How to be Happier in 2024
Updated: Jan 6
10-Tips to happiness!
Tip#1 - Declutter one area of your life
Where do you feel bogged down?
Is it in your finances?
If so, go through your bills and set up file folders for each one. Do a budget for each bill for the next 12-months. Figure out how much you need to pay each month to bring the bill down and plan to pay off at least one debt this year. Schedule a date each month to go through your bills and make sure you're on track with your goal.
Is it your diet?
If so, go through your cabinets and your fridge. Throw out anything you deem to be bogging you down. Clear out the space and clean up the messes. Now, jot down a plan to be organized with your meals. Start with breakfast, then lunch, and finally dinner. Give yourself one rule that you will live by, like, "No food after 8 p.m." Revisit your plan every month to make sure you're on track. Tweak it as you learn how to eat better for your body.
Is it your home?
If so, take one room, the one you are in most often and go to work clearing your space. Be vigilant in removing things that don't bring you peace. Clean the space, add as much light as possible and keep it up all year long. Make this one room in your home your sacred space. Light a candle or burn incense - add a real or faux plant. Every day take time to enjoy the peace and serenity of your home.
Tip#2 Breathe - Go Within
Now that you have decluttered one area of your life, start a daily ritual of going within. Start or end your day with a few moments of peaceful breathing. Allow the many thoughts bouncing around inside your mind to settle like snow in a snow globe. Then, ask your inner wisdom to rise to the surface and just breathe. You may not solve the world's problems, but you will bring inner peace and calm to yourself, your organs, and your blood pressure. You will find as the year goes on that you are happier. It doesn't have to be something you prepare for or do for any specific length of time. Just sit, close your eyes, and breathe.
Tip#3 Smile - Laughter is the Best Medicine
We are often so serious in life - be it with work, family issues, or worry over the fate of loved ones that we forget to smile. Your entire face changes when you smile. Think of a time when someone made you laugh. Watch funny cat or dog videos or spend a few minutes watching a comedian. You must find one who resonates with you otherwise you will just be annoyed. Here is a list of a few stand-up comics I like to watch:
Take a few minutes when scrolling through your social media feeds to watch some comedy and laugh!
Are you someone who feels guilty if you spend an entire day doing nothing? Do you waste those precious moments mentally chastising yourself for not doing something constructive? Well, this year allow yourself one day a week to recharge your batteries. We need days to do nothing. Even God rested on the seventh day. Even if we keep one day a week for worship, we still don't rest for the entire day. We cook, we clean, we shop and then start the entire week over with our normal, hectic routines. This year devote some of your time to rest. Not sleep. Rest. Cuddle up on your sofa or chair and do nothing that requires your energy. Binge watch a series on TV or read a book. Flip through a magazine, order take-out and have it delivered. Just rest and relax. The big R & R! Get yourself some loungewear. It looks chic and you won't feel like you stayed in your pajamas all day. If you do have to go out, you can throw on some boots or shoes and your coat and you won't feel like you're going out in your ugly sweats or your PJ's. Make it a point to chill out once in a while.
Tip#5 Create Something - We are all Creators
Like it or not we are created in the image of God. He created us and we are like Him in that we must create. Think about that for a minute - mankind has continued to create since the days of hieroglyphics on cave walls. You are like that too. While you might not create the Mona Lisa, you can create something. Write a poem that only you will see, color in a coloring book, paint your toenails, string beads together on an elastic and create a bracelet. Make homemade play dough and create with your grandkids. Start a blog. Something to share with your out-of-town family or the world! It's totally up to you. Others never need to see your creations, but your soul will be happy. Even if it's just a report for work, be creative and be happier.
