When I ask audiences to share five of their favorite things to do that make them happy, there is a long pause. Next I’ll ask what they don’t like or makes them unhappy. Immediately they all start commenting. Their list appears to be endless. People don’t automatically know what they like, because they simply do no take the time to give it much thought. Here are several things on my list.
Early in the morning when it is still dark and quiet
Sharing a good belly laugh with a friend.
Walking on the trail by the river
Holding a purring cat on my lap
Taking a long hot shower
Long walks on the beach
Riding in a speed boat on a nice sunny day
Sitting in front of a warm fire
Acting silly with my grandchildren
Watching America’s Funniest Videos
Think of ten or more things you enjoy? The next time you are feeling frustrated, tired or overwhelmed, just take a deep breath and read your list. It will put a smile on your face and give you something to look forward to doing. Change your thinking and you will change your mood.
For years I diligently wrote my list of New Year resolutions. In all of my life I can’t remember a year when I checked off even one thing. How about you? With the first day of the new year, did you think of it as a fresh start and make a list of resolutions with the intention they will dramatically improve your life, bring you happiness, make you look or feel better, generate more income or guarantee success?
Writing New Year resolutions is wrong. I think they are constant reminders of what we don’t want and what we don’t have.
For example, “Lose Weight” is on more people’s list than any other resolution and it is also the most repeated year after year. First, this has a negative implication and constant reminder you are not the size you want to be. When you repeat it again the following year, it reminds you that you continue to be a failure with this one resolution.
If “Lose Weight” was on your list this year (again), edit it to “Eat Healthy” because the result of eating healthy is actually losing weight. Reinforce this with visual images. At the grocery store take pictures of fruit and vegetable displays with your phone or buy a food magazine and tape some of the pictures on your refrigerator, your monitor and the dashboard of your car. (I was going to suggest securing one with a rubber band or paper clip to your debit card, but by the time you would see this one, you would have already eaten.)
To stay focused and on track, write down the positive results you will gain from “eating healthy.” Several suggestions are “I will feel better, I will feel full, I will have more energy, I will be healthier, I will reach my target weight.” Think about this and let me know how many other positive results you can add to this list.
Give this a try and let me know if this shift in thinking will help you reach your goal so you won’t have to write this on your New Year resolutions list again next year. By the way, I have confidence in you that you can achieve this and cross it off of your list before next year rolls around.