve always wanted to do.  Change your hairstyle.  Switch jobs.

Really push yourself to make those life-altering decisions that have a big “what if” factor.  What if you never try?  Then you’ll never know.  That’s way worse than trying and failing if you ask me.

Eliminate Negativity

Everyone has come across someone who seems to find negativity everywhere they go.  Those kinds of people are incredibly toxic. Not just to themselves, but to everyone around them.

I had a coworker that was exactly this way.  The world was out to get her, life was so unfair, no one liked her…and on and on and on.  When I would finally get away from her I’d feel like I needed to take a shower and wash the negativity away or something.  Even if I was in a great mood, I’d leave her presence with a frown on my face wondering what just happened.

These are the people you need to eliminate or at least greatly reduce in your life.

I am all for trying to help someone through a tough time, but when people are so determined to be miserable and to find the negative side to everything, you’re bound to get caught up in it.  Run as fast as you can and be grateful for encountering someone who makes you realize just how lucky you are!


This one takes practice, but I’m finding that it’s well worth the effort.  If you have a few minutes to just sit in silence and focus on your breath, you can meditate.  The key is to not worry about getting to some deep, meditative state or having no thoughts on your mind.

When you meditate and a thought pops up, acknowledge it, and then go back to focusing on your breathing.  It really does work wonders and can help you to put things into perspective.

I actually think this is similar to the state you get into just before you fall asleep.  That moment when I do my best thinking.  Things seem to be more clear.

Practice Positive Affirmations

I know a few of these tips sound like hippy-dippy, New Age craziness, but hear me out.  There’s a lot to be said for the power your thoughts have on shaping your life.  Kind of like that negative person we talked about.  If you go looking for negativity, you’ll find it every time.

Instead, search for the good and you’ll find that wherever you go.  Positive affirmations help you create a mindset that will get you more of what you want.

Maybe it’s “I’m a great mother, I keep a clean house, I’m organized.”

Someone else will tell you you’re thinking these things into existence with the power of the law of attraction.

I’m telling you you’re just lying to yourself so you’re able to conjure up the confidence and the will power to make these things happen.  I can tell myself I’m organized all day long.  I’m not.  But after lying to myself for a little while, I start to feel like maybe if I watch some YouTube videos for inspiration, I’ll think of a way to organize that space.

Then I watch the video, organize the space, and sit back and wonder if it really was the law of attraction.  Maybe I’m getting something out of the law of attraction after all.

Get Some “You” Time

This tip is everywhere, but I’m finally realizing what a huge impact not taking any time for myself has on my life.

If you’re always so caught up in taking care of others, running your household, doing chores, managing commitments – pretty soon, you’ll find that life is just racing by and you’re just watching it happen.

Instead, take some time to do some of the tips we discussed above, but take a few minutes to just be by yourself.  I’m finding that showering by myself (which I honestly counted as my “me time) isn’t enough.  Instead, I’m waking up when my husband leaves for work and focusing on this blog.

This is my “me time”, my escape, my passion, and my fun.  I absolutely love sharing with all of you and hearing your stories in return.  If you haven’t started a blog but think you’d be great at it – read my post about that here.

If you have no interest in blogging (hint – it’s a CRAZY amount of work, but so worth it!) pick one of your hobbies and make time for it.  Even if that means missing out on some precious sleep.

I have a soon-to-be two year old and a 6 month old and my sleep time is limited.  Still, it’s worth it for me to give up 2 or 3 hours of it every day or every few days to focus on what makes me happy.  It’s made a huge impact in my happiness and has given me that fulfilled feeling back.

I encourage you to do the same thing.  Think it won’t work?  Try it for a few days then let me know how it goes!  If you completely wasted your time doing things you love to do and want to yell at me – I’ll listen!  I have a feeling you’ll be sending me a happy e-mail instead.

Get Outside!

I read this one everywhere and always roll my eyes.  Don’t these people know how hard it is to get two kids dressed to go outside?  Especially when one of them can’t walk and the other one becomes irate when I try to bring him back inside again?

We actually gave this a try and it was amazing for my mood as well as theirs.  Just do it.  Get dressed, head outside, and take a few deep breaths of fresh air.  Even if it’s only for a few seconds, just getting outside and getting a little dose of the outdoors is enough to help reset your mood.


Now – Actually do it!

I challenge you to try to do each of these things almost every day.

Don’t have the time?  Let’s see how we can squeeze all of these into your already very busy day:

  • Wake up in the morning and before your feet hit the floor, think of three things you’re grateful for.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast every day because if you eat a crappy breakfast you’re WAY less likely to care what you eat for lunch and dinner.
  • Spend just a few seconds every day standing outside taking a few deep breaths and being grateful for the great things in your life.
  • Make a conscious decision every day to eliminate negativity from your life.  If someone is constantly bringing negativity into your day, do all that you can to distance yourself.  Look at the positive side of the negative people you do have to interact with.  They’re what you become if you don’t value the positive things in life.  How’s that for motivation?
  • When you shower, take a few deep breaths and repeat your affirmations about how kick-ass awesome you are.
  • When you’re lying in bed at night, just before you fall asleep, meditate on your positive affirmations.  If something has been bothering you, look at the positive side of whatever problem it is and come up with one step toward either fixing it or accepting it.

See?  You can squeeze in almost all of these things without getting up crazy early in the morning or staying up ridiculously late at night.  Just adding these to your day will help you to feel happier and more positive about each day.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Are there things that you do every day to make you happy?  What would you add to this list?  Let me know in the comments!

Looking to be a happier, more positive person in the New Year?  These 9 quick tips won't take any extra time out of your day and they actually work!  My favorite is number 6!

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