Happiness is not something you achieve, but rather, something you create for yourself.
I am a firm believer that in order to be healthy, you must at first, be happy. It doesn't matter what you put on your plate or your reflection in mirror if you are miserable. Practicing gratitude, hardwiring happiness, and learning to fully love myself are all parts of the puzzle that I slowly pieced together to become as happy as I am today and it is a wish I want for all YOU in 2017.
Being happy is not a constant thing - it requires effort at times, some days more than others, but it is always worth it to choose happiness and it starts with doing MORE of what makes you happy.
It sound simple - if you like something and it makes you happy, do more of it. Stating these facts are easy, putting them into practice is hard. Life is not black and white, but a beautiful array of messy colors that never stays inside the lines. Sometimes, doing what makes you happy falls to the wayside of real life responsibilities and expectations others have of you, but I am here to tell you that your happiness does not have to come secondary to your real adult life.
In The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin one of her "Twelve Commandments" of becoming happier is to "Be Gretchen". I started focusing more on "Being Amber" a few years ago and now I want all of YOU to "Be ________________".
What does it MEAN to BE YOURSELF? It means embracing what you like and don't like and not allowing the expectations society or others have of you to cloud what truly makes you happy.
I'm 26 years old - I SHOULD like to go out and be social at bars, stay up late, and have a yearn to travel and see the world but I don't and I am OKAY with that. I'm MORE than okay with that, I am beyond happy that I am comfortable enough to be my true self and do more of what makes ME happy.
SO What does it mean to BE AMBER?
- Waking up early to have quiet ME time - 4:25 am hello!
- Meal Prepping
- Spending time in the sunshine whenever possible - even when it's 20 degrees
- Saying no to going out to the bar
- Not drinking
- Going to bed early
- Staying in instead of going out
- Hiking with my fiance
- Promoting Positive Vibes in the Work place
- Being kind to others, even if they are not kind to me
- Going to the gym when I WANT TO - not out of guilt or forced feelings
- Having a very calm approach in the classroom - no yelling!
- Loving my students and supporting them, day in and day out - even when they yell, curse, or disrespect me - I start each day with a fresh slate
But WHAT ABOUT THINGS I HAVE TO DO AND HATE?
Well, there are ALWAYS going to be things in life we don't enjoy or even HATE that we have to do but instead of focusing on how much we we dislike these tasks - reframe your mindset when doing these things to a more positive manner. For example, I HATE packing and unpacking, so much to the point that I literally will not want to go somewhere because it involves packing. Instead of loathing in my hatred - I put on some upbeat music, and re-frame my mindset to being grateful. I am grateful I have the ability to travel somewhere, I am grateful I have so many options of clothes to pack, I am grateful I have the funds to be able to pack up and go somewhere. I am grateful I am traveling to see my family. When you re-frame your mindset to a more positive one, even the tasks you hate the most, become not so bad. (Even scrubbing the toilet has a silver lining if you frame it that way - be grateful you have a toilet to even clean, or a home/apartment of your own to take care of).
How to Find the Time to DO MORE of What Makes You Happy
Little tweaks, have long lasting BIG changes.
There are only 24 hours in a day, but if you are creative enough - those 24 hours are plenty of time to do more of what makes you happy.
If painting is something you enjoy, but don't do enough, find time to make it part of your weekly routine. Wake up earlier to do it before work or the kids wake up. Or if you're a night owl, do it when everyone has settled in for the evening. If you love being outside, make it a point to park further away at the stores or work, to get in extra outside time daily and cherish those extra steps by thinking how good the fresh air feels. To ME, going to the gym is something that makes me happy, so at the start of each week, I think about my "have to do" responsibilities - meetings, housework, wedding stuff, lesson planning, etc. and what days I might have free to go to the gym. Some weeks I have more free days than others, and I've learned to accept and be okay with that. Real life priorities will always take precedent over the gym - so maybe I do a quick outdoor run, an in home work out, or nothing at all and make sure if I only get one day in out of the week - I make it a bomb work out.
- What makes YOU happy that you plan to do MORE of in 2017?
- What does it mean to be YOU?
- How will you reframe your mindset to be more positive when completing "HAVE TO DO TASKS"?