Are you happy? Does happiness seem elusive with an here-today-gone-tomorrow appearance in your life? The truth is that searching for happiness is a pointless quest. It’s simply not out there. But, don’t let that dissuade you from your desire to be happy! The good news is that you can create happiness. It’s within the ability of everyone to be happy*. In my series Creating Happiness, I will show you how.
How to Look Forward to the Future
So far in the Creating Happiness Series we have spent a lot of time talking about setting goals–from how to create goals to picking back up after failing to meet our goals. You’ve been given a good foundation in goal setting, but you may still feel unhappy. It’s tough to turn things around when you feel as if nothing is worth the effort or that no matter what goals you set, something will eventually throw you off course. So, why on earth do I spend so much time encouraging you to set and meet goals?
Because from my own personal experiences in life and with therapy clients I have found that when people have something to look forward to they are happier. When life becomes routine and predictable, it sometimes becomes dull and joyless. That’s not to say that having a comforting routine to your life is a bad thing. When all of your expectations are being met you are probably pretty happy. Still, having something on the horizon to anticipate and feel excitement over is important for happiness and for getting yourself out of a slump.
When you reach a point in your life when your goals have either been accomplished or forgotten, it’s time for a fresh start. This is why I encourage goal-setting so strongly. You need something to hope for, to plan on, to work for to bring back your zest for life! It’s worked in my own life and I’ve seen it work for clients.
Are your goals too far away?
If you’re thinking that your goal is too far away to bring you much anticipation right now or if you’re overwhelmed by the length of time it will take you to accomplish your goal (for instance, paying off a large debt) then you need to set smaller goals that have a more timely finish line. If you’re trying to pay off $20000 in debt, for example, reward yourself after every $500 paid. Take your eye off of the big prize for a moment (but, keep working toward it!) and start anticipating the smaller accomplishments! As I’ve said before, the momentum you gain from accomplishing one goal, no matter how small, will carry you toward the next goal and increase your happiness.
Your homework this week!
I am giving you an assignment this week. Go back to the beginning of this series and reread all of the posts. Make sure you are doing everything we’ve talked about so far. It’s going to be crucial that you define what’s important to you by setting solid goals as we move into the next part of the creating happiness series. We’re going to talk about how other people and events outside of your control have influenced your happiness. You’ll need a good sense of what you want and where you want to go before starting the work that the next several weeks will entail.