Blogging, Habits, happiness, learning, Personal growth, Resolutions

5 habits for personal happiness every day

With all of content related to being happy hitting my radar lately, I’m feeling prompted to write about happiness. I’ve come across a few bloggers who’ve selected a “word for the year.” Perhaps happiness should be mine.

I shared a post on my Facebook page recently — 7 Habits of Incredibly Happy People — and it caused me to consider my happiness habits. Looking at the list, I’m not in bad shape. Admittedly, I need to work on a few listed such as no. 4 exercise and no. 7 ignoring my itches. I tend to be a half-full person, and I’m told it’s contagious. I’ve learned you need to guard your happiness and never allow it to be determined by external sources. So, I guess I’m good on no. 3 .

The next article to hit my news feed was this one  from Fast Company6 Simple Habits to Keep You Consistently Happy Every day. While I am an optimist, being consistently happy every day isn’t always the case. However, I like the sound of it. In reviewing writer and founder/CEO of Buffer Joel Gascoigne‘s list of habits, I related to some and came to the conclusion that maybe daily happiness is possible.

Happy habits

In order for me to experience happiness everyday, I decided I ought make my own list of habits to help me get there. Here’s my personal list of happiness habits. It may not be possible to do each of these on a daily basis, but I’m confident practicing a few of them every day can make for more happiness.

  • Share yourself. I learned a number of years ago that my skills are gifts, and these gifts were given for a purpose. Sharing what I know and have learned over the years to help others grow their business or navigate life is the right thing to do. And when you’re doing the right thing, that makes you happy. At times I even get goose bumps, which confirms that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and doing what I’m supposed to be doing. That always makes me smile.
  • Smile. Smiling represents happiness and smiles are contagious. Flash a smile at someone and you’re sure to get one in return. And once you’ve received a smile from someone else, just try to not smile back. I wrote a post about smiling a few years back and just like Buddy the Elf, smiling is still my favorite.

Happy people

  • Surround yourself with happy people. I believe “you are the people you surround yourself with.” Like it or not we are influenced by the company we keep. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. So choose carefully. And be willing to weed out the Debbie Downers in your life. Kicking off this year I shared a post vowing to surround myself with more creative people in 2014. Happy to report I’ve been making strides on this New Year’s goal. Creative people are also happy people!

“Your mind may be the closest thing to the Holy Grail of longevity and happiness. Education has been widely documented by researchers as the single variable tied most directly to improved health and longevity. And when people are intensely engaged in doing and learning new things, their well-being and happiness can blossom.”

  • Learn something new. Your mind is the Holy Grail of longevity and happiness, according to the U.S. News ebook, How to Live to 100, “When people are intensely engaged in doing and learning new things, their well-being and happiness can blossom.”  I find I’m in a happy place when I’m engrossed in learning, which of course doesn’t just happen in classroom these days rather online, in a book, an article or best… in a conversation.
  • Pray. Forgetting to practice all of the above can potentially impact the happiness of a day. Neglecting this one is guaranteed to diminish the possibility of any true happiness. I try to start every day by handing the reins over to the one who’s truly in charge. I tend to encounter the greatest challenges when I try to takeover the reins. Keeping myself clearly focused on my “true north” leads to happiness. It’s not always the path I’d planned, but it gets me there if I continue to follow.

Do you have habits that lead to your happiness every day? I’d love to hear them and possibly add them to my list.

happy people shine


Magazines + wine = relaxation

Weekends are for relaxing, right? With our crazy lives, juggling the very active schedules of four kids, we don’t always get to do a lot of relaxing most weekends. But I try to sneak in at least a few minutes of down time on Saturday and Sunday. One of my favorite ways to relax is with a stack of magazines and a glass of red wine.

Magazines are one of my simple pleasures. Despite of all the technology today, magazines are not dead. Far from it, actually. I applaud and very much agree with the recent advertising campaign created by a group of the leading publishers in the industry called Magazines – The Power of Print.

Magazines – The Power of Print®

The double-truck ads in most of the top publications spell out the growth and popularity of magazines, explaining that readership among 18-34 year olds is growing, and even more interesting since Facebook was founded, magazines have gained more than one million young adult readers.

I’ve subscribed for years to a couple favorite titles. My top two are Fast Company and Better Homes & Gardens. Two significantly different types of content, I know. But I love them both. What I like most about these two publications goes beyond the editorial. Don’t get me wrong, the articles are always well-written, interesting, thought provoking and motivating. However, it’s the overall layout that grabs me and keeps me coming back for more.

As a writer, editor and publisher myself I’m fully aware of the important role graphic design plays in bringing words to life. You could say I have become somewhat of a graphic design snob. My expectations for design are very high.

To make it into my magazine pile a publication has to be filled with compelling articles  presented in a format that’s fresh, contemporary, fun and easy-to-read. If the layout is too busy or the articles are too long, sorry … it’s off my pile. After all, my relaxation time is limited. I have to be very selective.

While I have my favorites, which are delivered in my mailbox every month, I am always open to new titles. In adding new magazines to my pile, I’ll often visit our local library and peruse the extensive collection of magazines. I always leave the Chippewa River District Library with an armful of recent issues of a variety of publications. Some magazines may make into my pile once, but only the good ones make it twice.

Recently I picked up copies of a couple magazines I haven’t seen in awhile. New to my pile this week is Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast and Cooking Light. Food Network has made it to my pile for several months in a row now. I’m considering a subscription. While at the library, I couldn’t resist grabbing a few past issues of some of my other favorites, as well — Fortune, Inc. and Entrepreneur Magazine.

On a good weekend, I am typically able to flip through the pages of at least half the magazines in my pile. With close to 10 titles in my pile, I am hopeful for a good bit relaxation this weekend.

I’d love to hear what’s in your pile. Perhaps I’ll add your favorite magazine to my pile!