The quest for happiness can often feel like a continuous climb. Even after completing a significant stretch, there always seems to be more ground to cover— whether it’s to conquer a new workout regimen, adjust career plans or boost your parenting skills. There’s comfort in knowing “I’ll be happier when… [insert desired life change here].” However, that pursuit to find happiness often compromises our ability to be happy in the moment, even if that moment includes loads of laundry and a crying child. Here are five ways to remain present as you make conscious life changes to become your best self in your own pursuit of happiness.
5 WAYS TO REMAIN PRESENT IN YOUR PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
- BE AWARE
Rather than making a habit out of searching for happiness, be aware of it. This requires you to look past dirty dishes and a lengthy errands run. Instead, find happiness in what often causes that to-do list to add up. Perhaps your child wanted an extra hour of playtime with you, or maybe a productive day at work leant itself to a power nap. Sure, we all fall behind. Avoid getting so weighed down by catching up, that you miss the joy in between it all— a feat that proves especially hard for mothers. Remain aware of the belly laughs and the “I love you’s,” rather than the messy house or a failed checklist.
- EMBRACE SMALL STEPS
Often times, we assume the greatest happiness is achieved through accomplishing our biggest dreams. A major promotion, a cross-country move, a marriage proposal or the birth of a child. Of course, those changes do produce joy. However, in your quest to reach those milestones, embrace the smaller steps— the odd jobs, small living spaces, even the bad dates. Life is a series of mostly “boring” moments. Happiness lies within those moments, rather than merely around them.
- TRACK YOUR JOURNEY
Technology makes tracking your life incredibly convenient. Keep notes in your phone, your computer, your tablet— wherever is easiest. Make a point to record who or what made you feel something, whether it’s happy, accomplished, disappointed or angry. I personally love documenting the twists and turns of my journey on my website – blogs can be a great way to both track your steps and share with others. Documenting your journey toward becoming your best self promotes reflection and rejuvenation, which is especially important amidst a busy schedule.
- HAVE A GOOD CRY
Allow yourself to get emotional. Life is hard and often confusing, and sometimes a strong cry has the power to provide clarity. Tears don’t mean you’ve failed at finding happiness in your surroundings. Instead, tears indicate you’re processing life, absorbing it, and recognizing change. A strong cry also has the power to keep you sane, and quite frankly, we all need our sanity.
- CONGRATULATE YOURSELF
Go ahead, give yourself a gold star. Your accomplishments— big or small— are worth celebrating. Avoid wanting more before recognizing what you’ve already achieved. Whether you lose a few pounds, redecorate a room or wrap up a work project, congratulate yourself. Recognition works as a means of encouraging gratefulness along life’s infinite climb.