Different people define happiness in different ways.
Some of us wait for happiness to happen, or we look for happiness “out there” instead of where it really is – right here, inside us.
Others grit-and-bear-it through life hoping for happiness and that sense of fulfillment in the future. They defer their dreams out of fear, working jobs they hate, and numbing feelings of being unfulfilled with TV, food, and Internet distractions.
But happiness and that sense of fulfillment doesn’t need to be put off for later. You can be happy now, in your current situation, while you build a life you love.
For us, happiness is the sense of fulfillment and purpose that we get from making a living doing work that we love.
Happiness blossoms from cultivating gratitude for all that we have, while working toward creating the life we want.
Happiness and feeling fulfilled is within your grasp, right now.
The difference between a happy, fulfilled person and the person who feels unfulfilled, is the daily rituals they have, so turn these steps into daily rituals and watch how your life changes!
Commit to putting these 25 steps into practice in your own life.
No, you don’t have to do all 25 of them starting tomorrow.
Start with one, or a few, and add more over time.
1. Make Your Happiness A Priority
Instead of waiting for things in your life to give you happiness, decide that you are going to be happy today, right now, no matter what.
Happiness isn’t something that happens to us, or that we must wait for. We can create happiness now.
2. Have Fun & Laugh, Every Day
American silent film star, Charlie Chaplin, once said: “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
While work, kids, errands, and chores tends to push many of the fun things off of the to-do list, don’t forget to make laughter a priority.
Watch or listen to something funny every day!
3. Focus On The Positive Outcome
Too often, we get caught up in imagining worst case scenarios. Or we don’t allow ourselves to imagine our dreams coming to fruition.
Spend some energy focusing on positive outcomes – even for bad situations. Dwelling on the negative blinds you to seeing potential positive outcomes.
Remind yourself that everything is figureoutable!
4. Live An Authentic and Meaningful Life
Be true to yourself and don’t ever be afraid to live in line with your values.
It doesn’t matter what people think or say, live the way you want to live.
Ask yourself what you want in life? What’s the most important thing to you?
Don’t worry about what people might say.
5. Start Creating Your Own Happiness
Stop relying on people, things, and situations to make you happy. You need to cultivate your own happiness by practicing gratitude and self acceptance.
6. Abandon Habits That Don’t Serve You
Pick one bad habit that you really want to change or give up. Starting today, take one step toward changing that habit (i.e.: smoke one less cigarette, clear the clutter off one shelf, or replace your customary soft drink with water.)
Replace old habits with new habits that will help you create a life you love. (ex: write one page of your novel, draw one picture, practice one song on a guitar).
7. Learn To Forgive
This one is hard to do, but holding grudges keeps you trapped. Dwelling on wrongs committed against you doesn’t avenge the wrong, nor does it bring about justice. All it does is poison you.
So as hard as it is, forgive (but you don’t have to forget). Just let go of your need for vengeance and move forward with building a positive life.
8. Start Spending Time With Positive People
If your closest friend(s) are addicted to drama, or need to constantly vent, then it’s time to find new friends who have a positive outlook on life.
If you want to go further in life, you need to hang out with people who are where you want to be.
Do your friends inspire you?
9. Keep A Journal & Reconnect With Your Thoughts
Daily journaling helps to clear my head and solve problems quickly.
I highly recommend writing 2-3 pages of stream-of-consciousness every morning when you wake up. If you can’t write in the morning, write when you can (lunch break, right before bed).
Journaling breaks down “thought clutter” so that you can reconnect with a clearer, wiser self.
10. Cultivate A Deep Friendship With A Few People
It doesn’t matter how many people you know. You can have 5,000 friends on Facebook but still feel isolated and lonely.
Instead of trying to accumulate as many “friends” as possible, focus on cultivating a deep relationship with a few.
11. Speak Well About Yourself (But Don’t Brag)
Learn to recognize when you are putting yourself down, either through self-depreciating humor with others, or in the thoughts you have when you look at yourself in the mirror.
Turn your self-insults into compliments. Tell yourself you are worth it!
12. Daily Rituals
Don’t forget to take time out of your day to breath and reconnect with yourself.
Create a daily ritual that you will look forward to every day. It can be mediating for 10 minutes, yoga, or even drinking your morning coffee or tea with headphones on listing to relaxing music.
