Everyone is setting goals for 2016. Everything from securing that promotion, shedding the kgs and taking up a hobby. But will it make you happy? Maybe? Will you be upset if you don’t meet your goals? Probably. But what if it’s not about striving, stretching and growing for this year. Maybe it’s about making small incremental changes that could make you and your family happier? Whatever you have committed to, make sure it makes you happy. Here are our 10 tips to boost your happiness in 2016.
Sounds pretty simple. As parents we know every child is different and if you have a baby you can just forget any consistency. I can vouch for that not being that simple, I have a 7 and 3 year old and you think they would sleep through every night? Mr 7 is pretty good but Miss 3 is up almost once or twice a night. Add to that a late night and the normal trials of a day and it’s burn out time. Try setting your mobile alarm to switch off the TV and have an early night every now and again.
2. Slow down
Life these days is lived at a frenetic pace. Look at all your commitments for this year. Look at all your children’s commitments. What kind of pressure do these commitments put on you and your family? Why do you have so many commitments? What would happen if you let go of one of those commitments? What can you let go of to create more space, more time for you and your family? Sometimes we are so busy volunteering for the P&C, driving between sporting activities and doing favours for friends we don’t take the time to see how the accumulation of all these activities can leave us frazzled.
3.Exercise-even if only for 5 minutes
Move more in 2016. Exercise equals endorphins which equals feeling good. It doesn’t mean you have to book yourself into an ashram and become a yogi, join the lycra-clads for the weekly bike ride or become a cross-fit queen. Look at how you can move more if you have a desk job. Can you take a walk at lunchtime? Can you do a few quick stretches to keep that body moving. Even doing really simple things like climbing the stairs without your leading foot. Try it on the left for a change.
6. Set some goals
Think about goals for your family, you personally, your work. Make them doable. Keep them on the fridge and let your family know you are committed. Sometimes by working on aspects of our lives we feel are important to us and perhaps we are frustrated with, we can feel better about ourselves. When we feel better about ourselves, life in general can seem a little easier.
7. Have a spring clean
Whether it be cleaning your desk, getting rid of those baby clothes or organising your undies drawer. Sometimes those small tasks and a bit of a clear out can be a bit addictive and you will have your hubby ebaying their gadgets in no time. Clutter can feel suffocating and be your lowest priority on the list but ticking that one off gives an amazing sense achievement. I know weird, isn’t it?
8. Hire a babysitter and schedule some ‘fun’ time
We all know you love your kids but outsourcing them for an hour once a quarter can make you love them even more! It’s the beginning of the year so lock in some time with you and your partner before the calendar books up. It’s even cheaper if you have family around and they can babysit for free but it takes time and effort to book them in. Don’t wait for an occasion. Do a yoga class together, go to the movies, drive to the bay for fish and chips. You don’t have to make it something overly orchestrated just take some time and space for you and your partner or if you don’t have a partner someone valuable enough for you to spend your free time with.
9. Spend time away from technology
Introduce a ‘social sunday’ which means switching of the screen time for some green time. Go on a bush walk and collect bush ‘treasures’. Draw pictures in the sand with a stick. Pour water into a dirt pile and let the kids go nuts in a mud pit. Try taking time away from technology and you realise how much we use it and how habitual our use is. Scary experiments only for the brave!
10. Try a random act of kindness
As mums we are constantly providing our children with ‘constant’ acts of kindness. But doing an act of kindness for a stranger or friend no matter how small can make you feel better, your friend feels better, and the world has a bit more kindness in it. Call a friend out of the blue to see how they are going, compliment a stranger on their clothes or jewellery, shout a colleague a coffee. It’s good vibes all round!
Building more small actions to increase your happiness in 2016 will have a huge ripple effect.
“Remember happiness does not reside upon
what you are or what you have,
it’s what you think!
One particularly effective way to boost your happiness is to forward this article to friends and family, telling them you were thinking about them. Ahhhh, I’ve got the warm fuzzies already.