How to be happy? My 365 day plan.

When I ask you “What is your blog about?” don’t you think of a profound answer that inspires someone to read on?

Something perhaps as deep and profound as “happiness”.

Everyone is searching for happiness. The answer is simple, and lives within each person.

Happiness is bespoke. There is no one-size-its-all solution.

There is a strong essence of belief in finding happiness. And this is what I believe;

We don’t need to be “elated” every day to lead a happy life. Being happy is not about “perfection”.

Happiness is about being content, with every part of your life.

Think about it…

Are you happy with your job? Your career? Your salary?

Are you healthy? Happy with your body or your weight? Do you keep your physical body fit?

Are you happy in your relationship? Do you have a relationship?

How about your friends? Do you surround yourself with people who you can trust? People you can rely on?

Are you happy with your lifestyle? Do you live in a home you love? Do you go on holiday? Are you comfortable?

Do you have regrets? Do you have unfulfilled dreams? Have you achieved your full potential?

You probably are not happy with everything in your life. And that’s fine, the good thing is that you can do something about it.

To be happy is to feel fulfilled, to have a purpose in life, to be content in what we have in life, and to ultimately feel grateful for the here and now.

Happiness. How is it achieved?

The simple solution lies in two words; good habits.

We are habitual beings. Habits make up the completeness of our lives. It’s when we build a series of bad habits that make us less healthy, less fit, less productive, less motivated, a lesser version of ourselves that we one day realise we are unhappy.

Making simple changes in life can mean we build good habits to counteract the results of years of bad habits.

Sounds easy right? Well, easier said than done.

Good habits take time, patience, endurance, commitment.

What bad habits are you ready to get rid of in your life? What good habits are you ready to commit to in your life?

Its time to stop being lazy!

Procrastination is the root of unhappiness.

This year I made a plan. To concentrate on 2 aspects of my life which I prioritise as being important or crucial – for now. Fix these, and I can concentrate on another 2… If every year I commit, then within my 5 year plan I will be able to be happier in every aspect of my life; health, relationships, friendships, career, wealth, mind and spirit, dreams and aspirations. Among a few.

Health is – or should be! – the most important element of a human beings life. Without it we can not achieve anything.

This is not to say that being disabled or unwell makes me incapable of being happy! No, it just means that the healthier I am able to keep my body regardless of my long term health condition, the more I can live with the strong belief that “I work hard every day, I have done everything physically in my power to be as healthy as I can, being unwell out of no fault of my own is something I am willing to accept and be content that I am grateful for every new day I am lucky enough to be on this earth!”

Acceptance. It’s paramount for happiness. I can control my life, I can build good habits to become happier but certain things in life can not be controlled. These aspects of life, like a disability I was born with, I learnt to accept, build coping mechanisms, work around them, and take more time than the average person to get to my goals.

Its does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.

Confucious

I believe that happiness stems from doing everything in my power to make every aspect of my life better. Anything that is within my control, I have the power to change towards the better. Change is inevitable when I need it, when I envision it, when I action it. And the changes I make to life ultimately have made it better, because it has always been in my control to make the right decisions towards positive change.

We all make mistakes in our decisions. But what is crucial is that we don’t regret, we learn from our bad decisions and we do better next time by learning from these mistakes.

I have accumulated 36 years of no exercise, of not practicing good habits that make my body as physically healthy as possible. It stops here.

1. Start an exercise regime and stick to it.

2. Start healthy eating plan and stick to it.

And how about my mental wellbeing? All my life I have not built hobbies like listening to music, painting, drawing, bird watching!

3. Listen to music every chance get.

4. Listen to books that I enjoy.

What about my dreams? My bucket list? That one thing I wish I did and didn’t?

5. Follow my passion for fashion.

6. Tavel more even if my dialysis gets in the way!

Finding something as profound as happiness does not need anything profoundly complicated.

Just simple steps to build good habits. Habits that help me find myself; none of the changes I chose to make are to become someone I am not, or to become somebody else.

Make choices that are not essentially “you” and you will set yourself up for failure.

I want to achieve a body physique I am happy with. But I know I can not exercise heavily. And I can’t use my arms (its a dialysis thing!). I’m realistic with my exercise plan, it includes light exercises in bed, on a mat at home, and walking on the treadmill at work, as well as Tai Chi on Fridays. I only go to the gym because its free at work and couldn’t otherwise afford one. All my exercises are light because a small step forward is better than doing nothing. Once my stamina builds up, one day I will level up the difficulty.

Patience is a virtue.

Imagine if you set yourself up with the gym membership you never keep? It’s because you are being unrealistic with your ability to keep up. You aim too high. And you end up making a financially bad decision too as you never utilise it.

Start small. Copy YouTube exercise lessons. Try yoga.

I want to keep my mind busy so I don’t allow my mind to spiral into negativity. It’s easy to think bad thoughts when I have a disability to deal with! The stress just makes me worse, so it’s counterintuitive to worry. Right? Yes! But just telling me to not stress is not productive enough.

So to silence my thoughts I decided to listen to music more and listen to books.

Listen, being the operative word. I am a person who doesn’t use my hands the promise of taking up knitting or drawing would become a broken promise. I am not physically inclined so a promise to do a marathon would remain unfulfilled. The notion of reading books is not likely, I have a huge bookshelf, thousands of pages remain unread as I can’t concentrate on books.

So I listen. To music. To books. And it works! I am a listener not a reader or a doer. I found who I am and I used it to my advantage to give me the highest chances of succeeding in my pursuit to happiness.

I have dreams, just like anyone else. The worst thing in life is to become old and regret that I didn’t at least… Try. And if I fail at least I tried. Which is why I have decided ever at this later stage of my life to follow my passion for fashion and to travel more.

I am who my dreams are. And if I listen to myself I can find those dreams. And try to make them real.

It works. Just being myself to achieve my plans, turning them into accomplishments.

It is working, I promise you.

3 days into my 365 day diary and I’m doing it. Slowly. A little a day.

Tomorrow, I will tell you about the good habits I started creating!

Til then.

The Incorrigible Islingtonite

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