Friday, December 28, 2012
With the forthcoming New Year close at hand, this is often a time for reflection and change, commonly referred to as resolutions. Interestingly, this is the first year that I do not have any resolutions.
No, I did not become magically perfect over night; I am happy to report that I am still human and still learning from my mistakes daily. This year is different, however, because since May 2012 I have been following a particular prescription for happiness that is working so well that for the first time in my life, resolutions do not seem necessary. I'm still being carried forward by the momentum of change that I successfully implemented those 8 short months ago.
Now I've got you all hooked, haven't I? Who wouldn't want to break out of the habit of forming resolutions that will inevitably dissolve within a matter of months (sometimes weeks) and leave you feeling like a failure? Well, I'm happy to tell you that it's quite easy to change a habit-you only have to do a new task for 21 days in a row before it naturally becomes part of your routine. I guess the hardest part is simply making the commitment to start, so lets not delay and begin now!
The Happiness Prescription is actually a small list of more than 1 habit to change, so for the sake of ease, I will be introducing 1 thing every 21 days. New things can be overwhelming in their simplest form, so lets start slow and take it one day at a time.
Happiness Task #1
What: At the end of each day, you will write down 3 things you are grateful for that occurred in the past 24 hours. Everyday they must be new things and there must always be exactly 3; no more and no less.
Why: By training your brain to pick out 3 positives over the course of a day, after 21 days it will become a habit for you to automatically look for the positives in life as opposed to the negatives. This is huge, since we live in a very negative-focused society. Think about it, when was the last time you heard a positive story on the evening news?
How: I have a special journal I have decorated and deemed my "Gratitude Journal". It lives on my night table and every evening at the same time, right before bed, I write down the 3 things I am grateful for from that day. Having an official book and time period in which to perform this task makes it more likely that you will complete it. Remember, it's only for 21 days! Anyone can do almost any task for only 21 days....
Good luck and have a grateful day!