The Secret to True Happiness

{HABIT: Gratitude}
Month: 11 / Week: 3

choosehappinessmainDo you ever find yourself falling into the “when this… than I’ll be happy” vicious cycle?

You know…

“When I fit into a size “x”, then I’ll be happy.”

“I just need to work out consistently and when I do, things will be good.”

“Once I lose this last 25 pounds, I’ll be happy with my body”

“All I want is to get rid of these love handles. Then I’ll be confident.”

“I’ll be happy once I lose this stubborn belly fat”

Why do we do this to ourselves? Your happiness is not a “thing”

And happiness is certainly not defined by one single aspect of your life. Yet we continue to think this way. What ever it is you’re telling yourself, you want in it because you believe that by having it, your life will be better. If that’s the case, you need to get real with yourself. Let’s just say you believe you’ll be happy once you fit into a certain size. What do you look like at that size? What does your life look like at that size? Who’s the kind of person you are at that size? Are you different? How? Chances are, you may look a little different but you’ll be the same person. And how you look probably isn’t enough to change how you feel about yourself and your life.

reflectonThis isn’t to say looking good and feeling good in your own skin aren’t valid reasons and motivations for making lifestyle changes. But, if vanity is the only reason for changing, you may realize you come up short. Not only can it be discouraging if you don’t reach your goal, it can be discouraging even if you do. Why? Because you get there and think, that’s it? Now what? By focusing on other factors, you can make a real impact to your happiness, with yourself and your life, inside and out.

They say you cannot buy happiness.  Well, you cannot “wish” happiness either. It’s not something you have, it’s something you choose to embrace. It doesn’t just appear like a magical fairy with sparkle dust. And it doesn’t show up even if you lose that 25 pounds or reach that lean sleek body you’ve been craving. Stop wishing for it and start making the CHOICE to be happy. And that my friends, is the secret to true happiness.

When you choose happiness, you actively choose to make decisions that will foster that emotional wellbeing.

So let’s start there. Forget the when this, than I’ll be happy nonsense. I want that out of your daily conversation. We’re replacing it with a new mantra:

“I choose to be happy now.”

Because if not now, when? Why keep waiting for happiness to arrive? Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us…

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

So why be unhappy if you don’t need to be? It’s time to stop focusing on what will be and start paying more attention to what is. You may have goals you haven’t reached or maybe haven’t even started working toward. And that’s okay. It doesn’t matter how far you have to go because even when you get there, you’ll create a new goal. It doesn’t ever stop! So don’t worry about the end result. Focus on the journey. Focus on today. How can you start choosing happiness now?

Start thinking about the things you can do each day that work toward your choice to be happy. Maybe it’s to laugh or smile every day, have dinner with your family, read a book, finish work at a reasonable time, go for a walk every night… Maybe it includes the steps you’re taking to work toward your health goals like eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, exercising consistently, getting adequate sleep… Make sure your daily activities are things that are adding to your quality of life and notice those things. Choose to be happy in those moments.

leporewedding

*Limelight Photography*

This is one of my favorite pictures. It’s my husband and I on our wedding day. Yes I know you’re thinking, well of course you’re happy in this picture it’s your wedding day! But that’s not why I love the picture. I love it because it’s 100% us. No posing and fake smiles. Just us being real. Why we’re laughing so hard? Our first cutting of the cake accidentally ended up being the fake cardboard tier instead! Oops 🙂 The point is, we always make an effort to have fun and make each other smile. We choose to be happy and to create happy moments.

In time, you may notice that your list evolves. What makes you happy today may not be what makes you happy tomorrow. Re-evaluate. Do this challenge every few months or even once a year.

CHALLENGE:Choose happiness. Look for opportunities this week where you can choose to be happy. Make a list of those things you do regularly that foster that happiness. Now you’ll know where to spend more of your time.

New to the healthy habits challenge ? Start here.

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