I'm not going to kid myself or anyone else by thinking I've got life figured out. I'm like everyone else with so much that I still struggle to get. But there IS something that I absolutely positively know: If you want something better than you have, you have to take action to get it.
If you want to be happier, you have to practice happiness as a lifestyle. Thinking about how badly things are in some area of your life is NOT going to get you anywhere.
Talking about all the things that are wrong in your life? Nope.
Reading self-help books? No.
You've got to DO something; you've got to change the way you THINK. So you set out to be happier. You set a resolution or a goal. You read self-help books, you start a gratitude journal, and you have a few REALLY great days.
And then? Life gets back in the way again.
So how do you make happiness a lifestyle instead of a failed resolution?
1. Take responsibility for where you are.
You'll never ever be able to achieve true happiness with the belief that someone or something else is keeping you stuck where you are. Stop giving away your power! You've chosen your path, which means you absolutely have the ability to choose something better. Choosing that better path isn't always the easiest and may have consequences that are difficult, but, in the end, YOU are the only person responsible for how you feel. When you own that, you realize you can create whatever you desire.
2. Keep your new desired lifestyle highly visible.
Find ways to keep your new behaviors and desired happier lifestyle in front of you. Just like if your goal is to hit the gym every morning, you might put your workout clothes and shoes out as a visible reminder, use the same process for your mental makeover. Change your screen saver to a quote that inspires you, start each day with an inspirational message, wear a piece of jewelry or keep an object on you that you have infused with your new intention.
3. Find accountability partners.
Yes, true and lasting change has to be internally driven. But there's a reason people hire personal trainers when they're trying to get healthy. When we're first starting a new lifestyle, it helps to have a support system in place. Accountability encourages continued forward movement and motivates us not to give up. Find someone who desires the same things you do and hold each other accountable.
4. Give up the all-or-nothing attitude.
I don't care who you are or how enlightened you already are, you're never going to be perfect. You'll have days while you're practicing your new lifestyle that you don't get it right, and days you don't even want to try.
Take a day (or two) off. When you take vacations from your job, you don't do it thinking that when you get back you have to relearn everything you've done. You just pick up where you left off. It's the same with lifestyle vacation days. Let your brain rest from all the rewiring it's been doing, and pick up where you left off in a few days. A few days off doesn't mean giving up. It's not all or nothing.
A happy lifestyle is no different from any other new habit you want to develop. The secrets to success are the same. And if you want something you've never had, you've just got to do something you've never done and then practice it.
You get to create ANY life you want. You simply have to stop thinking about what you don't want, focus on what you DO and then take the actions to make it happen.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock