back to part 1

If you want to induce some real enthusiasm and competition, start competing with the you of yesterday. Start comparing yourself to the you that you were yesterday. And if you are a driven person, try and be better every single day, in some small way. This is a great way to look at life. Reject the social media comparisons to other people and focus completely on yourself and your goals.

Make a Complete Plan

Everybody, absolutely everybody, should have a plan. If you don’t have a plan for the coming years ahead, you’re essentially adrift. That’s no way to live your life. Without a plan, we’re aimless, goal-less and drifting. That’s a vacuum into which sadness, depression and anxiety can creep.

Competence and drive are the symptoms of happiness. People who are happy know their role, they know what they should be doing and why they should be doing it.

This is why you need to scrawl down an extensive and thorough long-term plan. It can include both realistic and unrealistic elements, it needs to incorporate your long-term goals and ideas, and it should run all the way from big goals all the way back to something you start on later this afternoon. Make a big old plan for the years ahead and you’ll feel better for it. Feel your grip on your life get stronger. You’re no longer adrift.

Explore Gratitude

Gratitude isn’t just saying “thanks” every now and then. Gratitude is being aware that at any moment, everything you love could be taken away, but it isn’t. It’s the appreciation that you’ve received tons of good, pleasant things in life, that many people don’t. It’s a realisation of our own good fortune and a rejection of self-victimisation. When it comes to reinforcing happiness and preventing toxic thought patterns, gratitude is in a league of its own.

Just devote a good ten minutes every single day to meditating on all the things in life that you have to be grateful for. Even the unluckiest person in the world will have something to be grateful for. Think about how things could be worse, and how good people around you are. Think about what they deserve. Think about your place in the world, and what you can do to be better deserving of good things.

Identify Threats to Your Happiness

This one is pretty self-explanatory really. We all have things in our lives that impact our moods. How often is it the exact same thing? How often do you get caught in the same patterns of behaviour? What is it that makes you sad, anxious and unhappy? Identify these threats to your happiness and utilise strategies to challenge and mitigate them.

Sounds easier said than done, right? However, what this really comes down to is prioritising yourself. Are you an argumentative person? Do you come away from arguments feeling good? Why do you think you behave like that? Are there people in your life who make you feel less than good?

You need to target these behaviours, these people, all this toxicity and limit it. Cut it out and stop it from making you feel less than optimal. Before you brand a person as toxic, make sure you’re not the source of the toxicity in your relationship. Sometimes the most toxic-seeming people can really just be those who are completely honest about our own behaviour. If you can’t cut a behaviour or person out of your life, then look at what other strategies you can implement to mitigate the risk and threat to your happiness.

Prioritise Productivity

Might sound a bit obvious but productivity is so related to happiness. It’s like the way you might not feel like doing exercise, however, you should be doing it anyway because it’ll make you feel better by the time you’re done. Productivity is exactly the same. We all need to feel competent and driven to feel happy. We need a purpose and drive behind us, otherwise, we’re just floating around without agency.

This is very similar to making a plan, but it’s actioning on that plan. It’s actually getting things done that propel you towards your goals. Fill your time with things that actually matter to you, but don’t forget to give yourself a break. You don’t want to burn out before you get going properly. This is key when it comes to being consistently productive and driven, especially for seeing those big, life-changing developments over the coming year or so.

Meditate

Meditation is always going to be an easy answer when it comes to reinforcing and strengthening happiness. We all know that simply destressing and focusing on ourselves is always going to massively help us feel better and happier.

However, one of the biggest benefits of meditation when it comes to happiness is the sheer perspective on your own life that can be gained from it. Too often, we can’t see the forest for the trees. This is one of the big limiting factors in life. We can’t see what’s best for us. What we really need to work on, or what we should be pursuing or doing. Perspective is one of the most important things, and meditation is an easy route to it.

Also useful is the app, Analyze.Life. This handy app allows you to utilise your phone in the fight for happiness and good moods. With helpful hints, ideas and guides, this app can help you focus and drive your ideas and progress towards happiness and gratitude.