5 Ways to Be Happier in 2013

Prepare yourself for a slew of news articles about how to do this and that during the new year. Let’s face it, a fresh start (whether it’s literal or figurative) is a welcome way to wipe the slate clean and say, “Ok, I’m choosing to forget the past (or embrace it) and try, try again!”

Resolutions are all good and well if you keep track of them. Sometimes that’s more work than we want to put forward (or than we have the time to put forward). So here are some simple thoughts about making yourself (and maybe even those around you) happier in 2013.

1. Make more of your own fun instead of buying it.

Sure buying new things is fun and thrilling. I love it. It makes me happy. But just as with any addiction, I feel like I need more and more new stuff to feel truly satisfied. I need fashionable outfits. I need pretty furniture. I need a lot of things, right? The truth is, I don’t need any more than I already have. I just WANT things. Encouraging yourself to get by on less can help you focus on what you truly need: more time with those you love, a job that is fulfilling, stronger relationships, etc. Play board games. Go for a hike. Hold hands in silence. Spend time sitting on the floor petting your cats.

Twister

2. Take more pictures.

I have a really bad habit of not taking pictures during events and parties and family get-togethers. Sure I remember having all that fun, but it’s always nice to look back and remember the looks on their faces when grandma cracked that joke or share memories online with others who were there. I always think people look ridiculous taking so many pictures, and then look back and ask myself, “Why didn’t I take more pictures while I was there?!”

Bag Cat

3. Tell people how you feel.

I’m terrible at this. I expect people into read my mind, my voice, my mannerisms, my text messages and decipher how I’m feeling. That’s expecting too much! People aren’t all movie psychologists who can tell by the quiver of your lip or the flit of your eyes if you’re mad or sad or mischievous. Do yourself and the people you’re with a favor and just tell them how you feel. I feel unprepared. I’m a little frustrated. I feel upset. I feel blah. This makes me so happy. People will really appreciate your honesty and feel more comfortable returning the favor.

What a grump

4. Write someone important a letter.

Have you ever gotten a heartfelt letter from someone important to you? Or even just a letter with regular old details about someone’s life at that moment in time? In the age of emails and text messages and Twitter and Facebook, stop and take the time to write someone a letter. Strike up conversation about how your life is, maybe risk a little and get philosophical. I love getting real life (non-bills) mail. Wouldn’t you? Get a pen pal!

Write a Letter

5. Spend more time helping other people/animals.

I have a bleeding heart when it comes to animals, but I’m encouraging you to get out into your community and volunteer! Though you may feel like you’re making just a small difference, it can be a big deal for someone whose life you’re touching. Then they’ll go out and pay it forward!

Sean and Pudge

How do you plan on making 2013 the best year ever?

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