Happiness is fleeting. In my life, the feeling of being happy shifts like the weather – the only surety is a change in and out and in again of happiness.
I’m imagining you might relate? It’s rare for anyone to be happy every day. (By-the-way, being joyful is a different story from the average happy moment. Read some thoughts about JOY here.)
Most of us merely want to have more happy days than we’re already experiencing.
Just like choosing to live in one part of the continent with more days of sunshine, than a different part of the continent with fewer sunny days, we do have the choice to structure our lives to experience more moments of happiness.
Is every day sunny? No. Will every moment be happy? Of course not. However, you can…
Structure your happiness – 100 days experiment!
Just so you know, I don’t think you need a special book, app or planner to take action toward structuring more happiness in your life. Purchasing something isn’t necessary. You could design your own map, print your own tracking pages, or just use a plain notebook to make notes.
The idea is to have a plan and then track progress over a period of time.
I ordered the 100-day Happiness Planner for my birthday a few years ago. It was during a hard time. No tragedies – just life.
During this time I felt like I needed to take strong, decisive steps to structure my days to include opportunities to feel happy. I looked at many programs, considered creating one of my own, and then – for my needs – I decided to invest in the 100-day Happiness Planner.
This resource provided certain properties I needed:
a short period – 100 days is just over 3 months – to try new ways to structure my days/weeks and experiment with specific goals
no particular dates (undated) so I could write in my own dates and begin/end as I chose.
opportunity for reflection – questions and room to journal my thoughts
planning space for daily and weekly events
space to record thankfulness every day/week
a way to track what I was learning via Scripture and actively listening in church services
positive affirmations (although, I replaced some with God-honoring statements for the ones I didn’t like.)
This site, PostiveThanksLiving.com grew out of my time working in the 100-day Happiness Planner.
What do you need to structure happiness into your life?
More happy moments may not happen all by themselves. Sometimes we need a boost, a trigger, or a tool.
I hope this site, which grew from my time of reflection, can be a boost and trigger for your life. My goal is to provide positivity and gratitude prompts so we all have what we need to add some happiness into our life.
What other tools to structure happiness could you use?
Maybe you need to focus on adding some healthy boundaries to your life? This is a good book to learn how to do that.
Perhaps you feel it’s time to pursue deepening your marriage.
Rob and I talk about this book with couples all the time. It’s practical and easy to implement, no matter in what state your relationships exists.
Have you ever done a “vision board”? In simple terms, it’s a collection of photos/images of what you’re working toward pasted or printed onto one paper. (I couldn’t find a resource to link to here, so I guess I’ll be creating one in the future!)
What other tools do you need?
Leave a comment – what has helped you find more happiness in your life in the past?
Caroline Webb, Economist, and former McKinsey partner says,
“Acknowledge the constraints, then identify the wriggle room within and around them…”
This process is what she calls realistic optimism.
What is the ideal?
What’s the first step toward to ideal?
where have you succeeded before – use that!
how and what have you learned from past endeavors that you could translate to this?
who could help you get a step toward your ideal?
Optimists (realistic optimists according to Caroline Webb) get into discovery mode once they’ve acknowledged the constraints…
In which area do you need to enter discovery mode?
In which areas could you get out of your fight or flight mode and into discovery? Where can you identify the constraints and move on toward the ideal situation? Leave a comment!
On a personal note, perhaps one of the reasons I found this interesting is because of my values. Rob and I have identified three shared values as a couple: Loyalty, Optimism, and Discovery. We use our values when we make decisions. If you’re interested, you can read more about this idea of shared values and our value of discovery HERE.
What sticks in your brain? Have you ever heard a melody and it kept going ’round and ’round in your head for the rest of the day (or night)? If you like the song, then that’s OK – but if you don’t… well, it can drive you batty!
And it’s the same with our thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts we think are helpful for our behavior, and sometimes they aren’t.
Wouldn’t it be good to have sticky positive thoughts going ’round our head rather than those stinky negative ones?
Sticky Positive Thoughts
Let’s get some sticky positive thoughts into our brains… Do any of these resonate with you?
I’m loved and wanted.
My time will come – I can be happy when others succeed.
Find your optimism for what you need to achieve – and your hope and confidence will follow!
Achieving a goal.
I’m working on a goal. Am I confident I’ll achieve it? Hmm… I do hope so! Over the next 30 days (April 2019) I’m participating in a writing challenge and if I look at all Helen Keller achieved, I have no excuse whatsoever! So, I’ll adopt her attitude and begin.
