After the presents have been opened and the holiday cocktails drained, most of us transition to planning for the upcoming year, and resolutions are usually part of the prep. We’ve detailed some New Year’s resolutions for your home, which will help reset your surroundings post-holiday parties. But it’s also a great time to examine ways to elevate overall happiness levels. When New Year’s resolutions are too focused on unrealistic goals, they become depressing reminders of all that we haven’t accomplished yet. Instead, we say focus on cultivating new habits that will make you happy, and the rest will follow. Here are ideas for how to up level on happy throughout the coming year.
There’s nothing like an emphasis on positivity that reframes your perspective in the best possible way. Focusing on gratitude practice has been shown in interesting studies to decrease stress and increase happiness. Oprah swears by keeping a gratitude journal, writing down five things every day that you’re grateful for. Instead of thinking broadly—family, friends, a job—focus a bit more specifically—a fun coffee date with a friend, that fabulous new sweater that fits you like a glove—to help invigorate your gratitude practice and keep it from feeling boring. You’ll find yourself starting to look for things to be grateful for throughout the day, which is undoubtedly a happy way to live life.
Although most of us focus on work and how to get better at the things we need to do, few of us are great at making time for play as adults. Play is not about excellence or growth, but instead it’s an opportunity to let our creativity flow in seemingly frivolous, but overall helpful ways. Studies about incorporating play into the lives of adults show it to be highly beneficial for not only reducing stress but stimulating our brains to function at higher levels and be more creative. Playing like a kid keeps you young, and you can even experience more energy when you set aside time on a regular basis to do whatever it is that makes you smile. Whether that’s playing games with friends or coloring, think back to what you loved to do for fun when you were young and resolve to bring a bit of that back into your adult life.
Weight loss is notorious for always being at the top of New Year’s resolutions lists while usually being the resolution that never sees any progress. Instead of setting another weight loss goal that doesn’t get accomplished and only serves to make you feel badly about yourself, focus on developing a healthy habit of exercise that will make you happy. Whether that’s finding a trail to walk a few times a week, strength training to relieve stress or rock climbing for fun, make exercise all about feeling great instead of losing weight. Regular exercise increases endorphins—otherwise known as happiness hormones—and overall wellbeing, which is far better than aiming to fit into those skinny jeans wedged in the back of your closet. Let’s opt for being healthy and happy.
After the holiday season it’s easy to get sucked into busyness and forget to prioritize spending time with your favorite people. But quality time spent with quality people is an essential ingredient of a happy life. Instead of cluttering your New Year’s resolutions with impossible objectives that will only add stress to your life, make it a goal to entertain family and friends a specific number of times throughout the year. Entertaining doesn’t need to be formal or fancy to feel meaningful. Casual gatherings around the table where everyone contributes something delicious are fun to participate in and simple to plan. Our Fairy Tale Collection was made for gatherings exactly like these. Fairy Tale begins with a few familiar lines, but where it goes from there is entirely up to you. Tubular stainless steel crisscrosses beneath brightly colored cushions, adding detail and interest to the classic Chinese Chippendale style. Made from fade- and mildew-resistant acrylic Sunbrella® fabric, the removable cushion covers are designed for comfortable sitting and easy cleaning. Available in a variety of finishes and fabrics, Fairy Tale is the perfect stori for your next dinner party.
Focus on making New Year’s resolutions for happiness, and you’ll actually want to keep them next year. Cheers to a happier, healthier you!