I Just Want to be Happy
It’s the last Thursday of 2018 and I’m in reflective mode. Setting goals. Assigning dates and actionable steps.
I pulled out my 2018 list that list the things that I was not able to complete during the year. As I begin to write them all down; finish writing book, buy my mother a house, invest in an apartment complexI stopped. I don’t want any of that in the upcoming year. In 2019, I just want to be happy.
2018 was nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster to me. I started the year in a horrible mood. I felt like a failure. By February, I was in a full blown depression. By April, I was out and thriving. August I decided to quit my full time job to focus on my business. By September, I was paying off large amounts of debt. November, I decided to cut off things with my then significant other and December came and went in a blink of the eye due to travel and social events.
Fortunately, 2018 is ending on a great note. I have my confidence back, my financial situation is improving daily and I have real mental clarity. While I have goals I plan to complete in 2019, the one goal that I plan to CONTINUE in 2019 is my happiness.
Let’s get into the steps I plan to take to preserve my happiness in 2019:
The key to my happiness in 2018 was increasing my prayer time with God. I grew up a “Southern Church” girl but I drifted away from my roots. The constant relocating from city to city also made it difficult to find a community of believers that I trusted and could confide in like I’ve been able to do in the past. I’ve found my tribe in Cincinnati and going into 2019, I plan to continue cultivating my relationships and growing in my spirituality.
I’m comfortable being me. No one’s perfect and I’m not an exception. But so often we compare our insides to other people’s outsides. Dwelling on our flaws—what we’re not rather than what we’ve got— this makes it much harder to be happy. Learning to accept ourselves, warts and all, and being kinder to ourselves when things go wrong increases our enjoyment of life. It also bolsters our resilience and our well-being. This also helps us accept others as they are.
It’s better to give than to receive. Our parents have said all of these words to us at some point in our lives and they were right. In 2018, I started volunteering to feed the homeless in Cincinnati and it changed the way I viewed the world and my own personal issues. My issues started to seem small and my complaining became annoying. I started looking forward to the Friday nights of passing out water and blankets. I didn’t just feel happy because I was performing a good deed I was happy. No matter how difficult life was at that moment, I had shelter and I had food. Who wouldn’t feel joy from that?
People who have meaning and purpose in their lives are happier, feel more in control and get more out of what they do. They also experience less stress, anxiety and depression. I’m constantly making sure I’m walking in my purpose and working towards a goal. Choosing ambitious but realistic goals gives my life direction and brings a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when I achieve them.
The art of the bounce-back is key to happiness. How we react to things have a huge impact on us. It’s foolish of us to think nothing bad will ever happen. I much rather rest in knowing that when whatever happens--happen, I can come back from it.
Happiness is a choice. So choose, everyday, to be happy. Happy New Year!
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