Who inspires you?
Perhaps a mentor? Or a historical persona? Do you have people you’d like to emulate?
Leave a comment – let’s inspire each other!
Need more encouragement for achieving a goal? Below are few articles to prompt some optimism – click the links on the images.
Be thankful for the one. One step forward, one page written, one child encouraged, one heart strengthened, one person eating well, one bed made, one load of laundry folded, one desire fulfilled, one prayer answered, one smile, one…
Never underestimate the one thing.
Every book began with a page of writing, and every blog began with that first post. A relationship begins with a smile between two people. The knowledgable person began their journey with one item of information. New forests begin with one tree. (I was reminded by this post.) Revolutionary technology begins with an idea. Each business starts with one client.
One. It could be the start of something big!
I’m encouraging you to be thankful for one thing – that first item, or the next one thing on your list. Why? Because it has value. (And yes, I’m talking to myself also.)
It’s so easy to gloss over what you’ve already accomplished because you’re desperately focused on all you have yet to add to your resume.
One way to appreciate the “joy of the start” is by being thankful.
Be thankful for the one thing.
I challenge you to write down what you’re thankful for – today. The one thing. Just one thing. What one action have you taken that holds value? (And value is subjective – you decide.) Here are some ideas on how to record it:
Set yourself up for success. Choose something to pursue that will be easy to reach – at least in the beginning. And if you have a large goal in mind, then divide it into smaller bits and pieces. You are capable of SO much!
Yes, you need to know your trajectory, but try not to get hung up on your speed. There’s always a pace you’d rather be experiencing, but it might not be what’s really happening. At least right now.
Forward is forward – your speed doesn’t matter.
Speed is personal. What I think is fast might not be fast to you – and vise versa. So, maybe, if we champing at the bit or feeling “less than”, we all need to do a little insight gathering.
What’s insight gathering? It’s reaching out to others to learn on a topic that’s relevant to you both. It could be formal, or informal. It’s often used in business and marketing. Do you have a group of peers with whom you share? Maybe a little chat is a good thing if you’re hung up on your speed. Just remember – you are unique, so stay away from comparing.
Give yourself a break.
Forward is still moving toward the direction you’ve chosen. Your speed will vary according to the season you’re in… some seasons don’t lend themselves to a fast trajectory. And sometimes, unbeknownst to us, a slower pace will get us further. You may be gathering speed for a future burst!
Graphing your progress – an idea:
I’ve been learning about bullet journaling, and there’s an interesting graph concept used in this process. It shows pace over time… take a look at what I mean when tracking healthy habits or for business tracking.
How have you dealt with moving slower than (you or others) expected in an area? Any advice?
Leave a comment and share – (see… that’s me, asking for insight! LOL)
Our inner push to set goals or our outer need for achievement and affirmation can poison our current spot. How to deal with the issue of comparison-itis? Read this…
Is he right? Maybe. Maybe not. From my personal experience, finishing is more difficult than starting… but not everyone is alike. For some it’s starting that’s a barrier. Either way, to finish anything you do need to begin.
As I write this note to you, it’s a popular time of year to start something. (New Years.) Each year I choose a particular word to focus on during that year, as opposed to resolving to do something new or different. What do you do?
Not everyone is a fan of resolutions at the beginning of the calendar year – of getting started on better ways of living because of a date on the calendar. Regardless of your opinion of resolutions, I wish you happy starting, continuing and finishing.
And just remember that anytime is a good time to start!
Happy New Year.
Is there something you’re starting, or you’ve begun that you’re keen on continuing? Leave a comment…
(For me, I’m not even starting a new “word” this year – I’m doing a second year on the word “thankful”. It feels like that’s a big enough word to last two years! )
Need some encouragment on getting started?- read this!
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
We don’t need a new year to hope for something new to begin – true hope is found in the One who makes everything new.
It’s not too late. You’re enough. You’ve done enough preparation.
(I’m cheering you on!)
Remind yourself – click HERE to download the wallpaper photo below for your smartphone.
I’ve been reading this book… and that’s what has prompted today’s post. Our inner dialogue impacts what we begin and finish. One of Neil Fiore’s suggesions when you find yourself overwhelmed by a task, perhaps feeling unequal to all the effort it’ll take, is to work on the project for a half hour, and then record on your calendar your progress. It’s part of taking credit for the work you’ve done. You’re proving to yourself that you can.