We can all be happier.
There is no such thing as a maximal amount of happiness as far as I’m concerned. Even the happiest person in the world can become even happier.
So, no matter where you are currently on the happiness scale, you can always shift to a more happy you through conscious action.
That’s the whole point of this program. For the next thirty days I will walk you through specific exercises and concepts designed to make you happier.
I have a plan for what content will be on each day, but I intend to add extra resources to each day as I find them so you will probably want to check back on any post you find particularly helpful and see if I’ve added new links or resources to it.
Since this is the first day of the program, I feel like it is important to set the tone for what to expect over the coming thirty days.
You cannot simply expect to read through the posts and suddenly feel happy.
Nope. It just doesn’t work that way. The exercises are meant to be done, not just read through. This means you need to make a commitment right now that you will put in the work if you want to experience the results.
Even though I call it “work”, the entire purpose of this is for you to feel happier. In other words, to enjoy the experience.
Therefore, I want you to make another commitment: if at any point, you feel as though you are actually less happy because of working towards it, you must immediately stop this program.
If you read through that link, it can seem as though actively trying to increase your happiness actually decreases it. This research is incredibly preliminary, and I would take it with a grain of salt.
There is a ton of research on ways that you can increase your happiness, and that is what we will be working with here. That being said, if you find it to be the case that this program is having negative effects, STOP.
Are you committed yet? Good. Like I said before, there will be different exercises for each day, but I wouldn’t expect them to take more than an hour on most days, though each day will vary.
There are a couple of things I want you to do every day during this program.
The following exercises are the backbone of this program, and will hopefully allow you to feel a taste of increased happiness each and every day.
If you commit to doing them for the next thirty days, you will have created a habit, and it will be easier to stick with it beyond then. I only ask you to commit for the first thirty, and then you can decide whether you want to continue with them afterwards.
Exercise #1: You can choose to do this exercise at any time of day, so long as you are dedicating your full attention to it at that time. I suggest either the morning right after waking, or at night right before bed, but whatever works best for you is fine.
For this exercise, I want you to write down three things that you are thankful for, and why. Don’t just write down random things. Spend a moment and think about it. Remember, you also have to write down why you are thankful for it.
Exercise #2: This is an exercise taken from my post about enjoying the simple pleasures. I suggest reading that post to get a feel for what I’m talking about in it’s original context, but I am adapting the exercise for the purposes of this program.
First, you will need to write a list of some of the simple pleasures in your life. I suggest you take at least a half an hour right now to put some thought into this list, and make it contain at least 50 different items.
Don’t write down things that you think you should enjoy, only things that you actually do enjoy. This exercise is pointless if you are not honest with yourself.
Once you’ve made your list, you must do at least three things from this list every day for the next thirty days.
There are a couple of additional rules for this exercise.
First, you must experience or do at least fifty different items from this list by the time the thirty days are over.
Second, you can only give yourself credit for having done the simple pleasure if you actually enjoyed it. You are not allowed to do something just in order to cross it off the list.
Even if you don’t do any of the other exercises coming up in this program, you should be noticeably happier as long as you consistently apply the above two.
Move on to Day 2: Perform a SWOT analysis.