Creating Happiness and Meaningful Goals

Whether it's a new year or May, setting and evaluating goals is key to long-term success.  I recommend reviewing and potentially re-setting goals once per quarter.  The following guide can help you get there.  Let's create more fulfillment and happiness in your life.

idea monster goals

Intrigued?   Want more?  Let's schedule a goal setting session or values exploration together to help you frame and design your future.


Life is Better When You Are Laughing

Originally composed by Lauren Myrick on 9 May 2014.
Alright, I can't hide it any longer... I'll admit it, I love laughing and I love infographics. OK, so those weren't bombshells, but I wanted to get your attention.

Two things to share with you:
1-- Why you should laugh more, and
2-- Provide you with ideas on how to laugh more this weekend and always...

This might seem like a silly post - why on Earth would I need to remind people to laugh more? - but there is actually a fair amount of research on laughing and it's health benefits.  Plus we can all use a friendly reminder to relax, laugh, and be kind to ourselves.

Laugh to boost your productivity!
Smiling and laughing are good for your health and brighten your day. They are especially great activities to do at work because they boost problem-solving ability and creativity.

Get you through the tough times... 
I think Bill Cosby said it best,"Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it."
And strengthen bonds...
Laughing can bridge gaps and bring people together.  "Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment. Shared laughter is one of the most effective tolls for keeping relationships fresh and exciting." From ... full article here.  So laugh more with your friends, family, and co-workers.

A few ideas to get you started:
1 - Tell more jokes - Comedy Central has an extensive joke index if you need some ideas!
2 - Play a game with your friends or family – and tone down the competition, just have fun! Here are some Top Selling Board Games or go outside and play a game of kick-ball or softball.
3 - Watch a funny movie... Here's a list of 100 funny movies.
4 - Go to a comedy show! Search for a comedy club near you or check out Ticketmaster!
5 - Laugh at yourself! Share embarrassing moments... They all eventually become funny anyway.
6 - Attempt to laugh at situations rather than get angry. You can more easily solve problems when you aren't mad at/about them.
7 - Do something silly!  (Have a great idea? Don't hesitate!  Act on it in less than 5 seconds!)
What are your thoughts?  When was the last time you laughed till you cried?
Share your ideas below!

And wishing a happy, wonderful, and laugh-filled Mother's Day to all Mom's reading this :)

I better catch you laughing or I'll get your nose!


The Science of Happiness

Originally composed by Lauren Myrick on 1 April 2014.

The Science of Happiness & Tips on Being Happy

Humans are the only animal that worry about the future.  The good news is that we can choose to be in the present moment… and there are tips on how to do this!  Focusing on (and enjoying!) the present is one way to increase happiness.  By aligning our values intrinsically, we can also increase our happiness.  Aligning values extrinsically, on material possessions, status, or "things," has been linked to long term dissatisfaction and mental illness.

Last month, I was able to attend a speaker series hosted by GE, “The Science of Happiness” presented by Buck Davis.  Buck’s presentation gave a background on happiness research, expanded on the elements above, and gave us six practices we can integrate into our routines to be happier.

Buck stressed the importance of believing in yourself and taking ownership over your life.  We also need to set more realistic goals.  It is nearly impossible to be the most outstanding husband/wife, parent, boss, employee, philanthropist, citizen, and friend every single day… we need to distribute our efforts, with different goals receiving their own attention.  Buck also brought up the “Zorro circle” as discussed in The Happiness Advantage, mastering your circle, then slowly growing it outward.

Other happiness-boosting notes:
  • Reducing the activation energy of a task by 20 seconds makes you more likely to start/achieve the task
  • Habits are formed in 21 days
  • 6 Ways to boost happiness (as outlined in the presentation):
Socially network, get involved, be with friends
Find meaning in daily activities
Conscious acts of kindness
Practice gratitude

Benefits of happiness (Other than being happy, of course!)
  • Increased social bonds
  • Bounce back from set-backs quicker
  • Lower mortality
  • Higher energy
  • Better work outcomes/success

 Resources & Tools: