Today, I want to talk about goals, progress and happiness and how all three things are interrelated.
For me the first few days of a month are always about revisiting my goals, taking a moment to realign myself with my values and mission and then working out my plan on what I’m going to do to help me get there.
In this article, I explore why seeing progress towards your biggest life goals can make you a happier person inside and out.
Did you know?
Pursuing your goals and having something to work towards is important for psychological well-being.
I don’t know about you. But I’ve always been a very goal-focused person. During high school I always had multiple things I was working towards. Whether it was house captain, being better at a certain sport, getting good grades etc.
In university it was no different, and now as I build my business and work full time, I always have a goal I’m working towards.
Sometimes I find it hard to understand those who don’t have any goals. Who aren’t working towards anything particular. How can you not be focused on bettering yourself each and every day, even if it’s just something small?
Although some of us may be better at goal setting and achievement than others, I 100% believe to my core that both of these skills can be learned and reinforced through habit.
I love this quote from one of my favourite success coaches, Darren Hardy. He says:
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
On the same note, Tony Robbins advocates that “Progress equals happiness” and I do believe these guys are on to something pretty special.
The Science Behind It – Goals & Happiness
According to a 2007 study,pursuing personal goals gives a person structure and meaning in their lives. The research also indicates that people who make progress towards their goals have better mental well-being than individuals who lack a sense of direction or purpose.
It may not sound like rocket science, but when we achieve one of our most difficult goals it can give us the confidence, motivation and the emotional reaction we need to continue taking action towards our other goals too.
I live by this strategy every single day.
The Importance of Commitment and Consistency
Like most people, a few years ago, I used to determine my daily priorities based on rolling to do lists and knocking off quantity rather than quality.
I’d ask myself, which items are the simplest and easiest to get done today, so I can tick off as many items as possible on that list.
In my head, I’d convince myself that this method was super productive. But at the end of the day, I’d find myself feeling guilty and defeated because despite what I’d tell myself, I knew that the most important and complex task was left unticked.Have you ever felt a similar way?
It’s not that I was procrastinating. I just had my priorities in the wrong order. Since completing a productivity course earlier this year, I realised that all I needed to do was shift my focus from quantity, to quality.
And wow, that small shift of focus has significantly impacted my progress towards achieving my big hairy audacious goals. I also feel so much happier and satisfied at the end of each day.
Now I’d love you to give it a go too.
Think to yourself, what is the one biggest and most valuable thing you can do today that will help you take one step closer to your goals? What is the one thing that if you get this done without doing anything else, you’ll be happy with your achievement?
It’s amazing how simply shifting your focus to completing your high return activities FIRST and taking small steps towards your goals each day, can make you feel so much more productive and content with your life.
You will no longer have that guilt hanging over your shoulders due to not doing that one high priority task that you promised yourself you would do. Especially when the excuse for not doing it is due to completing all the “small” insignificant stuff.
Are you making progress towards your goals?
The toughest question of all.
I love this time of the year as you can clearly separate those who have been taking consistent action towards their goals, from those who were all talk and never walked the walk.
Some may have even started by taking one step towards their goal, but never actually established a routine which allowed them to build momentum and keep a consistent pace going.
Procrastination is the biggest killer of your dreams. It does more than just undermine your performance but now science reveals that it can also impact your well-being, happiness and satisfaction with life.
So, what are your goals?
Is it to travel the world? Lose a few of those extra kg’s you built up over winter? Is it to learning more about healthy eating? Or maybe to live a happier lifestyle?
Whatever it may be, it’s always critical to continue taking small steps each and every day to get there.
If you’d like to learn more about living a happier and healthier lifestyle, check out the resources below:
Meditation is great because it helps you build a habit of expressing gratitude and can help to calm the mind, promote relaxation and improve focus during your day. It also has many scientifically proven health benefits in addition to boosting health and happiness.
If you’d like to learn more expressing gratitude through meditation, a great place to start is with our Mindfully Happy Handbook.
Get your copy of the Mindfully Happy Handbooktoday and learn how to live a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life through:
Building a Positive Mindset &
Overcoming Limiting Beliefs that hold you back from achieving your true potential.
