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Planning for Happiness

Setting goals is great. Until you’ve set so many you can’t remember half of them, and therefore end up not working on any of them at all. I am learning that small, day-to-day habits are the keys to achieving goals.

I am, obviously, trying to take more control over my happiness. Practicing mindfulness is one habit that helps me relax and be more focused and thus increases my happiness. To get better at being mindful there are two specific habits I am trying to engage in on a consistent basis. One is meditation, which I aim to do 3 times per week. The other is the habit of observing in a non-judgemental way (or letting go of the habit of making judgements). I have a reminder on my phone set to go off 3 times per day to remind me to “step back and observe”. Do I want to be a happy, relaxed, mindful person? Of course! However, the things we want most for ourselves (and the things that are best for us) often do not come naturally. In fact, we’re often hard-wired for the opposite tendencies! I hope that the act of being mindful will be a natural way of thinking for me some day that doesn’t require the beeping of my cell phone.

I am also happier when I take the time to do the things I love, such as writing, reading, and exercising – all of which can be easily pushed aside when life gets busy or when I am just too tired. It is much easier to just turn the TV on at night and drift off to sleep or browse through blogs and Instagram photos on my phone. I have to create habits around these hobbies to help me stay focused. I’ve created a running schedule with two of my girlfriends and the consistency and accountability built into it basically forces me to be successful.

What do you enjoy doing that you have difficulty making time for? Or, more importantly, what habits are you trying to form to help you do these enjoyable things?

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