4 Steps to Increase Happiness

By Lea Goldsmith

1. Identify your goals

Write them down and keep them visible every day. Are your goals SMART?

Specific- complete a 5k on November 30

Measurable- lose two inches in waistline by December 1st

Attainable- workout 3 days a week for 30 minutes

Realistic/Relevant- eat low sugar breakfast everyday to help manage diabetes

Timelylose 5 lbs. this month and  50 lbs. by this time next year  

2. Find your motivation

What works for you may not work for someone else. Answer this question yourself: What drives you to be the best that you can be? Is it a compliment from a loved one or friend?  An old picture of yourself?  OR, are you your own worst enemy?  Are you setting up your own personal barriers to success?  After writing down your SMART principal and setting goals, write down how you would feel if you reached those goals.  Then set up your keys to success!  Write yourself notes in your lunch box to remind yourself not to grab from the vending machine. Put up that old picture on your refrigerator as a constant reminder that you want to look (and feel) good.  Bring a large water bottle to your desk every day and try to take a swig after you get off every phone call.  Most importantly, ask for support. Ask a loved one or a friend to support you on your journey towards making changes stick and soon enough you will be on the right track!

3. Positive “Self-talk”                                                                        

How you talk to yourself greatly impacts how you feel about yourself AND how others perceive you.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you mentally bash yourself when you don’t accomplish all you set out to do?
  • Do you celebrate your successes?  Even the small ones?
  • When you look in the mirror, how do you view yourself?  Do you compliment yourself?  Can you find identify the wonderful things about yourself that others see in you?
  • Would you say to someone else the things you say to yourself? You wouldn’t tell a friend that they look “awful” in that dress, would you?  Then why is it ok to tell yourself that???

Here’s an example:  You join a gym, and set a goal to workout 3 days per week. After week 1, you have worked out twice.  Do you tell yourself that you are “pathetic and you will never reach your goals if you can’t even commit on week 1?”  OR… did you do great because “2 days this week was 2 more days than you did last week!  Nice job self!”    The way you talk to yourself affects every moment of your day. So be nice to you- YOU DESERVE IT!

4. Small changes reap big results

You don’t need to overhaul your life. Start small.  

  • Take more steps each day
  • Drink more water
  • Tell someone about your goals.  The “social media effect” (I said it on Facebook, now I HAVE to accomplish it!)
  • Eat 1 more serving of vegetables each day
  • Take time to relax
  • SMILE!!!  

When you excel in one area of life, it SHOULD translate to other aspects of your life. If it doesn’t, then skip back to number 3 and reevaluate how you are talking to yourself.  Because you should be using little successes to fuel your motivation for tackling other challenges in your day AND for being proud of you! So, if you accomplish any of your goals, whether they are big or small, make sure to assess how you went about finding the motivation for reaching that goal. Then go ahead and celebrate :)

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