With this checklist, you’ll gain insight into some simple activities you can do each day to feel awesome in your body and win the day before you’ve even entered your office doors.
14 Happiness Quotes by Famous People
1.“If you can do what you do best and be happy, you’re further along in life than most people.”
– Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor
2. “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
3. “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfilment.”
– Tony Robbins, Entrepreneur & Life Coach
4. “I think most of us are raised with preconceived notions of the choices we’re supposed to make. We waste so much time making decisions based on someone else’s idea of our happiness – what will make you a good citizen or a good wife or daughter or actress. Nobody says, ‘Just be happy – go be a cobbler or go live with goats.”
– Sandra Bullock, Actress
5. “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.”
– Democritus, Greek Philosopher
6. “There comes a certain point in life when you have to stop blaming other people for how you feel or the misfortunes in your life. You can’t go through life obsessing about what might have been.”
– Hugh Jackman, Actor
7. “Happiness comes from you. No one else can make you happy. You make you happy.”
8. “Most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But I know I am successful, wealthy, and connected because I am happy.”
– Richard Branson, Business Entrepreneur
9. “You might not make it to the top, but if you are doing what you love, there is much more happiness there than being rich or famous.
– Tony Hawk, Professional Skateboarder
10. “No one is perfect… absolutely no one. Like precious stones, we have a few flaws, but why focus on that? Focus on what you like about yourself, and that will bring you happiness and peace.”
– Richard Simmons, Television Personality
11. “Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come”
– Ellen DeGeneres
12. “My mother is a big believer in being responsible for your own happiness. She always talked about finding joy in small moments and insisted that we stop and take in the beauty of an ordinary day..”
– Jennifer Garner, Actress
13. “It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short-term and the long-term for both yourself and others will come”
– Dalai Lama, Buddhist Monk
14. “The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”
― Audrey Hepburn, Actress
So there you have it, some beautiful happiness quotes and tips to help you create a life that you love.
5) Find Happiness Through Meditation & Mindfulness
During your week, it’s important to take a moment to clear your mind.
Meditation is a great way to bring your focus back to the present.
When you focus on the present moment, you are much more likely to feel centred, happy and at peace. Meditation and mindfulness can help you with this.
And no, you don’t need to be a “pretzeled” yogi or a Buddhist monk to reap the health benefits of meditation. Anyone can engage in meditation exercises… even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes each morning.
When practiced regularly, meditation can help to reduce negative thoughts, anxiety, stress and depression and increase feelings of peace, calmness and serenity.
If you’ve heard about meditation and are curious to learn more about it, sign up for our Free introductory meditation e-course below.
6) Be Kind to Others & Yourself
This one is pretty simple. Just be nice!
You don’t have to be an angel or saint 100% of the time. Just be more respectful and kind to those around you.
Doing nice things for people can trigger feelings of happiness by making us feel warm and fuzzy due to the natural dopamine (happiness hormone) release we get from doing so.
Volunteer your time, help others and be giving.
They may not always return the favour or physically show their appreciation, but you’ll reap rewards in the long run, even if it’s just good Karma.
7) Nurture Your Body Properly
Your body is your temple and you only get one.
Instead of treating your body like a rubbish bin, fuel it with nutritious and healthy whole foods.
Engage in regular exercise (even if it’s just a 30-minute walk on your lunch break) and strive to get the 7-9 hours of sleep that your body needs for optimum performance.
This will make you feel good on the inside and look great on the outside.
When you feel run down or sick, give you body a chance to rest, repair and recharge. Even if it means not getting that one last task done and ticked off your to do list.
Self care is so critical, especially if you’re a high-achiever and tend to push yourself to burn out.
8) Appreciate You for You
Learn to love yourself as you are.
Each of us has our own quirks and insecurities. It’s how you manage and respond to these insecurities that will determine whether you thrive or self-destruct over time.
You have 3 options. You can either:
Choose to hate yourself or that part of your body; putting yourself down each time you look in the mirror over something you cannot change.
Take action to make a change. If you’re overweight, go to the gym and start eating properly.
Accept it and move on. Identify all the other characteristics that you love about yourself. Maybe you have great hair? A killer smile? A kind and loving heart? A natural wisdom about the world?
