It is amazing how quickly our lives can become drab and boring if we do not have something to look forward to. We wait far too long for that once-a-year vacation or that special event. It just isn’t enough. Or perhaps it might be enough, but being successful is not about having just enough—it’s about abundance and happiness. You need an abundance of good things to look forward to—a bare minimum of at least one thing every day. Don’t overlook the simple things, which are often the most rewarding, and bring us the greatest joy and happiness.
To get you thinking, here are some simple things you could look forward to on a weekly or daily basis that are very likely to boost your happiness:
- a half-hour of peace to meditate or write in a journal
- write a thank you note
- take a walk with a friend
- ride your bike through the park
- enjoy a bubble bath
- see a play or go to the theatre or a concert
- try out a new restaurant
- call a friend or relative for a good chat
- read a book
- cook and enjoy a favorite meal or dish with your friends
- have a safari dinner party or potluck supper
- a good stretch or 20 minutes of yoga
- a massage
- 20 minutes sun-bathing
- a dance or exercise class
- book lunch or coffee with a friend
- buy or pick a bunch of fresh flowers and give them to a friend for no reason
- write down all the things you are most grateful for right now
These are a few simple ideas to get you started so feel free to add your own ideas as well. Sometimes it is easier to incorporate happy boosting activities into your daily life by designing an ideal morning and evening routine. If you start and end the day well, you’ll have something to look forward to twice a day!
What is your ideal morning or evening?
Treat yourself with as many elements of your ideal day as possible, and you will be happier and more energized throughout the day. Take a few minutes right now to write down in vivid detail your ideal day from the moment you wake up in the morning until you fall asleep at night. How many elements of your ideal day are possible to do every day starting right now? Give yourself the time to enjoy your day and you’ll be glad to get up and out of bed every morning.
One of my clients realized, after writing down her ideal day, that she could immediately start living her ideal morning simply by changing her routine. She envisioned having a cup of tea on her deck overlooking the garden, while enjoying a homemade blueberry muffin and writing in her journal. All she needed to do was bake a batch of muffins, freeze them and then pop one in the microwave oven in the morning. She already had a lovely deck overlooking the garden so it was just a matter of using it. Now that she has her ideal morning well established, she is thinking about how she’d like to adjust her evenings for greater happiness.
Another proven method of boosting your overall happiness is to have something big to look forward to as well. By planning fun events or trips in advance, you build up excitement and anticipation. It might be that you are planning a surprise birthday party for a friend, or a special dinner party, or a trip or weekend getaway. Again, it doesn’t take much to create more fun. I recently did a safari dinner party with two other couples. We had starters at my house with cocktails, then moved to the next house for a main course and ended at the last couple’s house for dessert and coffee. We all agreed that it was more fun as you only had the one course to prepare and present and could relax and enjoy the other courses.
Think about your ideal day and book in a few things to look forward to this week. You’ll be happier the moment you do it!
Excerpted from Coach Yourself to Success: 101 Tips to Accomplish Your Personal and Professional Goals, with permission from McGraw-Hill.
Talane Miedaner is the founder of LifeCoach.com and a Master Life Coach. She is the author of the international bestseller, Coach Yourself to Success: 101 Tips for Reaching Your Goals at Work and in Life and numerous other books and audio programs, including, Irresistible Attraction: A Way of Life™. Click here to find the perfect coach for you–a business coach, executive coach, career coach or a life coach. Alternatively, you can enroll in our self-based Coach Yourself to Success Online course.