Monday, December 30, 2013

My (Very Accurate and Simple) Guide to Happiness

Well here we are again, the end of another year. We are all a little older, hopefully a little wiser, and definitely a little fuller after this holiday season. When sitting down at the coffee shop yesterday with my lovely sister to write our New Year's resolutions I found myself getting a bit discouraged. 

Upon finishing my list I realized that it was pretty much the same as last year’s. And the year before. And the year before. With the exceptions of a few changes, like you know, instead of “get good grades” I now have “Don’t fail” and “make money” has now been replaced with “don’t go broke”, the lists are almost identical. It seems as if every year I, and I am sure you feel this way too, expect to be happier. And it seems as if I except that I will achieve ultimate happiness simply by losing weight, making more money, and having unrealistic expectations of what I can achieve in one year. Ummm wrong. Now I am no expert on happiness, but I am pretty sure that if your New Year’s resolution has anything on it that resembles “get skinny”, “make money”, and “find true love” that happiness is not in your future. Sure it may be, I don’t want to sound like a negative Nancy or doubting Debby, but it seems a bit unrealistic. That’s because we set such big goals for ourselves. When you have a giant goal on your list, like “find true love”, it is incredibly intimidating. Something that big can’t happen over night, same with getting skinny and making lots of money. It takes baby steps. However, when we only have the end goal on our list it is hard to know where to begin and so we end up just giving up. Resulting in the same list being made every December 31st.
So, here is what I propose. That instead of making solely a list of GINORMOUS GOALS, we make a second list of baby steps that will allow us to achieve the big goals. For example, under “get skinny” have “go to the gym at least 3 times a week, make homemade meals, and eliminate fast food”. Under “make money” have “make a resume, apply for jobs, and get hired”, or if you already have a job have “create a savings account, stop unnecessary purchases such as Lattes, and invest”. Under “find true love” have “leave the house at least once a week, get rid of the cat (NEVER), and learn to talk to strangers”. That way, even if you don’t necessarily achieve the big goals, you can at least say you accomplished something and that glowing feeling of accomplishment will bring a smile to your pinched up face and VOILA! Happiness.

May your NYE parties be a blast and may you not start the new year with too bad of a headache.
See you in 2014 my friends!