How To Increase Happiness In 2018:
I want to continue with my series: My Manifesto for 2018. The topic I want to talk about in this article is Happiness.
Besides weight loss, increasing happiness is the biggest resolution people make in the New Year.
I finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. The ideas in this article came from the topics discussed in this book. I recommend going out and purchasing it if you are looking to increase your happiness in the New Year. The knowledge I gained from this book are the things I will be implementing into my own life. Let’s begin…
This is my Manifesto for increasing happiness this year.
The Main Parts of My Life I can improve upon:
To gain more happiness is a funny topic. Being happier is a mindset. It is not a concrete goal we can strive for such as weight loss or getting a promotion.
The first part of my Manifesto for 2018 on Happiness is to get more things done. I need to be moving towards my goals every single day. When I wait around and procrastinate – my thoughts spiral out of control and I end up not getting anything done.
Things I can be getting done and not procrastinate on are things such as:
Going to the gym
Cleaning the house
Creating more content
The more things I accomplished in a day the happier I became. As long as I would stick to my gameplan, my positivity stayed with me even in times of chaos. I realized that I could be having the worst day, and when I got something done, I would remain in a state of happiness.
I have written about James Altucher many times. The books I have read by him such as Choose Yourself and Reinvent Yourself are some of my favorites. A big part of those books is to increase parts of your life by 1% every day. At the end of one year, this will lead to an increase of 365% in certain parts of your life. When thinking short term 1% is nothing, when thinking long-term 365% is huge.
I want to remain authentic and true to who I am at my core while increasing my happiness. When happiness is high it is easier to handle difficult situations that come with day to day life.
Maintaining positive energy throughout the day is something I need to work on.
Negativity saps us of our energy.
The other side of that are the obvious things:
Needing to lose weight
Maintain a better sleep schedule
Get outdoors more and be more active in general
I will complete these goals this year to have more energy throughout the day.
For weight loss, I have already implemented a new regimen:
I am sticking to a strict intermittent fasting schedule
Getting at least 10,000 steps per day
Strength training 3 times a week
Cardio on days off (I need to hit that 10,000 step goal – even on days off)
Where I live right it is in the dead of winter which means its cold. Once the weather changes, I will be getting outdoors more. This will help with cardio and I’ll be getting more Vitamin D in my life. Walking outdoors does wonders for my mental health and creativity.
The greatest life hack I have started using this New Year is getting up super early (5 AM) and getting to the gym by 5:30 AM. I would usually go after work which would end up meaning coming home and wasting too much time. When I would get home I would let the dog out and get ready to go, only to get distracted. I would end up watching YouTube for 1-2 hours and losing that time EVERYDAY! On some days, I would say “Fuck It!” and not go at all. When you get up in the morning before work, there is nothing else on your mind besides the task at hand. I am only thinking about getting to the gym, getting the workout in, and getting home in time to make it work.
Getting up early to go to the gym is 1000% easier than going after work.
I also NEVER miss a day since implementing this into my life.
I need to keep a positive mindset throughout the day. The biggest energy drain I have is that of negativity.
I need to worry about the things that I can control and disregard the rest.
Our lives consist of petty shit that we turn into a big deal.
Things such as:
Getting cut off in traffic
Waiting in long lines
Having encounters with shitty people
I do not have any control over these moments in my life. Thus, I need to keep my focus on the positive and realize that this too will pass.
I want more happiness in my relationships in the New Year. People would say this is a two-way street. I am not looking at it that way anymore.
I cant change the way people treat me – I can only change myself. Habits need to improve every single day until they become a part of me.
In January 2017, I started this blog as a way to journal my thoughts and feelings. I wanted to write down ideas and thoughts that appealed to me. The Mission is that someone would stumble along and get help from something I was going through.
Providing help to people is a way to increase my own happiness – as long as I’m authentic.
I also can not be doing this from a place of negativity. To help people with happiness, I need to increase my own first. That is the reason for this post.
I am not going to lie, digging up the roots of these negative tendencies is going to be tough. It will be one of the toughest things I have ever done.
I will continue to work on my relationships in the New Year. Which means, bettering myself first. When I better my own self, the relationships I have will increase my happiness.
The next topic is one I don’t have a problem with. I still wanted to mention it here.
The people I surround myself with is a huge variable in happiness. When you have the right people around you, it can make the shittiest day better.
My closest friends are the people I can be around that I can talk to about anything. This includes stuff that most people would think is a waste of time.