Tip#6 Know that you are Never Alone
Even the most alone person who lives in a secluded area of the world by himself is never alone. We have spiritual family and friends all around us at every moment of our lives. God is within us and we have a friend to talk to all the time. Knowing that we go on after this life is such a happy thought that it's really the only thing we need to know to be happy. We do go on and those loved ones who have left the earth still walk with us, only they are in another form that our physical eyes cannot see. But know the they are there. Ask and you shall receive. Ask for a sign - you will get it. Acknowledge the sign when it comes. Smile. Be amazed! They love it when you acknowledge them. Let go of the fear that you are doing something wrong. You're not. Get out of that punitive, restrictive mindset. God loves us. He doesn't want to punish us. If we believe in Him and all that is good, we are safe and we will be saved in the end. Here are a few books that can help you understand and find your way to knowing you are not alone. You never were and you never will be.
Imagine the God of Heaven by John Burke
The Well-Lived Life by Gladys McGarey M.D.
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
Life on Earth by Mike Dooley
Tip#7 Believe in Angels - They are Real
There is no doubt that angels exist. Stories about how they have interacted with us abound. One of the most difficult things for us as human beings is to believe in things we can't see, hear, or touch. When the disciples asked Jesus why he wouldn't do miracles to prove he was the messiah to those who wanted to kill him, his response was that he had done miracles already and they still didn't believe. Look for the miracles all around you. Believe. It is your belief that brings the miracle to you. Ask the angels to show you things in your life that validate they are with you. Don't take the sign for granted. Maybe someone you are talking to tells you their name is Angel, or you go to someone's house and they have angel statues in their home, or you hear someone talking about an angel experience. That is your sign. Don't ignore it or think it is a coincidence. You can ask your angels for assistance in every day things. This is not putting false idols before God. He created angels to do wonderful things- be messengers, be protectors, and be helpers. Why would He give angels to us and then forbid us to call on them? He wouldn't. Believe in Angels. It's wonderful.
Tip# 8 Think it and Let it Go - Don't Dwell
How many times have you found yourself stuck in a cycle of thoughts - they don't have to be negative thoughts. We have a tendency to dwell on things - a fleeting memory enters our mind and before we even realize it we've spent the entire morning caught up in multiplying thoughts that have used up our mindfulness and we have missed our present moment. Now is truly all we really ever have - Now is eternity. Don't live in your head. Where are you right now? Are you back 5-years ago reliving an argument you had with someone? You still can't get over how thick-headed and short-sighted they were? One thought leads to another and you're angry all over again. They have no doubt moved on, but you are still dwelling on something, a moment you'll never get back, except for the thoughts that are robbing you from living your best life, now. Thoughts will enter your awareness. Think them and then let them go. Let something in your immediate eyesight catch your attention. Start creating new ideas, happy thoughts, and move through your life thinking happier. Don't dwell too long on one thought. Be creative. Who knows what kind of magic you can create.
Tip # 9 Talk to People - Strike up a Conversation
Before I go into a grocery store or some type of gathering where I don't know anyone, I think to myself, these are all friends I just haven't met yet. Overwhelmingly, I realize we are all alike. We all deal with much of the same things and react to life in similar ways. Every time I talk to someone in line they respond like a family member or close friend would. They laugh at my comment or nod their head in agreement. I look for ways to let someone go ahead of me or pay for something when someone doesn't have enough money. Talk with the cashier. Some look really unapproachable, but when that happens, I might say, "Has it been crazy in here today?" Or, "How's it going?" They might open up and tell you their life story, but you'll feel better that you made them smile. And, if they don't smile, silently ask the angels to flock to their side, because they are clearly hurting and need some Divine intervention. We are all connected and when we reach out, people can't help but react. You will have more positive experiences if you set your intention to meet friendly people. Then, watch all the smiles that come your way.
Tip#10 Go Outside
Get some fresh air - be in nature and improve your mood. Even if you live in the city, you can go outside. Sit on your steps. Put a chair on your porch and soak up the elements in the air. Fill your lungs with fresh air. Walk up the street or around the block. Find a scenic place in your neighborhood and go there once a week. Cleanse your mind with the air you must breathe to live. Be Present. Be in the Now. Free yourself even for a moment and there you will feel happy. The seed of happiness will grow if you give it air.
Now go and be happy!
All my best,