What is happiness? If you are thinking of changing your life for the better, one way is start identifying your goals. What version of happiness or well-being are you looking for? This might be any combination of the following:
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-Sense of Freedom
-Purpose in Life
On the flip side, how do you define unhappiness? Do you feel lethargic or depressed, afraid or lonely? If you are dissatisfied with certain areas of your life, how will you decide to change? What are some of the necessary steps to change when you are stuck?
We can begin with identifying what changes and goals you want to make in your life. When YOU decide to change your life, here are some ideas:
1. Explore your feelings. Keep a journal, talk with a trusted friend, and get feedback from family about their perspective.
2. Envision your future. Make a collage, do a guided visualization, create a mind map, research some possibilities.
3. Be open to new ideas and perspectives. Take a class, say “yes” instead of no, and try something different, daring and fun. Doing “one thing different” will help to expand your goal seeking.
4. Look for kindred spirits. Seek out those people who make you blossom, with similar interests, energy and dreams. Avoid those who bring you down.
5. Set goals and targets. Follow through, evaluate your progress, and reward yourself for the achievements that you make.
6. Take one step at a time. Divide your goals into small steps, do one small thing each day. Remind yourself that experience is part of the process, not good or bad.
Here’s an idea on how this might look in your relationship:
Your goal is that you want to improve communications with your partner.
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If you want to demonstrate to your partner that you respect and care about them, try substituting “I” messages instead.
When you start your statement with “I”, you are taking responsibility for the statement. It is less blaming and negative than the “you” message.
Try this formula: Your feelings + Describe the behaviour + Effect on You
Here’s how it would sound… “When I heard that you had to work this weekend, I was angry that you hadn’t asked me first if I wanted to spend time with you”.
It takes some practice at first, but with a little patience and time you will be communicating in a more positive way with your partner, and making a small step towards change!