When I can sit down and have a genuine discussion about my content creation with a friend is when I am most happy. The friends I enjoy hanging around with don’t judge the personal brand stuff I decided to do – they embrace it. They understand how much it means to me, where I am coming from, and where I want to go. All this without judgment that most people would do.
This is why I need to keep the people that believe in me and cut the rest.
Keeping the right company will increase my happiness in the New Year.
I can become super focused on my goals, but I still need to make the time for a social life.
As I said before, I don’t have a problem with this. I go out almost every weekend and spend time with close friends and family.
I need to remember to make the most time for the people that understand what I am doing. The ones that can offer valuable feedback.
Work is the big topic I want to discuss here today in My Manifesto for 2018.
When I am sitting here, typing these words to you, I have the feeling of happiness. I know that I am bleeding on the page here. That provides me with the satisfaction of growing and knowing I am offering value to the world. It is also a part of my life that I have full control over.
The excitement of pressing publish/upload on a new piece of content is exhilarating. Yesterday, that piece of content wasn’t there, but through my passion, it now exists.
When someone reads my site and it enhances their life, is the ultimate version of happiness for me.
The growth in something you love increases, not only happiness but self-esteem.
One year ago, I decided that I had enough experience and ideas that I can start creating my own content. I felt I had a story to share with anyone willing to listen.
I ALWAYS feel better after creating. On days when my mood is in the shitter, I can create something positive and reduce all those bad emotions.
I understand most people think its crazy to try and make a living off of something that I have a passion for. And the people who know me best understand that isn’t why I do this.
At the end of the day, I create to increase my happiness.
Would I want to make a living from this? Hell Yeah! We all know the quote:
If you work every day doing something that love, you will never work a day in your life.
The challenges I face every day doing this can be burdensome. But it is through those challenges that I will find my true happiness. Overcoming these new challenges stimulates my brain. It makes sure those creative juices are always flowing.
The only way I am going to get past these challenges is with learning. Teaching myself on how to do the things I do and make them better.
I have learned more in this past year than I ever did when I was in school.
The things I learned this year include:
Networking on Social Media
Finding Mentors through Social Media
Promote the correct way across all platforms
Create my own website
Manage and post on my own blog
Edit videos and optimize them for YouTube
How to vlog
The stuff above is the tip of the multitude of things I learned this past year from creating content.
The stress that came from learning all these platforms was, at times, overbearing. I didn’t let that detract me from what I wanted to create. My head was down as I learned and learned some more.
The results speak for themselves, you have the product right here in front of you.
I had to learn how to be alright with failure. A huge gift I got was the process of learning through failing. I fail every single day in different areas, but I never will let that stop me. This is something you would have never heard from me in 2016 or before.
A new piece of content to share is worth every struggle.
My happiness this past year is a direct result of producing over consuming.
The article you are reading now is my 61st post here. For some, that isn’t a lot of content in a year, but for me, this is my side hustle and its huge for me.
I don’t particularly like looking at the likes or shares my content gets. The fact of the matter is when the content is great than the sharing will come. Those times when my content did gain some traction has been the biggest boost to my self-esteem.
The things I can do every day will increase my happiness in the New Year.
I want to feel happier during the creation process. When I am deep down in those creative trenches, I want to be doing my best work.
All these small successes I have had in the past year is my fuel for the New Year. I won’t dwell on the small successes, but enjoy the moment and move on to the next project.
What would happiness be without time for leisure?
As I said, in my social life, leisure is not something I have a problem with.
I will still touch on it here because it is part of the happiness equation.
Taking time to relax after a whole week of nailing my goals is a must to me.
I am not advocating going full Gary Vaynerchuk and work like a madman 24/7. But I understand the less work I put in – the less is going to come out. The work is the only thing that matters in this space. If I choose to use my time for too much leisure, no one will give a shit about me in the New Year.
With that said, I know my goals on the daily and I use my time to do them.
When my goals are complete I like to chill for a bit. Two of my favorite leisure activities are video games and horror movies. I know I busted my ass all week to meet my goals, doing one of those two activities for a few hours is a huge stress reliever.
The things I enjoy on my leisure time are:
Watching Horror Movies
Playing video games
Hanging out with friends and family
Enjoying a delicious craft beer
Enjoying a fantastic dinner out somewhere
Do I need to reduce the amount of leisure time I spend? Yes.
But if I got rid of it all then my happiness would decrease.
I would be able to get more work done, but I would be more stressed out and more irritable in my day to day life.
What I am going to do this year to make my leisure time more valuable is get out in nature more. One of my favorite hobbies is hiking, and I rarely make time for it. In the New Year, I will be going on more hikes. This will, in turn, get me exercising more, getting more Vitamin D, and seeing some amazing scenery.
