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5 No Brainer Ways to Make This Year Your Best Ever

2020 was a year of intense suffering, but there is hope for 2021. Hope is an intense desire coupled with an expectation. For some, 2020 offered little hope, but in 2021 things can be different if we learn these 5 no-brainers.

Psychologists tell us that our default emotion is happiness. That is excellent news, except when something gets in our way, and we fail to experience it. Then happiness turns to “crappiness.”

Do you know what I’m saying?

While there may be a lot getting in our way of happiness during a pandemic, it doesn’t take much to create a better year filled with positive memories and fewer annoyances.

Let’s Make this year better than last with these live ALOHA wellbeing strategies:

1. Achievement: No matter how we ended 2020, it’s nice to get a little momentum on your side by getting things done. Here are a few examples of ways you can stimulate happiness by achieving a few small things in the office or home.

a. Crush clutter. Let’s face it, a mess can be stressful. Clutter can also be embarrassing, and it makes things harder to find when you need them. For me, clutter makes me feel like my life is out of control. Here are a few reminders of things I do to crush the clutter monster:

i. Get rid of the things you don’t need.

ii. After you use something, put it away.

iii. Before going to bed, spend five minutes tidying up.

iv. When you wake up, make your bed.

b. If it annoys you, address it. It’s important to either learn to get over it or address frustrations. Life gets better when you manage the things that you find annoying. Addressing annoyances helps us all feel free and clear mentally. You can also reflect on any past regrets and avoid them in the future. By looking over your known mistakes last year, create a strategy to prevent a repeat performance.

2. Legacy: It’s not too early or late to think about what we are leaving behind when we leave the world. Now I’m not talking about stuff or money. Nope, I’m speaking about the impact you leave behind because of who you are and how well you served the world.

a. Create a life plan and live with intention.

b. Know our why and live it with integrity.

c. Help someone or something more significant than ourselves.

d. Invest a few bucks helping a good cause.

3. Others: Be the friend you wish you had.

a. We should all cut back on our time spent complaining, condemning, and criticizing. In all reality, the energy we waste grumbling is lost forever. In his famous book, How to Make Friends and Influence People, Norman Vincent Peale encourages us to avoid the three C’s – complain, condemn, or criticize. Following this simple rule makes sense as not only will we become more likable to others but also to ourselves.

4. Health: Live well physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

a. Eat super healthy at least once a day. When we commit to eating at least one healthy meal a day, it will boost our wellbeing and grow our appetites for more.

b. Hack your brain and use it for thinking. Free up your mental resources by creating a list, reminders, and notes for those things you just need to remember. It makes no sense to use our amazing brains to just remember silly little things. Using our brains to think allows us to focus on big things that make life better for everyone.

c. Think before you spend. Like it or not, money is tied to our emotions. Understanding our relationship with money helps us to spend wisely and do great things. On the other hand, money misspent is a wasted resource. Simple changes like avoiding additional debt can eliminate stress and likely help us have a better year.

d. Clue into Community. Relationships matter, and there is a reason people join churches and other types of groups. Clue into a community and build strong relationships.

5. Adventure (like Indiana Jones.) Every one of us can have a better year by creating an adventure to look forward to. It doesn’t matter if it’s a vacation, a new sportscoat, or plans to reconnect with a close friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Creating space to dream, plan, and adventure will offer you all sorts of positive endorphin-stimulating happy thoughts to savor.

Let’s be intentional about having a good year. It comes down to focusing on elements of wellbeing that matter. Often our pathway to a happy life takes a little effort. It’s the simple things like Achievement, Legacy, Others, Health, and Adventure that can help us start living happily. Anything is possible, and yes, we can all have a better year than last year. In the end, keep on repeating this process each year, and we will all be surprised by how happy we can be.

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