We hear this every year for the first week of January, and then it fades. We hear about the changes everyone is going to make to their lives to be ‘new’ or ‘different’ or ‘better’, etc., and then that too fades. Yet, when do we hear people say they are just going to try and make themselves ‘happy’ for the year? Rarely, if ever, that I’ve ever heard.

Now, some of you might be thinking, “but, I’m already happy!”
Stop and ask yourselves, however, Are you really?
How can we expect ourselves to be happy if we are focusing on the negative aspects of ourselves that we want to change? I have found, we can’t! Most people focus on the aspects about themselves they are ‘unhappy’ with, make a vow to change them, try real hard for a few weeks or months, stop trying because it’s either too hard, too time consuming, or the results that were being hoped for aren’t showing themselves. Thus, leading us into more unhappiness.

Am I saying that we shouldn’t focus on things about ourselves that aren’t appealing to us? No, of course not. All of us have faults, and if we allow those faults to overcome us, they can lead us to unappealing, unacceptable behaviors. I am constantly checking myself for these faults to see if they are creeping back in on me, and if they are, then I find ways to improve myself.

What’s the beast way to change ourselves then and stay happy while we do it? That’s the big question now isn’t it. Well, we should be focusing on one thing at a time. The biggest problem most people make, is trying to take on way too much on at one time. Then all the ‘changes’ we are trying to take on, become overwhelming, and we quit.

The top resolutions of 2014 include:
1. Losing Weight
2. Getting Organized
3. Spending Less, Saving More
4. Enjoying Life to the Fullest
5. Staying Fit and Healthy
6. Learning Something Exciting
7. Quitting Smoking
8. Helping Others in Their Dreams
9. Falling in Love
10. Spending More Time with Family

It seems, the #1 item on the majority of people’s resolution list is ALWAYS to either lose weight.
So, they start by saying “I’m going to lose 50 pounds” (or whatever the number is). Instead of focusing on the ENTIRE amount of weight you want to lose, start with a small percentage. Weight Watchers advises starting with losing 5% of your total weight. It’s a LOT easier to lose 10 pounds (if you weigh) 200 lbs, then it is to lose 50. After you’ve lost the 5%, then focus on the NEXT 5%, or raise it up to 10% if you are doing really well.
If you start by saying, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds, and re-evaluate myself AFTER that 10 pounds.” Then, not only will you find you reach a weight loss of 10 lbs. before you can reach a weight loss of 50 lbs., but you’ll find it less stressful to do. You will feel better about yourself, AND you will be making yourself HAPPY while doing it.

If you are looking to start working out this year, then start by working out 3 days a week instead of obligating yourself to working out every day or 5 days. Three days is more realistic, it gives you time to rest in between days, and if you haven’t worked out in a while, it won’t be too overwhelming or painful to do so.
You should also start by working out for small periods of time. If you can only workout for 15 minutes, then start there, and move up an extra 5 or 10 minutes every other week. If you can only walk for 30 minutes, then start by walking 30 minutes. Set that goal for a month. After a month, move it up to 45 minutes, or even 60. The point is to be making YOURSELF feel better, not worse. Don’t start with too much, or you are setting yourself up to fail.

Don’t start the New Year off with an entire list of things you wish to accomplish, such as, “This year, I’m quitting smoking, drinking soda, and exercising.” Most likely, that is NOT going to happen. I mean, let’s face it, if you could quit them that easy, you would have done it by now, right?
If you instead say. “This month, I’m going to quit smoking, and then next month I’ll re-evaluate where I am.”
This again, gives you only have one thing to focus on, and is easier to achieve. Also, remember, you are human and are going to make mistakes. If you can forgive yourself for these mistakes, you can move on and start over. Even if your starting over again, and again EVERY week. Trying is the first step in success. And, if you try again and again, eventually you will have success.

Before you make your resolution, stop and ask yourself, “What makes me happy?” And go from there. Whether it’s a clean house, healthier lifestyle or quitting a bad habit, start small. Let us not forget, the point of New Years Resolutions is supposed to make US feel better about ourselves.
Also, you don’t have to wait until the new year to make resolutions to be a better person. EVERY day is a fresh day, and we should all be thankful for each and every day we have here. Whether it’s yearly or daily resolutions you are resolving yourself to, the goal is to be happy with yourself for making and sticking to them them!
If we are not feeling better about ourselves, we can’t be happy with ourselves. If we aren’t happy with ourselves, then WHY are we doing all of this? The POINT OF LIFE, is to BE HAPPY. Whether we are fat, skinny, lazy, crazy, overemotional, or in rare circumstances perfect……it’s all worth nothing, if we are not HAPPY!
So, here’s to 2014 being the HAPPIEST year of your lives.