We’re all different and have unique features and personalities. Embrace it!
Accept yourself as you are – flaws and all.
Be grateful for what you do have rather than stressing about the things you don’t.
No one is perfect – so why are you trying so hard to be?
9) Cherish Your Relationships
Relationships are one of the biggest sources of happiness in our lives.
Yet in our busy society, we become so easily caught up with other responsibilities that we neglect those around us.
In the pursuit of money, fame and fortune many of us overlook the needs of our family and friendships. If managed poorly it can lead you to a very depressing place.
To be happy, you must focus on surrounding yourself with a supportive circle of family and friends, a loving relationship and a thriving social life.
Cultivate and build connections (no, not through Instagram or Facebook), but actually in person.
By doing so, you will experience greater levels of joy, attract higher quality relationships into your life and satisfy your sense of belonging.
Rid yourself of pessimists or gossipers.
Disconnect from people in your life who make you feel bad, unworthy or unconfident.
Instead, make a conscious effort to spend quality time with happy people, family and friends who make you feel good, support and encourage you and take delight in your good fortunes.
In return, offer them the same.
10) Be Resilient
Learn and grow in the face of challenge.
When you get smacked down in life, remember…. life is a rollercoaster.
Don’t let it get you down.
Instead, rise up from failure, take on new challenges and adapt readily to change.
Stop taking things so seriously (as I used to). The truth is that you can’t control everything or have your way all the time (even though I used to wish we could).
Sometimes, life can push you down a different path which can be scary, or even exhilarating.
So ease up tiger!
Let your hair down every now and again and enjoy the ride. All will work out in the end.
For me, these 10 things have had a significant impact on my life.
I hope for your sake, that they have helped trigger even just ONE NEW IDEA on how you could do something differently. ONE SMALL THING you could change in your life to be a happier and healthier you.
If you need help with creating a life you love and that lights you up every day, I can help!
We’ve designed a course to specifically help you to become a happier and healthier you in 21 days.
You’ll learn how to improve all aspects of your life (physical, emotional and mental health) and how you spend your time.
I’ll teach you a simple routine to maximise results each day, so you can make progress towards your biggest goals and start you day with the things you love and that make you feel amazing (rather than forcing yourself out of bed each morning).
With the checklist, you won’t receive as much value or guidance compared to the course, however it will give you insight into a list of activities you can do each day to live a happier and healthier life.
Think of it as a mini small sneak peak inside what is covered in detail in the Journey to Happiness course.
Enter your details below to get sent your free Journey to Happiness Checklist:
Happiness Habit #1: Happy People Express Gratitude
Happiness. Something many of us desire, but few truly achieve. In this article, I will be highlighting 15 common habits of happy people.
A curious thing about happiness is that each of us defines it differently. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
For one person, happiness could be dependent on buying a particular material possession (eg. Fancy car) or having millions of dollars in their bank account.
For someone else, it could be about fitting back into their super-tight levi jeans or being liked by all their friends and family.
The problem with basing your happiness on these kinds of things though is that the happiness you experience will be short-lived.
This is why so many people in the western world are unhappy and discontent with their lives.
They are focusing on the wrong things to cultivate their happiness and in the long-term, it will fail.
Instead, here are 15 proven things that you can add to your daily routine to feel greater happiness, meaning, and fulfillment in your life. Check them out below!
1. Happy People Express Gratitude
The next time you’re feeling down or pissed off with life, take a moment to pause and reflect.
Consider instead, all the amazing things you have in your life and everything that has been going right up until that point.
When you wake up in the morning, or just before you go to bed, express gratitude.
Take 30 seconds to run over all the things that you are currently grateful for in your mind. It could be having:
Your loving family and friends by your side
The cutest doggy best friend in the world
A roof over your head
Food on the table
The ability to choose how you live your life
A car to give you flexibility & independence
Living in a safe neighbourhood
The list goes on…
When you start to note down all the small things you’ve been taking for granted, your perspective changes.
There are many others around the world who are not as blessed as you are and would KILL to live a day in your shoes.Always remember that.
