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5 Ways to Be Happy Now Without Changing a Thing

5 Ways to Be Happy Now Without Changing a Thing

We all want to be happy, but often the road to get there seems so difficult that it feels easier to give up and stay where we are. Making changes in your life is often an essential step to being happier, but today I’d like to share with you five ways to be happy now without changing a thing! We all deserve happiness and often it is within us to feel it right now, regardless of what our situation is.

Whatever your life is looking like right now you can be happy today too. Here’s my five tips to be happy now without changing a thing.

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1. Practice Gratitude For What You Do Have

We are all beyond blessed with many things we can be grateful for every day. If you have a roof over your head, food on the table and a family to love, you are already among the luckiest people in the world. If you are also blessed with the opportunity to indulge your interests and hobbies and time to socialize with friends and family, you are even luckier. Count your blessings and practice gratitude for what you do have every single day to be happy now.

2. Do Something Every Day That You Truly Enjoy

Make sure you do something every single day that you truly enjoy. Even if you only have half an hour to indulge, take the time out and do it. It might be cooking, reading, crafting, swimming, painting, writing or a multitude of other things. Whatever it is that lights you up, make time for it today. It’s easy to make excuses about why you shouldn’t do something you love, like not having enough time, money, or space–the list goes on. It’s essential that you step past these excuses though and just do it. If you don’t do things you love today, when will you ever do them? Tomorrow can easily turn into next week, next month and next year. No matter how you’re feeling right now take some time out to do something that you truly enjoy.

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3. Celebrate The Little Things

No matter where you are in your life right now there are little things you can enjoy every single day. Stop to smell the flowers on your morning walk, appreciate the smile of a young child, listen to the sound of the birds cheeping in the morning with ears wide open and savor every last bite of that delicious dessert. There is beauty and happiness in the little things every single day; you just need to open your eyes to see them to be happy now.

4. Spend Time With Friends and Family

Your friends and family will lift you up and make you feel good. Cherish the time you spend with them and do it often. Even if things in your life aren’t perfect, you can always count on friends and family to bring a smile to your face. Sometimes when we are unhappy, we feel the urge to block out those closest to us, for fear of bringing them down or shame for our current situation. Fight the urge and spend some quality time with your friends and family today. You’ll feel happier and ready to tackle life with a whole new enthusiasm.

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5. Make a List of Intentions For The Year Ahead

Just because you’re not changing things today doesn’t mean you can’t set some positive intentions. Set some life goals for the coming year and soak up the positivist. Every year is a fresh start and an opportunity to improve your life. By setting some positive future intentions, you’ll bring good vibes into your life today. Don’t feel pressured to make a big list of goals and changes. Simply set some intentions for how you would like your life to look in the coming year.

Do you feel the pressure to make big changes in your life to be happy? What’s one thing you can do today to be happy now?

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Photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography, Flickr, CC

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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