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Make a commitment today to cultivate happiness
What does it mean to be totally committed to something?
It often means that you set a goal and then dedicate yourself to do what it takes to reach that goal.
We commit to a relationship when we get married, we commit to a job or a career, and we may be committed to a hobby.
But today I want to focus on committing to cultivating happiness.
In my email to you today, I’ve included a downloadable Happiness Journal. I encourage you to print it out and use it over these 30 days. It will help you look back and see how your mind has shifted by following the exercises.
In yesterday’s post, I shared how at least part of how happy we are is directly related to a choice we make.
I also shared my goal of running this 30 Day Challenge to help us make a conscious decision to be happier and create new habits of having a more positive outlook.
The first step to make that happen is to make a commitment to this challenge and to happiness. This holds true for any new habit you want to engrain in yourself. The first step is always to commit to it.
From there, it’s a matter of daily practice until the new behavior or action has become a true habit.
A habit, by the way, is something you do without any conscious thought or effort. To put it in simple terms, fake it till you make it!
Our journey toward a happier version of ourselves relies on new habits the same way any significant change does. You commit to a health plan. You commit to a significant other. You commit to a great job opportunity.
We have to commit to happiness.
Of course it isn’t as easy as just saying “Ok, I’ll just be happier from now on.” It can’t hurt, but it isn’t quite that simple.
Before we can truly commit to happiness we have to define what makes us happy.
Spend some time today to reflect on what makes you happy. Also reflect on what doesn’t make you happy.
For example, if curling up on the couch with a good book makes you happy, think about why that is.
Is it because it gives you a chance to escape and forget about your own life for a while?
If so, try to pin-point what you’re hiding from when you dive into a book and what you can do about that. There’s nothing wrong with escaping from life stressed by reaching for a good book, or watching a favorite comedy. But first understand what it’s replacing.
If getting up at 6 am to go to work makes you unhappy, and changing to a later schedule isn’t an option, shift your mind and think about the positive things about getting up early.
You get to see the sun rise, you get to come home at a decent hour and have time to relax with your kids or spouse before bedtime.
I once had a job that I hated because our boss was very temperamental. My work was creating the travel documents for agents to give to their clients, as well as coordinating excursions and flights. My boss didn’t care when I worked and let me set my own hours.
I am not an early riser and it was a little scary driving when only big rig trucks were out, but I trained myself to get up at 4:30 in the morning so I could get into the office by 5:30. I put on loud music and worked alone till other people started arriving mid morning and got a ton of work done.
By the time my late-starting boss arrived around noon, I only had a few hours to put up with her shenanigans before I was done with my day. I figured out how to make my schedule work for me so that I could be happy working.
Win-Win. I had less time exposed to a very negative person and she was satisfied because I consistently got work done ahead of schedule.
Something as simple as implementing a relaxing bed-time routine and going to bed a little earlier may make it much easier to get up at 6am and improve your whole outlook on workday mornings.
We’ll dig a little deeper into what makes us happy and how we can go about cultivating more happiness in future posts.
For now, find your own personal definition of happiness and come up with at least 10 different things or people that make you happy. Then commit to using the coming days to work on becoming happier.
You won’t regret it.