Our son is having Lasik eye surgery this morning. After 20 years of dependence on corrective lenses, he is hoping the 20/20 vision of his early childhood is restored today. I’m in the waiting room praying for the same.
Last week we talked about enhancing our level of happiness by choosing to have a happy mindset, and by doing something fun every day. Today we discuss what happiness means to you and what your expectations are for this year.
Do you know what makes you truly happy? Do you have a vision of what you desire in 2020? Do you know what to do to make sure this is your happiest year ever? I was going to avoid the cliché of having a clear 20/20 vision for your 2020 year, but the timing of my son’s surgery changed my mind.
In our quest to have our happiest year, we first need to determine what that level of happiness looks and feels like for us. A good place to start is with the past. To have our happiest year this year, we need something to compare it to; our happiest year to date. What has been the happiest year of your life so far?
Find a sheet of paper to answer the following questions for yourself. Or better yet, use the fancy worksheet available at https://www.playgroundheaven.com/sandbox/
My happiest year was when I was in the fourth grade. My playground heaven year. You can read about it in my book if you’re interested. But for our purposes here, let’s choose an adulthood year.
Mine actually spanned an 18-month period over the years 1980-81. Melanie and I got married, had our first child, graduated from college, passed our CPA and RN licensing exams, and started our professional careers. Looking back, it was both the happiest and most challenging time of our lives.
We had zero dollars in the bank, just enough to pay the bills. We had busy schedules and difficult classes, exams, and work to navigate. We had virtually no possessions. But we had each other, our daughter, and the hope of a bright future ahead. I’m smiling right now just thinking about it.
I trust you are feeling pretty good thinking about your happiest year too. Take a few minutes to scribble down your immediate thoughts about your happiest year. No need to analyze it; simply choose the time period, identify the highlights, and feel the happy.
Now think about what will make this year even happier than that happiest year. How can you have your happier than happiest year? Here are questions to contemplate:
Even better, do this exercise as though it had already happened and ask the questions in the past tense, such as; What did you do, what did you accomplish, who helped you, who did you help, how do you feel? When you have already experienced your happiest year in your mind, it will be easier to make it a reality.
The important thing here is to make sure you have a clear vision of what your happiest year looks and feels like. As Helen Keller famously said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
A vision provides hope. Hope inspires action. Action creates results. The result we want is happiness. Envision your happiness in order to begin to make it your reality.
Next, now that you have a clear vision, think about what changes might be necessary in your current life to enable you to achieve what you envision. Ask these questions:
I find the “stop doing” list to be the easiest to generate and the most difficult to do. But I know I can only have my happiest year if I stop watching binge-watching television shows, paying attention to the usually meaningless news of the day, going down the social media rabbit hole, and eating so much sugar. I know these things are a waste of my time and bad for my health, so why continue them? Why indeed … stop the madness, Scott!
Finally, make your Happiest Year Ever Resolution:
I, _________________, hereby resolve to make this year my happiest ever. I will do so by adopting an attitude of gratitude for my current situation and for the opportunity presented by each new day, and by doing and achieving the following (list the top three things you’d like to accomplish to make this your happiest year). Mine are:
You can turn your list into SMART goals if you are familiar with that process. Personally, I prefer SAINT goals (specific, achievable, important, numeric, and timed).
To make my #1 above more specific I need a number. We have about 150 people in our Playground community currently. What is an achievable number to get to by the end of the year? Well if each of us got 5 of our friends to join, and each of those friends got 3 of their friends to join, that would give us 3,150 people. That seems like a stretch, yet possible. Let’s round it down to 3,000 and go for it.
Why do I think it’s important to grow our number? Well, selfishly I know I am happier when I am surrounded by happy people. The more, the merrier. More importantly, I believe that happy people are difference makers. They excel at what they do. They focus on helping others live better and happier lives through what they do. They make the world a better place for us all. We need more happy people:-)
You can help make this happen by inviting others into the group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/playgroundheavenliving
Your task for the week is to answer the questions above, and make your Happiest Year Ever Resolution. Use the free worksheet available at https://www.playgroundheaven.com/sandbox/
Next week we’ll talk about a process designed to make sure you actually keep your resolution. In the meantime, have a fun and happy week all!
To Your Happiness, Scott