Finding My Happiness

With 2020 nearing an end, now is the time to evaluate what we have accomplished, achieved, and learned. Reviewing your past year always seems like a great idea. Everywhere you look, someone is telling you how to do it, what, and why. Let go of your past, learn from your mistakes and others, make a vision for the New Year, set your intention, and then open yourself to what is ahead of you. 

The question is, WHY should we do this? Realistically, we go to bed on December 31st and wake up on January 1st, just like any other day. What makes this night so unique? My thoughts start weeks before January 1st about how I want my new year to be. My mind overthinks, the wheels continually turning as I ask myself how I can be a better person, mother, daughter, sister, teacher, employee, and so on. Like many people, I put so much pressure on myself to fix things, be the mediator, and make everyone happy. I forget the most straightforward rule. The rule is you have to do what makes you happy first. If you are not happy, then you cannot represent your true self in anything you do.

Finding your happiness can be done at any time, not just at the beginning of a new year, but what better time as we shed the last 12 months and look forward to the next? If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to look within. Life is short, so why not dig deep, make some changes, and see how you feel. Here are a few items from my list.

  1. Practice self-compassion
  2. Set boundaries
  3. Quit apologizing for your feelings
  4. Surround yourself with like-minded people
  5. Cut back on social media
  6. Stop worrying about what others think of you
  7. Quit comparing yourself to others
  8. Stop agreeing with people just because 
  9. Get more sleep
  10. Go out in nature to breathe and meditate

We are all unique, and we should treat ourselves as such. Our first step is self-compassion, which relates to oneself with kindness and care rather than judgment and criticism. We can’t truly be happy if we don’t practice self-compassion first and foremost. I am walking my path with the help of a beautiful gift from my daughter and son-in-law called “The Self-Compassion Deck.” This deck has 50 Mindfulness-based practices for me to use daily. Along with my 2021 vision board, yoga practice, affirmations, and a dedication to loving myself first, I am optimistic that in the coming year, I will continue the progress on my happiness journey. 

“Happiness is not out there, it’s in you.”


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