So happy to have the sweet Diana taking over today! She’s the writer behind one of the most inspiring spaces online, This Imperfect Happiness. Today she has tips to help you start your 2016 on a happy foot! Happy New Year!
Four Ways to be Happier in 2016
Happy New Year! Bourbon Lipstick and Stiletto readers! I’m Diana and I write over at This Imperfect Happiness. I started TIH with the intention to live a happy life even through all the imperfect moments. I hope over there I can inspire you to be happy about the life you are already living and give you some tips along the way to make life just a little bit better.
Wow! Just like that, it’s 2016! If you are waking up in a hungover induced haze this morning thinking that you need to change your life this year, then you’re not alone. Many people use the new year as a clean slate to try to better themselves.
Enter the New Years resolution—dun dun dunnnnn!!!!
Ok, so a lot of us use the New Year to make a resolution to be better in some way. According to Business Insider, the top resolutions for 2016 are:
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Live a healthier lifestyle
- Lose weight
- Spend more time with family and friends
- Save more, spend less
- Pay down debt
Now, I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of resolutions. By the first week 25% of resolutions are already broken and almost 40% aren’t carried through past the first month. The problem with a New Year’s resolution is they’re usually made with no real game plan. However I’m all for setting goals in the new year, but you need a game plan. Last year, I wrote a whole series of posts on goal setting (read part one, two, and three here).
Real change comes from small sustainable changes in habits over time.
So, I’m not exactly going to give you advice about most of those resolutions on that list, but I did want to concentrate on one: “Enjoy life to the fullest” which was the top resolution reported by 41% of the people polled. That means almost half of us want to lead a happier life.
Well how exactly do we live life to the fullest? It seems like that should be an easy task right? I guess if it was though, so many people wouldn’t be making it their resolution for the New Year. Here are four easy ways you can live a better life in 2016.
Put down the Social Media
Remember this—people lie on social media. Or rather, they don’t tell the whole truth, they only show the good parts of their lives. Everyone does it even you. Even me! Heck, I’m not going to post about how I haven’t moved from my couch all weekend as I was binge watching Jessica Jones, but it happens.
Spend less time on social media. I deleted my Facebook app last year and only look at it on the web. It helps a little, and I love not having a million notifications popping up on my phone all the time. I’ve also been slowly getting rid of other miscellaneous notifications I get from other apps on my phone. The less I pick up my phone, the less I’m tempted to be on some type of social media site.
Live in the Moment
There are actually studies that show that people are more satisfied with their life if they stay present. This even includes doing things you don’t want to do. For example, I have a long commute to and from work. Some evenings it feels never ending. If I’m constantly thinking about all the things I could be doing instead of driving, I make myself irritable and angry by the time I walk in the door, especially if it was a particularly long drive.
Instead, I’ve started to push those thoughts about all those things I could be doing because the reality is, I can’t do them at that moment. Right at that moment I’m driving and I need to concentrate on the road. I may not want to do it, but I need to do it (living in the moment isn’t always fun). So I take a couple of breaths and tell myself that “this is what you are doing right this moment. You can’t change that so just accept it”. That little shift in my mindset helps me feel less irritable and angry about the things I hate to do.
Spend Money on Experiences Not Things
Again, studies have shown that we get more happiness out of experiences instead of things. My husband and I have been in the middle of a major purge, and having less stuff is so refreshing. Of course, do whatever you want with your money, but I have found that I usually don’t need all the things that I say I need. Like when we got new couches and I said I hated the pillows and was going to immediately get new ones. Four years later those pillows still sit on the couch. Would the new ones make me happier? Maybe for a moment, but the money I could have spend on them, we instead choose to go out for a night with friends and that will always make me happier than any pillow would.
Be Kind to Others
One way to pick yourself up when you’re feeling down is to be kind to others. Doing acts of kindness, studies once again have proven make us just a bit happier in our everyday life. There are so many ways you can share a little kindness with others. Just a small smile or kind words when someone is feeling down can go a long way to making you both feel better.
In fact, you want some ideas on some small acts of kindness you can do in 2016, please head over to my blog today where I’m sharing a list of 52 Acts of Kindness for 2016. I have enough acts that you can do one act a week all year! I hope you’ll participate along with me.
Whatever you do or don’t decide to do as far as resolutions are concerned in 2016. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year. I hope it’s one of your best years yet!