As the clock strikes midnight and the new year is ushered in, the focus shifts from the memories of the past year to the resolutions of the new year. While the energetic motivation behind some resolutions fizzles out before Valentine's Day, some resolutions really are worth pursuing.
Do you want more happiness in your life? Here are 14 resolutions that, if you follow, can bring much happiness to your family during this year.
14 resolutions that will make you happier
There's a reason why being yourself feels so good. It's liberating, it's effortless, and it's empowering. Hiding who you are is a lot of work and is very limiting. Embrace who you are and shine.
Be intentional with your inner circle
Jim Rohn puts it the best: "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." Surround yourself with positive, encouraging, loving, and supportive people. This is especially true for kids and their friends; children are so impressionable. Choose your friends wisely.
Stand up for family and friends
Honesty is more than just telling the truth. Honesty also means speaking up when a lie is spoken. If a coworker makes fun of another coworker, say something. Teach your children to do the same in the school cafeteria. Living a life untethered from gossip will make you much happier.
Research tells us that volunteering has a direct impact on our happiness levels. A study from the London School of Economics demonstrated that the more people volunteer, the happier they are.
Sleep is essential for the human body to function properly. While many people get away with a slightly less-than-optimal amount of sleep, it is important to note that proper sleep affects your happiness level. Why? Matthew Berkeley, a scientist from UC Berkeley, reported that poor sleep quantity and quality causes the emotional systems in the brain to "run amok." Doesn't sound like an optimal environment for happy thoughts!
As more awareness is being spread about the dangers of processed foods, more and more studies are revealing how food can contribute to happiness. Dr. Joe Hibbeln conducted a study and found a link between fat in the diet and emotional health. When diets are based on processed foods, the brain is denied healthy fats like Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which are essential for brain health. Eating a diet rich in organic produce, lean meats, whole grains, and health fats ensures that the body can work to the best of its ability, and that includes the brain health too!
Cultivate your unique gifts
This is similar to the first resolution (be yourself), but this resolution requires you to act on it. Why will this make you happier? By fostering hobbies, you will feel satisfied (and thus happier) by witnessing you grow in your own gifts.
Use respectful language
While this seems like just plain old manners, it's easy to lose track of respectful language. A driver cuts you off and you yell at him. Sound familiar? We then get angry at this driver and spend the next 10 minutes fuming. 10 minute of our life fuming at a total stranger. Use respectful language in all you do. Don't waste your precious moments on degrading or disrespectful language - even if the offender cannot hear you.
Choose your battles wisely
When I was younger, my dad would say "I'm not gonna die on that battlefield." I didn't get it at first, but he meant that he knew when to pick his battles. In doing so, we saved himself the stress (annoyance, energy) by not arguing with me. Whether you are 10 or 90, this is good advice. If you battle all the time, you will have no energy left to be happy.
Never stop learning
Read! Attend seminars. Watch a documentary. Keep your brain challenged.
Participate in hard work
Why does hard work make you happier? BBC published an article on the effects of hard work on happiness. Swedish researchers from Gothenburg University demonstrated that hard work is good for emotional health because it is the actual process of working towards a goal that makes people more satisified than the actual reaching of the goal. Emotional highs (without working) dissipated much quicker than emotional highs that followed a period of hard work.
Control your emotions
With emotions running unchecked, it can be hard to experience the joy in your life. Emotions are part of life; we all experience an incredible range of emotions, but that doesn't mean that we are defined by those emotions nor does it mean that those emotions control us. The first step to controlling your emotions is acknowledging them. Once you are aware of your emotions, it is much easier to work through them.
What better way to be happier than to practice positivity! Every day, make it a point to practice positivity. This could be something as simple as thinking about the highlights of your day as you snuggle into bed. Or, it could be something like keeping a daily journal of all of your positive moments.
The best way to be happier is love. Spread love everywhere you go. This doesn't mean just rainbows and butterflies. Love isn't a feeling; it is a decision; it is to willingly act for the good of another. Love is holding a door open. Love is giving the last piece of cake to your husband. Love is reading the extra bedtime story when you just want to go to bed. Love is making your spouse's morning routine easier by making his/her lunch. Love is going the extra mile to make sure your child is comforted. There are infinite ways to show love. Love. Love alone is the key to happiness. Let everything you do be rooted in love.
Are you committing to any of these resolutions? Let us know!
Wife & Mama with a passion for peaceful parenting, natural living, homeschooling... and my daily café au lait.