By Anise Smith
I find that life is a constant growing and evolving process, you can either guide the evolution by controlling your own destiny or have your destiny decided for you. The latter is a sure path to unhappiness.
As women, we tend to spend so much time being the caregivers that we sometimes forget about ourselves and this is also a direct path to unhappiness. I have been guilty of this quite a bit in the past until I took a look at my life and realized that I had fallen short on many levels. I realized that I wasn’t really happy so I decided to make changes and those are the changes that made 2012 one of the happiest years of my life. So I wanted to share the 12 things that made me happy in 2012 with one additional item for 2013.
ELIMINATE NEGATIVE PEOPLE: I have found that minimizing contact with negative people is just NOT enough. You have to eliminate those people from your life, regardless of how you are connected to them. Even minimal contact with negative people can affect your mood, especially if you are generally a happy person. The negativity of others can send your mood into a bit of a bipolar like spiral based on THEIR negativity. Send them packing!
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY: After eliminating the negative people, embrace the positive by surrounding yourself with positive people and situations. The longer you are around the positive, it reinforces your decision to eliminate the negativity and it allows you to see how the negative was affecting your life.
STOP TRYING TO BE SUPERWOMAN: This was the hardest thing for me to do because I wore my superwoman badge as a testimony to HOW much I could get done in a 24 hour period without realizing that it was just not good for me. It is good in theory to think of ones self as Superwoman, but it can just be too exhausting to accomplish in the real world. Most importantly, you are doing yourself a disservice to continue trying to be Superwoman because you can push yourself to the breaking point. The big picture is that this would bad for everyone that loves you and those that depend on you most. So pace yourself and give yourself permission to stop trying to be Superwoman.
SAY NO: Learning to say NO is a very hard thing in business and in your personal life. I’ve found that saying NO is liberating and saying HELL NO is even more liberating. Now, if there is something the holds no interest for me, I say NO. If I think a potential client may be too demanding or the project is something that I have not interest in, I say NO. Practice saying NO in the mirror, the more you say it the more wonderful it will feel rolling around on your tongue. I promise!
DON’T FEEL GUILTY: The key to being successful with saying NO is to say it without feeling guilty about your hard stance. This is accomplished by having a degree of self-preservation. This may take some time but it is something to work on.
TAKE MORE “ME” TIME: This can sometimes be tough for women because we juggle so many things – work, school, kids, business and more, but it is essential to your happiness to take time just for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a long time but just a few minutes every day just to wind down. Sometimes, something as simple as a long soak in a tub with music, a book and a glass of wine for about ½ hour is enough. Whatever you decide, “Me” time is essential!
STEP AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER: This is very important especially if you are involved with technology in any way as an occupation. As a Digital Marketer I found myself plugged in all day and sometimes for up to 24 hours at a time. Stepping away allows your brain the much-needed opportunity to slow down from the onslaught of information; this is essential especially if your occupation involves any degree of strategy. When you return you come back refreshed, with a recharged battery and with a much better perspective.
READ MORE: Although spending so much time online reading content could be considered reading, it’s not to me. So stepping way from the computer, grabbing a beverage of choice and settling in with a book is a great way to escape. This allows you a bit of escapism and could fall under the categories of Stepping away from your computer and taking me time. Either way it is good to read a great book and relax. It just simply makes me happy.
ENJOY THE SIMPLE THINGS: I find that the older I get the more I embrace the simple things in life. Spending time watching the Food Network, listening to great music, gardening, looking at a sunset or taking a walk. These are all things that allow you to embrace what is simple in a world that can be so advanced and technical.
EMBRACING SOLITUDE: In a world that is often times so busy, loud and fast, solitude is something that is essential. As a person that is online a lot, there can sometimes be so much noise and breaking away from that is a wonderful thing. It allows you to be at one with all that is around you without noise intrusion. Although I love technology and the tons of information, I love the solitude just as much. So, I take some time every day just to enjoy the sound of silence, no TV, no music just quiet. Quiet time in a noisy world is refreshing.
DOING WHAT I LOVE: We can go through our entire lives and not really find a career that we really love. I am so lucky to have found a field that I love and to be in a position that I can actually make a living doing what I absolutely love to do. If you have not found a way to do what you love for a living, don’t give up! It is indescribably awesome to wake up every day knowing that you will be doing what you love to do.
TAKING ON PROJECTS THAT YOU LOVE: In going with the theme of loving what you do, if are ever in a position to take ONLY the projects that you feel drawn to, it makes life that much more wonderful. If you are a writer and you are in a position to write only about the things that you feel passionate about, that has to be profoundly satisfying to you as a writer. As a Digital Marketer I am happy that I am now in a position to take on only projects of interest that I feel passionate about.
Steps 1-12 and repeat for 2013! Wishing you a 2013 literally filled with happiness.
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