2. Happy People Show Compassion & Kindness to Themselves and Others
It’s time to let go of the things you don’t like about yourself. You are extraordinary, you are unique and there is no one else in the world like you. Embrace it!
Be kind to yourself; loving and accepting yourself as is, flaws and all. Negative self-talk will only make you feel sad and lose confidence.
Try to treat yourself as you would a friend…with forgiveness, kindness and compassion.
In addition to being kind to yourself, show kindness and generosity to others.
Just one small act of kindness could brighten and completely change the day of someone else around you. You will also feel great for doing it too.
3. Happy People Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
“Don’t sweat the small stuff!” – A sentence my mum used to say to me all the time! I can still hear her voice relaying over in my head like a broken record.
For those who sweat the small stuff (like I have the tendency to do at times), life can become overly stressful, when in reality it really doesn’t need to be.
There are always going to be things that you don’t have control over…so why get all wound up about it. Such things happen all the time.
Instead of worrying about these small things, just ask yourself “Will this matter a year from now or not?”
In most cases, the small things will have little importance. Let them go! See the bigger perspective and choose to focus only on the things you have direct control over.
You won’t be able to be a happier person if you’re constantly worried and angry about small insignificant things.
As Taylor Swift would say: “Shake it off! Shake it off!”
4. Happy People Have a Positive Outlook on Life
Being happy doesn’t mean you’re always smiling or laughing. But, it does mean being resilient when life decides to punch you in the face.
Change how you perceive the world. View problems and setbacks as challenges and opportunities, not as a failure.
Nothing will ever be perfect and in most cases, it all works out in the end anyway.
AND usually, there is something you can learn or can take away from the experience.
5. Happy People Hang Out With Other Happy People
Bahh negative people. Such drainers…
A year ago, I took this exact idea on board and started disassociating with the negative and toxic people in my life.
No more gossipers. No more pessimists. AND GOSH what a difference it made to how I feel!
You can do it too!
Happy and successful people surround themselves with like-minded individuals. This also means letting go of any relationships that are toxic or draining.
Being surrounded only by those we love and who make us feel good causes our brain to release happiness hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin.
Friends who make us feel good also provide us with a greater sense of security, togetherness, self-worth and belonging.
Nurture these relationships and rid yourself of the others. Start now and remove the excess toxicity from your life.
6. Happy People Don’t Hold Grudges
I laugh at this one, because Jesus Christ, some people love to hold a good ol’ grudge! Yet most are completely unaware that really, the only person they’re hurting is themselves.
Sure, your repeated passive-aggressiveness may succeed at hurting someone’s feelings every once and a while, but why focus your precious time on hurting someone else, when you could be spending that time and energy on something else that you actually love doing.
Come on guys …priorities!
Many of us have also experienced the humiliation when our long-held grudge completely backfires, with the person not even noticing that you’re angry with them #FAIL!!
So, stop wasting your time consuming yourself with hate and anger.
Learning to forgive and forget is one of the greatest foundations for happiness and building strong relationships.
You will feel much better in the long run. Trust me I know!
7. Happy People Start Their Mornings on a Positive
Sleep. Sleep AND Sleep.
Sleep is so critical for good health and also has a big impact on our mood. Aim for 7-9 hours if you can, as this is typically what your body needs for repair and recovery.
In addition to sleep, you could even start your morning with a short meditation session, as I do.
Or if you’re not into “that kind of thang”, try making your bed before you leave, indulging in a cheeky coffee sesh or enjoying a workout to get some endorphins going.
These morning activities can help you to get into the right headspace and a good mood to tackle the day ahead. And whatever you do, please please please don’t start your day by reading the news.
Newspapers and live news on TV are focused primarily on getting your attention. And their best bet with this is by delivering negative, fear-inducing news.
They know that is how they will get the most eyeballs and therefore up their ratings.
If you want to start your day on a happy note, don’t expose yourself to these negative vibes.
In most cases, it doesn’t affect your life directly anyway so why get worked up about it?
8. Happy People Don’t Base Their Self Worth on Pleasing Others
You can’t be happy if you’re constantly trying to please and impress others.
Trying to make everyone happy at the expense of your own happiness is ridiculous and will fail.