Or take the earbuds out and take in the sounds of birds and wind rustling leaves.
Take 10 minutes a day to reconnect with your own thoughts.
13. Find Happiness In The Little Things
We tend to look for happiness in big things – moving into a new home, buying a better car, getting a raise, or buying something that we’ve always wanted.
But the big things are not daily things.
So pay attention to the mundane things that bring happiness like flowers in the spring, or the sweet smell of the garden warmed by the sun after a rainstorm. Or the gentle squeeze of a hug from a small child.
14. Believe In Your Ability To Achieve Your Goals
You have goals and dreams for your future. But do you truly believe that you will achieve your dream?
Your mindset is what is really holding you back from pursuing a life you love and that you are passionate about.
You need to believe that you can create a life you love.
15. Develop Good Self-Care Habits
Exercise a few days a week, eat healthy most of the time, and get enough sleep.
Be kind to yourself physically as well as emotionally.
16. Help The People Around You
Helping others feels good, so look for ways to improve somebody else’s life – even through tiny gestures.
Small things like writing a check to a charity, or dropping off healthy food at a food pantry is something we call can do.
When you can, pay for someone’s coffee or the order behind you at the drive-through. Or buy lunch for a homeless person.
Too many things, too many activities, and too many choices can cause stress and decrease happiness. Pick a few things that are important for you to do or achieve and skip the rest.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “less is more”. When it comes to life, less (stuff, obligations, etc…) often means more happiness.
Slowing down will also help you find the time and potential opportunities to pursue your passion.
18. Start Genuinely Being Yourself
Stop trying to change how you are for others. This will only cause frustration down the road. Show people who you are and if they don’t love the real you, let them go.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” — Bernard M. Baruch
Once you learn to accept who you are (and stop trying to be who you aren’t), you’ll make room for happiness.
19. Cultivate Realistic Thinking
Think big with your goals and dreams, but give yourself a realistic time frame. Don’t let frustration derail your motivation.
If your goal is to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes, but you gained 30 pounds, you CAN lose the weight, but not in a week.
Define your goals and then prepare to put in the work over time to achieve them.
20. Learn To Accept Your Body
Everyone has flaws – everyone! Even the Photoshopped and airbrushed models you see in magazines and TV have flaws.
Your imperfections are part of what makes you, you. Look in the mirror and find what you love about your body.
21. Slow Down and Take Breaks
Slow down. Breath. Give yourself permission to pause and collect your thoughts periodically throughout the day.
It is okay to stop for a few minutes and do nothing.
22. Acknowledge Your Feelings
It’s okay to be angry or sad. These are real emotions and sometimes they need to be felt, or addressed.
If you never work though your hurt and anger, you will find they consume you.
It’s not weakness if you feel sad, angry, envious, or hopeless. These are normal human emotions. Own them, but don’t let these emotions make decisions, or direct your life.
Take time out to feel the emotions and address the problem rather than bottle it up inside.
23. It’s Okay To Work Towards Your Goals
It is not selfish to want to achieve big things in life. Just because you are a mom, dad, wife, or husband, doesn’t mean that you can’t write a book or start your own blog.
Don’t put your dreams on hold for any reason. Even if you only work on it for an hour a day. It’s a start and that time adds up.
Little by little you will be able to carve out more time to pursue your dreams.
You have to start sometime. Now is a great time.
24. Focus On The Things You Have, Not On What You Want
The grass is always greener on someone else’s lawn. Focusing on what you don’t have will not make you happy.
And getting what you want will never be enough. There will always be something you don’t have or can’t afford.
Focusing on what you have will remind you that you have more than you think.
25. Fake It
Studies show that if your face is in a smiling position, it sends signals to your brain that you are happy.
You may feel weird smiling when you have “nothing to smile about”, but try it. You may find that this simple gesture gives you a mood boost.
One trick you can do is to put a pen in your mouth. This helps you hold the smiling position.
We hope you find these tips helpful. Please leave a comment below and tell us what you do to boost happiness and fulfillment in your own life.
About Davy & Tracy
Hey there! We're Davy & Tracy Russell, the husband-and-wife team behind this website. We help trailblazers break through barriers so they can turn their passion into their life's work through entrepreneurship. How can we help you?