Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Habits of Happiness

Pick up happiness habits. Photo / Thinkstock
Pick up happiness habits. Photo / Thinkstock

This new series expands on the foundation of the 10 happiness principles we covered in the happiness audit. It's called habits of happiness and it's a natural next step from the principles we have already discussed. Our habits are SO important. We literally are our habits. Our life is a manifestation of the habits we keep as we are what we repeatedly do.

Habits are woven through every moment of our waking life: The habit of being on time.
The habit of drinking plenty of water. Or wine. The habit of listening well. The habit of talking over others. The habit of avoiding conflict. The habit of kissing our partner good morning. The habit of working late. The habit of doing everything for everyone. The habit of walking the dog each morning. Habits. Habits. Habits.
We are all a multitude of habits. Some are working for us, and others may be old, or outdated, or just plain unhelpful.

Change can be hard to make in life. We get settled in our comfort zone, and even though we may not be that happy much of the time, there is much comfort in familiarity. Moving towards creating a happier life and being the person we want to be requires change and a conscious shift out of that comfort zone. That change can be hard to sustain. The reason for this is that we often try to make change using willpower alone.
Willpower is a finite resource and eventually it runs out. We join the gym with the intention of going four times a week for an hour each time as we want to be this fitter, thinner healthier version of ourselves. And for the first few weeks, while the willpower reserves are high, we do it.
Then, before long a stressful day with a few unexpected chores or issues crops up and we miss our session. And then the next day is "too busy" And before we know it that gym membership is something we see only once a month on the bank statement. Our willpower, although a force to be reckoned with, is often not enough to make lasting change stick and we slip back into comfortable old habits.
Making change that lasts is far more powerful when we look at developing a series of positive habits or rituals. Think about cleaning your teeth for example. That is a positive health ritual in your life that requires no effort: it's an automatic part of your day. No willpower involved and it happens twice a day, every day, no matter what. That's the sort of ease and effortlessness that we want to tap into.
Effective change is more often than not a thousand small choices, not one big decision. To create the life you want you need to exercise these muscles of making small positive choices and consciously examine our habits. We are going to examine a different habit of happiness each week, so you have a bite-sized happiness takeaway each week.
Something to think about, something to try, something to learn, something to do. We are going to layer tiny change on tiny change to build momentum that propels you forward to a life you absolutely love!
I recommend you buy yourself a journal or notebook to keep some notes of your journey in. I will also be creating some worksheets and checklists for you as we go along that you will be able to get from my website positivebalance.co.nz to support your journey. You just need to sign up for the newsletter list so you are in the loop.

We are going to explore in depth the following areas as we move forward each and every week to a more fulfilled, connected, simpler and happier life.
1. Blitz limiting beliefs
2. Create a compelling vision of what you want
3. Develop body love
4. Declutter inside and out
5. Practice emotional honesty
6. Know and love who you are
7. Cherish consciously chosen relationships
8. Develop resilience and radiate positive energy
9. Manage time like a ninja
10. Get clean with money
11. Do what you love
12. Take action make change!
So, commit to yourself, and continue the journey with me with the habits of happiness.
Action step
Buy yourself a pretty journal or workbook that you can make notes in as we work through this series.

Louise Thompson is a life coach, yoga teacher and corporate escapee. For more from Louise visit www.positivebalance.co.nz

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