Focus On Little Things That Make You Happier

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Does the economic news make you anxious and stressed? In 2009, focusing on the positive may be more important than ever, says life strategist Valorie Burton, author of How Did I Get So Busy? The 28-Day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule and Reconnect with What Matters Most (Broadway).

Research confirms that if you create more happiness in your everyday life, you're more likely to get that new job, spend less, attract friendships and be healthier. "People aim for success, believing it will bring happiness, but studies show it works the other way around -- happiness brings greater success," says Burton, who has coached clients in 40 states and seven countries. "Sprinkle uplifting moments throughout your day." Positive emotions help you manage stress.

Commit to small changes that reconnect you with the people and things that matter most:

1. Create "fun goals" -- things you'll do for fun at least once a week

2. Stop hoarding vacation time. Take out the calendar and schedule time off in 2009

3. Take a daily walk with a loved one

4. Sit down as a family for dinner (only 28% of Americans do)


5. Tame your technology habits by having "no email periods" throughout the day

6. Before going to bed, write down three things you are grateful for (You'll sleep better)

7. Say "no" more, so you can say "yes" to the things that matter

8. Get in "flow" with challenging, enjoyable activities

9. Stop eating lunch at your desk (75% of Americans do), and eat with a friend

10. Every day, do something kind for someone.

Keep resolutions specific and measurable. Burton advises:

-- Set goals that are authentic and meaningful.
-- Be flexible and make adjustments as you go.
-- Mark dates to check in on your goals.
-- Partner with someone who will hold you accountable.