The Change Agent Blog:

12 Choices for Happy People

Charlie-Brown ChristmasI always loved the classic Charlie Brown Christmas because Charlie was bothered by all the commercialization of Christmas and the desire to compete and compare. I know that the holidays can be difficult for many as it tends to be a time when we compare ourselves to others more than other times of the year. While I really enjoy reconnecting with old friends on FaceBook, I find that there are times when I find myself comparing my life to someone else’s life. Mary’s kids are more accomplished than mine. John is taking an amazing vacation, I wish I could. . . and so forth and so on.

My own sons and their friends tend to spend more time on electronic postings than they do in engaging in meaningful conversations or shared social experiences. And now, just as many adults are doing the same, and it doesn’t make any of us any happier.

To that end, I decided to change things up for my December blog. A colleague of mine mentioned Sonja Lyubomirsky’s list of 12 Things Happy People Do Differently in her post and I was inspired to write my own list of 12 Choices for Happy People. I came up with my list based on many of the things I talk about in my change workshop (and other training). I also teach some of this in my ministry to prison inmates and human trafficking victims and have seen radical transformation and healing take place. Obviously my list can coincide with the 12 Days of Christmas. Here’s my list –

12 Choices for Happy People:

  1. Choose not to be offended.
  2. Believe the best about others.
  3. Avoid social networking comparison.
  4. Be happy for others.
  5. Forgive and release the pain others cause you.
  6. Look for ways to be kind to others.
  7. Savor the little things that bring you joy.
  8. Nurture relationships.
  9. Cultivate a positive attitude.
  10. Take care of yourself.
  11. Express gratitude daily.
  12. Develop your spirituality.

My hope for you over the holiday season and into the New Year is that you would live each day intentionally. Choose to do one thing each day that will contribute to the good habits I suggested above. Come up with your own list of choices/habits and post them for others to read. I truly believe that building good habits will lead to greater happiness in your life.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!



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