How to find happiness in 2012

By: Dec 30, 2011
happiness in 2012

This year, why not consider switching things and being selfish for a change?

Doesn’t it seem like it was only yesterday you were celebrating the 2010 holiday season with an eye on ways to ensure happiness and success in 2011? As you look forward to 2012, ask yourself if it might be time to set some tough goals. Maybe in years past your goals were simply to lose weight, be a better coworker, volunteer more or get more involved in your community. This year, why not consider switching things and being selfish for a change?

Resolutions: A New Twist on an Old Idea
Resolutions are really so passé, aren’t they? Promising in January that you will do anything to keep the pounds off throughout the year is not a resolution; it’s a lifestyle. Volunteerism is something you shouldn’t resolve to do; it’s either in your nature or it isn’t. This year, why not focus on you? Rather than think of things like the economy and family issues as being outside your purview, consider ways to not react to them, but take care of yourself as they wreak their havoc around you.

This year why not resolve to:

  • Find a new definition of success
  • Make some life changes (regardless how scary this seems)
  • Say no to drama

That sounds easy, doesn’t it? Read on, my friend! Maybe one of these applies to you, maybe they all do. As the saying goes, take what you can and leave the rest.

Find a New Definition of Success
What is success to you? Is it finally being able to sit in the corner office? Is it being an incredible mother? Does it mean getting that degree you always wanted but finances prevented you from obtaining? Ask yourself not what would make you think others would respect you more, but give you internal happiness. Sometimes we set these goals for ourselves because we believe society, our spouse, our employer expects these things of us. Ditch all of them. They’re going to be your cheering section no matter what you set out to accomplish, so set a goal that will make you happy and proud of yourself. Only you know what that is.

Make Some Life Changes
The second part of this is – regardless how scary this seems. We all get ourselves in ruts, and find it difficult to pull out of them. Whether it’s professional, personal, or financial, we all do it from time to time. While we don’t like doing it, sometimes it’s easier to maintain that rut because the work it takes to extricate ourselves is not only more difficult but represents more pain than staying in it. People in general, and in particular women can find themselves simply accepting when it’s not acceptable.

Maybe it means starting a business that you always wanted to do but lacked the capital. Get your business plan together and if your bank says no to a loan, ask each of your relatives to invest in your business. Find creative ways to raise the capital. Maybe it means asking your employer to help you get started. Don’t be shy! You can’t be a business owner and be timid. Fear is the last reason to not follow your dreams.

It can mean staying in an unhealthy relationship because you’re afraid to leave. Maybe you fear loneliness, retribution, financial devastation or admonishment from your community. Difficult as it is to stay, leaving seems impossible. No matter what the situation is, honey, you ain’t gettin’ any younger! Don’t spend another moment where you don’t want to be, ecspically when it is slowly chipping away at your heart and soul.

If you find that your situation is creating endless drama for you, you will certainly want to read the next piece of advice.

No More Drama!
This could be the mantra of nearly every woman, couldn’t it? The soul singer Mary J. Blige thought so; she wrote an entire song about it. Isn’t there always some friend or family member who is trying to drag us into drama? Whenever your best friend has problems with her husband, whose number shows up first in her contacts? When your siblings fight with each other, your parents or other family members, have you noticed they just love dragging you into it? There’s a reason they love dragging you in. In part it’s because they see you as a pillar of strength; someone to lean on. But it’s also a neurotic tendency (usually subconscious and not malicious) to drag others with them in their quagmire.

Rather than extricate themselves from whatever is painful and difficult (referring back to making life changes), it’s easier to pull others in. Hard as it must seem and certainly you will be called terrible names for doing so, if you are inclined to help others who are in a perpetual state of drama, just say no! You aren’t doing yourself any favors, and although they don’t believe it, you’re actually not doing them any good, either. Politely suggest they remove themselves from their drama and offer to be there once they have. Let them know you can be a better friend/sibling/coworker as a source of support once changes are made, but not until.

As the world goes through big financial and political upheaval, making 2012 and beyond a wee bit scary and uncertain, there’s no better time to reclaim your life and gain complete control over it.