How are those New Year’s resolutions going? Are you feeling better about your life? Whether or not you’ve made progress on those resolutions, you can give yourself a boost of energy and a side of happiness by trying these happiness hacks (from the new book Happiness Hacks).
Of the 300+ simple ways presented in the book to get – and stay – happy, these 7 hacks were the most creative, novel and compelling… to me anyway. So I gave them a try.
Here’s 7 happiness hacks and what happened when I did them:
1. Create new ways to make money
I like this tip because it’s a fun way to turn a hobby, or an activity you already enjoy, into some side money. My primary career focuses on teaching people skills to increase happiness, but since I’m an entrepreneur myself, I decided to “create a new way to make money” by writing a book on social entrepreneurship. I did this by applying psychological concepts to entrepreneurship and adding in interviews with social entrepreneurs. The result is the book: Purpose Driven Entrepreneurship. The result is the book: Purpose Driven Entrepreneurship. It was super fun to write and helped me think differently about my work.
2. Spend money on (doing) things & stand up to politics
I combined these 2 tips and decided to host a regular political postcard writing group. I bought some postcards, pens, and stamps so that my friends and I could get together and “do something” to “stand up to politics”. With the support of postcardstovoters.org, who provides the talking points and addresses, we just get to hang out, be creative, and make a difference.
3. Invent something
I really like this tip because I enjoy bringing ideas to life. One way I used this tip was to create a set of emotion cards to help kids recognize emotions. But instead of just drawing simple facial expressions, I worked with a young artist to make the emotions really cute and expressive. People can use these cards to help kids identify and communicate their own emotions.
4. Go to a farmers market
Luckily for me, there is a farmers market near me all year long. Even as these cold February nights chill the air, I can still go buy kale and pears and turnips at the local market. There is something so rewarding about buying locally grown food. You get the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping a local business, are eating food that was grown with care, and cutting down on the carbon footprint of transporting food across the country. To check this item off my list, I went to the market and got some veggies and fruits for the week.
5. Bake something
I’m not a baker at all. So I decided to try this tip to get out of my comfort zone. My husband and I teamed up to make soft pretzels. We made the dough, twisted it up into pretzel shapes, and even made a cinnamon/sugar dipping sauce. It was great fun!
6. Create a vision board
I keep a vision board tacked up by my desk to remind me of what my goals are. In the center of my board, I have a wheel that shows how much time to spend on different tasks each day – like exercise, food prep, work, and socializing – to meet my goals. Around the wheel I have major goals highlighted and bold, and smaller goals written in multiple colors.
I peek at my vision board every now and then to see if any of my goals have changed and whether I’ve been effectively taking action to meet my goals. This tip reminded me to check in with my goals.
One goal that needed modifying was my goal to spend a specific number of hours doing consulting work. As my business as grown, I have been more choosy about which consulting projects I take on. So, I added more specificity to this goal, clarifying the number of hours I would aim for in different categories. By checking in with my vision board, I made sure that I was moving closer to achieving my goals. And it was reassuring to see the progress I’ve made.
7. See yourself reaching your goal
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to publish a book. I’ve inched towards this goal, self-publishing my Happiness Skills Workbook, and Emotional Intelligence Flashcard Book for kids. I envisioned myself getting a publisher for my next book and reaching larger audience. And finally, after years of positive thinking, I finally got the book deal! That reminds me, I should be working on the book instead of this blog! See you next time.
Previously published on psychologytoday
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