This is because it is impossible to please everyone 100% of the time, no matter what you do. AND by trying, you will never get to live the life you want because you’re so impacted by other’s opinions.
None of us are perfect. So, if you want to please anyone in life, just focus on pleasing yourself.
Do the things that make you feel good, happy and that you love…regardless of the opinions of those around you.
9. Happy People Practice Mindfulness Regularly
Even if it is for just 5 minutes a day – meditation has significant benefits for your mind, body, and soul.
It can help you to reduce stress, negative thoughts, and emotions and can also help you to see things in a more positive and healthy way.
If you’re interested in getting started with meditation, ensure to check out these articles:
We only get one body in our lifetimes, so why punish it?
Exercise and a healthy diet have such a positive impact across all areas of your life. It releases “feel-good” chemicals (Dopamine) into our brain helping you to feel energetic and pumped for the day ahead.
It also reduces stress and anxiety, which means, more happiness for you!
Ever get that flabby feeling after eating a whole block of chocolate…… OK, maybe that’s just me. Yes, I can eat a WHOLE BLOCK in one go. #ChocolateAddict
Anyway, having that whole block of chocolate sure felt great at the time but shortly, that dreaded food baby appears and the need for a recovery nap food coma ensues. You start to quickly regret that poor life choice.
What I’m trying to get at is that unhealthy sugary food makes you feel good in the short term, but over the long term, you just feel fat, lazy and lethargic.
The key takeaway here: Take care of your body and it will take care of you!
11. Happy People Live Within Their Means
It continues to amaze me how so many of us live within cultures that are obsessed with money! And especially with spending it… on sh**ty things.
Happy people have smart spending habits and live within their means. They spend within their budget and avoid having unnecessary debts that cause high levels of stress and regret.
On the contrary, unhappy people spend their money unnecessarily and then complain and wonder why they are still broke and living paycheck to paycheck.
Which one are you??
12. Happy People Find Joy in the Small Things
If you want to be happier, spend your time and money on new experiences and memories. Not material objects and possessions.
A fancy car or a million dollar mansion isn’t going to mean much to you when you’re on your death bed.
Even, research shows that the happiness you get by acquiring materialistic objects does not last. It doesn’t take long for the novelty of something “fancy” to wear off.
Especially given how fast things are advancing these days.
That super dooper car you recently spent thousands on or your brand “new” iPhone will probably be outdated and old-fashioned within a few years.
On the other hand, experiences, memories and the small joys of life last a lifetime.
I know what I’d choose! What do you choose to spend your money on?
The best things in life are free.
13. Happy People Live in the Now and Plan For the Future
Stop worrying so much that your life isn’t where you hoped it’d be. You still have time.
Dwelling on your past isn’t going to help much. The past is done and dusted and there’s not much you can do now, other than to accept what happened and move on.
Focus on living your life now!
Live every day to its fullest and appreciate the small joys of each day.
Take a moment to look up from your phone and appreciate the clear blue sky, the birds singing or even the impressiveness of the skyscrapers that stand tall above you.
People die, just like that! You never know what tomorrow will bring.
So, do your best to plan for your future, but also take the time to find the joys in the present.
14. Happy People Take Action Towards Their Goals
One of the greatest foundations to cultivating happiness is seeing signs of progress towards your goals.
Whether it’s losing weight, saving enough money for a holiday or learning a new skill, seeing growth towards our goals gives us an amazing sense of achievement and success.
15. Happy People Treat Themselves and Make Time for the Things They Love
When something really good happens, reward yourself! And for goodness sake, do NOT feel guilty for doing so.
After a tough day at work take the time out to watch a movie, have a luxurious bath with scented candles, get a massage, eat some chocolate or spend some money on a weekend away.
Life without indulgence is pretty boring. You’re allowed to enjoy life’s luxuries every once and a while.
Happiness Habit #15: We all deserve to treat ourselves from time to time!
So there you have it – 15 Common Habits of Happy People.
Remember: in the most part, your happiness is based on your state of mind. It is the only thing you have complete control over and the power to change.
In the end, it’s really up to each of us to find our own happiness.
So, starting today, which of these habits are you going to introduce into your life?
Feel free to write yours in the comments section below.