“Not that we shouldn’t live in the moment sometimes, but if your moment sucks then try not to dwell on it too much. Things will change.”
So I feel like this is almost a New Year’s post, something I should have shared a few weeks ago. But as January comes to an alarmingly fast close, I’ve found myself assessing my life and thinking about my future.
To me, January’s end is a blessing because I’ve “made it through” another month. What I mean by this is that I’m still very unhappy with certain parts of my life. A lot of the time, it’s a relief when the day is over and I’ve simply gotten through everything. It’s kind of like the relief you get when it’s Friday. Which is definitely why TGIF is so darn spot-on.
I’m not at all saying this for sympathy; I do have plenty of things in my life that are absolutely amazing and I’m so so grateful for. But this TGTDIO (thank God the day is over) feeling is part of my reality that I’m sure many others experience too. And I’m also a true believer in, “If you don’t like it, change it.” If you’re not happy, you need to learn how to find happiness in your life. Which is what I’m doing.
The worst thing we can do for ourselves is become complacent. “This is how it is, so this is how it’ll always be.” I know that’s not true. So every day, I wake up, make goals, and work towards them.
And I make sure I have things to look forward to. When I first started to feel this funk, I realized how much it helped to have fun things planned in the future. Take Christmas, for example. All December long everyone’s in anticipation of a fun holiday. We string up lights, bake cookies, have parties – and look forward to it. At least, I do haha.
When we plan things, it gives us an opportunity to get out of the “here and now.” Not that we shouldn’t live in the moment sometimes, but if your moment sucks then try not to dwell on it too much. Things will change.
So I thought I’d share some of the things I plan for my year to make it more enjoyable and know that I’m not staying stagnant.
Things I’m planning to do to make my year happier
Plan to see family/friends at least once
This is absolutely at the top of my list. When you know you’re going to see those closest to you at some point, it’s really reassuring. As I’ve gotten older, my family and friends have spread out more and more. While I know I can’t see everyone this year, I know I’m guaranteed to see some of them a few times. Weddings, holidays, or random visits – they’re great because they can be spread throughout the year. I know I have at least 3 such occasions to look forward to this year.
Travel somewhere new
This year I’ve made a decision to travel somewhere new. I’m extremely excited about this one. Between being pretty frugal and having limited time off of work, I tend to use PTO only for visiting family. But I’ve been inspired recently by blog posts about traveling on a budget and how you don’t even have to go far to have a fun vacation. So this year, my travel goal is to go to New Orleans. I’ve never been but have wanted to go for a while! So I’m done with the excuses. This year I’m gonna make it happen. If New Orleans is on your bucket list too, check out this blog post I found that got me even more pumped!
Whether it’s a eating croissants in Europe, hopping with kangaroos in Australia (I guess that’s what I think they do there?), or just exploring a neighboring city, it’s important to expose ourselves to other places. It’s how we learn more about the world and how we have more diverse experiences. Plus, I’m super looking forward to this, and it makes me happy just thinking about my trip!
Pick a personal project to work on
I think that personal development is one of the best things we can do. We’ve got to keep setting goals and pushing ourselves or we’ll never grow. So this year, I’m going to work on a personal project of mine: this blog! It’s my passion project that I enjoy, but still have a lot to learn because I’m so new to it. I want to work on developing more helpful and relevant content for you guys, take courses on blogging, and continue developing my photography skills with my new camera.
It makes me happy to have a project for my year – something that’s personal and just mine. While I enjoy it, I also get the opportunity to learn and expand my skill set.
What do you want from this year? Are you working towards a promotion? Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Play guitar? Or maybe even start a blog like me?
Pick something that will make you happy and go for it! Ideally something where you’ll also enjoy the process. Every day I look forward to coming home and working on this blog. In my free time, I read up on tips from successful bloggers and look up health and wellness articles. It’s definitely something that increases my happiness.
Have a health goal
Oftentimes, our health goals get pushed aside (or full-on clobbered) by our other goals. But I think that health goals are equally important to make! From getting stronger to losing weight to just getting healthier, working towards these goals can make us feel better and give us a sense of accomplishment. It makes us more content when we know we’re doing something to better ourselves.
Want to lose 20 lbs? No better time to write out your plan! Want those abs? Time to commit to a regular ab workout! Want to feel better? Cut eating fast food to 1-2 times per week and eat more fruits and veggies!
Personally, my goal this year is to put on more muscle, feel stronger, and maintain my aerobic fitness in the meantime. The thought of this goal motivates me to exercise and eat well, which in turn, makes me feel good physically and mentally. Plus, I look forward to how much stronger my body will become this year.
Plan to get rid of negative things
Out with the bad, in with the good! I think it’s also important to plan to “declutter” your life. By getting rid of the negative influences, you make more room for positive ones. This one is inspired by minimalism. For example, I plan to literally declutter my closet this year. By doing this, I’ll get rid of the unnecessary items I have and make room for (only a few) others that will actually bring me joy.
The same goes for other things. If participation in an activity doesn’t make you happy, you can stop it. Are there a few people on social media whose accounts get you down or make you feel inadequate? Click that unfollow button! Even with the people in your life, if someone is a toxic influence and the relationship is doing more harm than good, you don’t have to keep them around. That’s the beauty of it; we are often more in control of our surroundings than we realize. So plan to get rid of negative things, and add in the things that make you happy.
Side note: I recently wrote a post on how to create an inspirational, yet cozy home. Your home should be a place that calms you and allows you to recharge. You should look forward to being there. If that’s not the case right now, plan to make the necessary changes to your home sometime this year!
I certainly don’t have it all figured out. But what I do know is that we have to claim control of our happiness. So plan ahead! Fill your year with positives, and no matter your situation, you’ll always have something enjoyable to look forward to!