I would like leisure to be more of proactive activities rather than ones that won’t benefit me long term.
A few years ago before I started writing and making videos on YouTube, I started a Twitch Channel. I didn’t do much with it, but the time I spent on it I loved. So to factor in some video games, I resurrected my channel and will be going live many times a week. This will be another outlet for my creativity and also meet new, like-minded people.
Money – this is another big one. The number one factor that people say will bring them a lot more happiness.
The truth of the matter, to me, is that money can increase happiness. It does not have a good way of sustaining it.
I know a lot of problems go away by making more money. But once we get in a space where our bills are paid and we can provide, money yields diminishing returns.
Increasing income can guarantee immediate happiness. What it can not do, is guarantee long-lasting happiness.
What I would like to do for the New Year is stop spending money on things that only provide short-term happiness. I want to be spending money on things that can offer me value throughout the entire year.
Since I started vlogging, I wanted my YouTube videos to look better. I bought the camera in April 2017 and the value I got out of it is outstanding. As long as that camera keeps kicking than my videos will be looking that much better. It also increases the quality of my YouTube channel as a whole.
With the camera I bought, that will bring me value over time. As long as the camera keeps kicking and I keep making videos than I am gaining happiness from that product.
If I go out and spend a ton of money on craft beers one day, I will gain happiness in the moment but it will not be sustainable. Once I consume the beer, Ill realize that that 15 minutes of happiness is over. My happiness will then return to the levels they were at before the craft beer.
In 2018, I will be making purchases that will elevate and sustain my happiness. I will be spending less money on the things that provide happiness in the short term.
With this new way of spending, I will be able to be more frugal with my money.
Death is something that we don’t like to think about. The people that I follow that tend to their spiritual side are some of the happiest people I have ever seen.
I am not trying to be morbid with this section. What I want to cover here is that life is finite. It has an end to it.
The fact of the matter is that in one instant this could all go away. Instead of thinking about all the bad shit, I need to focus on everything I have.
One of the things that I still do every day is keeping a 5 Minute Journal. I wrote about this in my Tools of Titans review. The journal helps me get a sense of gratitude right in the morning. It lets me reflect on things I could have done better at night.
A practice that I have wanted to do for a long time is Meditation. I have used the Headspace app a few times in the past. My meditation would last a few weeks and then I would stop. Why did I stop? I have no idea.because I felt incredible while I was meditating every day.
We can train our minds like a muscle at the gym. The more time I set aside to meditate, the more happiness I had in general.
In 2018, I want to commit to meditation every day to increase my happiness.
The biggest benefit I got from meditation is mindfulness. I have been trying to get a grasp on this for about 10 years now.
When I direct my focus to the present moment, all the bullshit of the past and all the hope for the future is silent. I recognize the beauty in my surroundings, become more grateful, and am at peace.
The truth is, I run on autopilot most of the day. Autopilot can sound like a good idea, but most of the time it puts me into a negative space. Thus, it decreases my happiness.
The moments I can get out of that autopilot mode and into the present I:
Do not overeat
Reduce my cortisol levels
Remain calm in difficult situations
Can keep my focus on me and reduce the noise of the outside world
The present moment gets me out of my head. It gets me to recognize the negative thoughts and identify them for what they are….thoughts.
While in the present moment, I have more control over the things that matter. It keeps me focused on the good while disregarding the minor negligences.
Mindfulness is a topic I have been studying for a long time.
In 2018, I want to start increasing the moments throughout my day that I emerge in the present moment. I will take my own advice for once and increase my happiness through these methods.
As you can tell from this post, I want to increase my happiness in the New Year. The small steps I take towards these goals will be my blueprint for happiness.
My Happiness Manifesto for 2018:
Being active in accomplishing the things that bring happiness in my life
Don’t worry about the long-term effect but be sure to be making small steps towards my goals
Get outdoors more, be more active
Don’t focus on things I can’t control to preserve positive energy
Work on me first. Don’t try to change others
Make sure to spend time with friends in a positive way
Embrace the journey. Gain happiness from work and the growth that comes with it
In my leisure time, have hobbies that make me the happiest in the long term. Disregard things that are only for short moments of happiness
Be better with Money. Buy things that will have long-lasting benefits rather than for short-term happiness
Get into the present moment. Become aware of my surroundings and the happiness found within that environment.
Remain in the present moment for as long as I can. Reducing the fears of the past or the hopes for the future
Be here right now – always
Thank you for reading. If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave them in the section below.