11 Simple-Yet-Powerful Changes To Make That Help You Create A Truly Happy Life

Happiness is a thing you do, not just something you feel.

Last updated on Feb 15, 2024

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Nurturing your own happiness may not seem so plain and simple at first. That's because most of us did not learn the recipe for happiness, let alone the essential ingredients. So how could we know how to nurture them?

As we learned how to make our bed, tie our shoes, and get our homework done, we trained our focus on such tasks. But most of us were not taught how to wake up in the morning and create a spectacular day for ourselves, the kind that oozes happiness out of every crevice!


Here are 11 powerful but simple changes that help you create a truly happy life

1. Claim all of it

First and foremost, you need to know that you're 100% responsible for your life — every last bit of it. Taking on this responsibility might sound like the opposite of carefree and happy, but it's only when we recognize that we are the creators of our lives that we become free to create what we truly want.

You can’t change your life to be happier if you don’t claim your life first. So claim the power to create change as yours.

Does this mean you will also have to face what you have created that you don't want? Yes, but stick with it, because the payoff will outweigh any temporary discomfort. Plus, you’ll grow even more by claiming all of yourself.




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2. Know what makes you happy

How can you create a truly happy life if you don’t first recognize what happiness is? Well, by practicing recognizing things that make you feel good, of course.

Turn inward and ponder a few very important questions about yourself. What brings you pleasure and happiness? Alone time or social time? A good home-cooked meal or enjoying takeout and a movie?


Becoming conscious of the things you most enjoy is the first step; doing them more often and on a daily basis is the second. Start tracking the little things you do in your life that make you feel good. If you’re someone who already does this, remember to check back in with yourself from time to time.

The essential ingredients of our happiness change over time, so we need to ask ourselves what brings us joy repeatedly throughout life.

3. Focus on it

What you focus on, grows. Too often, we focus on what makes us unhappy, rather than the things that make our day better. To create a truly happy life, change things up and start focusing on the things that are working for you — no matter how large and small they are.

Notice how bringing your focus to the positive and productive things happening in your life (even if it's one, small thing!) makes the things that aren't “working” seem much less important. Notice how, when you pay attention to what is working, you start to notice even more things that are working, or how to make even more things work.


When you take the time to truly zone in on the positive, and remove all the negative thinking from your mind, you're one step closer to creating an entirely new, joyous life for yourself.

simple changes that help you create a truly happy lifePhoto: ArtHouse Studio / Pexels

4. Eliminate what isn't working

To make room for even more greatness in your life, you need to get rid of what isn't working. This means everything from the superficial to the deep — from getting rid of clothes that don't suit you, to ending relationships that no longer serve you.


If you don't get rid of what is no longer in service of your happiness, you will struggle to open up to even more happiness in your life! And that's not a good thing. So, be brave and bold and let go of what's no longer supporting you. Instead, make space for the good.

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5. Take care of yourself

It's essential that you're always taking care of your needs — physical, emotional, spiritual, and otherwise. There's no “you being happy” without a “you,” after all. But it's even more than that. When you don't take care of yourself, you start to get depleted in both large and small ways.

The more depleted you are, the harder it is to make good choices. And the harder it is to make good choices, the fewer good ones you make. Slowly, or even sometimes quickly, you wind up feeling like things aren't quite what you hoped they would be.


If you find yourself here, don't worry. Pay attention to your self-care and you will get back on track. You can't expect to become a better, happier person if your body and soul aren't in sync.

6. Slow down

Chances are, you have yet to meet the person who says to you, “My life went so slowly. I can hardly believe it.” However, you may have heard more times than you can count that life is speeding by, and that this person can’t believe how quickly time has passed.

Let’s take this as a cue to slow down and savor the good parts of our lives. Deliberately choose to pay attention to the savoriness in each moment of life to welcome in more of its goodness.



You can do this by pulling yourself fully into every experience and living in the moment. Try it when you're eating something delicious or listening when talking to a friend. Every moment you savor is one more drop in your happiness bucket.


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7. Dream of your future

While creating happiness in the present moment is perhaps the most important skill we can develop, dreaming of our future might be the most fun. Part of happiness is creating the life we want to live, and what better way to do that than to imagine a future filled with the people and experiences we most love?

Since time keeps moving forward, it's important to pause and think about what it is we would like to see in our future, so we can be more likely to create it. So take a few moments to truly ponder what you want the future to look like, and how fulfilled you will be down the road.

8. Be kind to people, including yourself

Made a mistake? Be kind to yourself. In a bad mood? Be kind to the people around you. Remember how focusing on the positive things in our lives makes more of them, and makes the bad seem not-so-bad? Same deal here. Not to mention that being kind also feels good, which contributes to your overall happiness.


Don't leave yourself out of the kindness equation. Quite a few people go out of their way to be kind to others, but don't give themselves the same level of care.

When we are unable to be kind to others or ourselves, it points to deeper unresolved issues that might continue to get in the way of our happiness. So don’t be afraid to ask for help as you work on making this small life change.



9. Tell the truth

The truth keeps your integrity and connects you to others. When we feel good about ourselves and feel a sense of connection with them, we feel happier.


But it's hard to feel happy with a guilty conscience or a sense that we have acted in a way we aren't proud of. Very often, this comes in the form of some kind of dishonesty.

When we make a point of kindly and compassionately telling the truth and being honest, we open up the door to new levels of joy. And that's probably one of the most important and simple changes that help you create a truly happy life.

RELATED: 4 Daily Psychological Habits Of Truly Happy People


10. Start the day on a positive note

The first few moments of your day make a real imprint on how the rest of it goes. Start with a moment of quiet, affirmations, journaling, or any other practice that helps you begin your day centered and focused.

If you do this, it can shift your entire life, day by day. It's also helpful to take this positivity practice to other “starts” in your life — a project, a new relationship, a trip to the store. The more we can apply positive intention to our direction, the more likely we are to end up there.

11. Say 'thank you'

Whether it be to yourself, your partner, your child, a co-worker, or a kind stranger — express your gratitude for what is working as often as possible. Expressing your appreciation will immediately make you and the other person feel more positive.

It also reinforces the liked behavior so you're likely to see more of it. Being a more grateful person helps you feel happier in each moment of your day, regardless of the circumstances.


simple changes that help you create a truly happy lifePhoto: Athena / Pexels

No matter where you start, happiness will come to you the more you're willing to open the door to it.

It doesn't take a complex formula. Simple actions make important shifts in your life.

Change your life to be happy by attending to every moment, living in kindness and integrity, and taking care of yourself. Pretty soon you will be one of the happiest people you know — and how great will that be?


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Dr. Kate Siner is a teacher, mentor, spiritual guide, and author who has appeared on NBC, ABC, Fox, and other major network affiliates to talk about spiritual and personal development. She’s spoken on WPRO, MX Talk of the Town, Consciousness Network, and TalkStream Radio.