Home » The Progressive Professional… A Guide for Quality Living – January 2019

The Progressive Professional… A Guide for Quality Living – January 2019

Happy New Year from Project and Process Professionals.
Happy 2019!

Happy New Year! While our weather here in Cincinnati hasn’t always made everyone happy, it isn’t something in our control. On the other hand, our happiness is in our control. As we start 2019, it’s a great time to vow to make your life happy. What does that mean?

According to Merriam Webster, there are several definitions. Here’s my favorite because I believe it is the one you can most easily control:

Enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment; expressing, reflecting or suggestive of happiness; or, having or marked by an atmosphere of good fellowship.

What do you say or do every morning when you wake up? Are you excited to see what the day brings? Do you have things planned that will make you happy?

Happiness is in the eye of the beholder. What makes me happy may not make others happy. Some enjoy quiet meditation. Others, like me, find meditation to be a stressor because it feels like wasting time when I could be getting things done. I find happiness in being productive – getting things accomplished. What makes you happy?

Have you taken the time to identify what makes you happy? What makes you unhappy? Are you taking action to change those things in your life that make you unhappy? Only you can control those things. I often hear that people dislike their job or certain people or something they have to do. While we can’t avoid everything, our attitude makes a world of difference.

If you do have to do something you dislike, I find doing it first thing in the morning and getting it behind me makes for a much better day. Yes, it is sometimes hard to push myself to do it; however, when it is behind me, I feel much better and find my day is happier.

If you dislike your job, maybe it’s time to make a change. Start by thinking about what specifically is it that you dislike about it? Can you change that particular factor? If not, is there a way to minimize it? If it is such a horrible place to be, perhaps looking for another job is the right answer for you.

Are there people in your life that you dislike? Have you reflected on the reason? Is it something they did and perhaps you need to forgive and forget? Is it the way they do or don’t do things? Do they just get on your nerves? Why? If it is someone you have to deal with on a regular basis, consider that everyone has at least one good quality – focus on that, not the one(s) that bother you. You’ll find that it’s much easier to be around or work with them.

So why all this talk of happiness? At the beginning of the year, I reflected on whether I was truly happy. What I realized is that while there are many things I am grateful for, I felt in some ways that life was passing me by. I decided I needed to make some changes to improve my happiness factor.

I was reminded at my grandson Cody’s Eagle Court of Honor that doing a good deed helps others and makes you feel good. I am trying to do at least one good deed every day and it does feel good! Soon I will be volunteering with AARP to do taxes for folks that can’t afford to have a paid tax preparer help them through the process. I’ve been asked if I’m crazy – taxes??? What I found when I went through the training and got certified is that the people that have been doing this free service for several years feel it is one of the most rewarding things they do and, the clients are very appreciative. I’m looking forward to it!

I also felt I had been neglecting my health – activities as well as eating habits. The holidays took their toll along with out of town guests for several days. I’ve started back with my healthy eating habits and am dropping those extra pounds that appeared. I’ve also restarted my exercise program and, I feel great! Energized and ready for a great new year!

The final thing that was putting a damper on my happiness was lack of activities. Having dinner out, sitting around and catching up on TV, or playing games on my phone is not how I want to spend all my free time. I truly enjoy getting out of the house, doing something active, exploring new things – a broad variety of activities. While that can be a challenge at this time of the year, we are finding that we simply have to look for things we will enjoy.

My year is off to a great start – I hope yours is too!

For now, spend some time determining your “happiness factors” and take action. Only you can make your life happier! And, then you can do the Happy Dance!

Till next month, stay safe, warm and happy!