Have you ever wondered why we seldom strive to achieve New Year’s resolutions beyond the first few weeks of the year? I think it is because we are carried away by the idea of making significant changes. Many of our resolutions sound life-changing, but most of them are unrealistic. We often leave them by the wayside before the end of January. 2020 was challenging in many aspects, and without knowing what 2021 holds, making resolutions is tough. For 2021, I choose happiness.
Happiness means something different for each of us. Breaking it down into achievable habits to develop and practice might help me work on it throughout 2021. Let me tell you how I will go about achieving my New Year’s resolution for once in my life.
I found the perfect guidance here, and the fact that it has a solid grounding in research motivates me even more.
According to researchers, the happiest people practice the following six habits:
Kindness is the first ingredient for happiness
A researcher at New York University, Jonathan Haidt, says kindness brings feelings of well-being. Notably, he says a sense of being elevated can occur even by watching others being kind. For example, an employer watching co-workers helping each other will be more likely to show kind behavior. Very soon, it has a domino effect because showing kindness makes others reciprocate similarly. Before you know it, your act of kindness could snowball into productivity and collaboration by groups of happy people.
Strangely, curiosity can bring happiness
Although not on its own, but combined with the other habits, being curious makes you more sociable. Importantly, studies proved that curious people connect better with others and enjoy socializing. They form stronger friendships and social relationships, while others are easily attracted to people who show curiosity.
Practicing forgiveness brings happiness
Forgiveness is more than forgiving others. In fact, forgiving yourself will make it easier to forgive others. It is an incredible part of life that provides learning and personal growth. Holding on to upsetting experiences or situations can prevent you from living life boldly and with total surrender. Essentially, researchers say forgiveness literally lights people up.
Happiness goes hand in hand with generosity
Science confirms that givers enjoy better health and elicits gratitude. Interestingly, a study of over 600 Americans found that they believed that their habit of giving away money predicted their happiness. Also, the participants said the amounts they gave away played a role in their happiness levels. Furthermore, Harvard Business School’s report concluded that generosity connected to others provided the most significant emotional rewards.
Exercising patience is crucial
As far back as 2012, researchers learned that patient people are more likely to reach their goals and experience satisfaction with outcomes than others with less patience. Above all, studies have shown that depression, stress and negative emotions are more prevalent in those with little patience. Here we have another domino situation. Patience elevates gratitude, connections to others, and it provides a sense of great abundance.
Gratitude is an essential habit for achieving happiness
Researchers’ various studies indicate that happiness levels can increase by as much as 25% in people who show genuine gratitude. The evidence shows lower depression and anxiety are present in grateful individuals; they sleep better and are more resilient. Many researchers suggest writing down things that evoke gratitude each day. However, if you follow this link, you can join my 5-week challenge to optimize gratitude.
In short, every habit I intend to develop to achieve happiness is enjoyable. There are no unachievable challenges. For the first time ever, I feel confident that this New Year’s resolution will come to fruition and happiness will remain part of the remainder of my life.