Happiness is a pretty good goal to have. Increasing your happiness contributes to all sorts of other benefits, everything from more enjoyment of life, to greater career success, to improved physical health. *studies have said. But we don’t just stumble into happiness – we have to pursue it. Pursuing happiness, like any other goal, involves three steps:

  • 1. Set the goal
  • 2. Take actions to achieve the goal
  • 3. Monitor your progress

Seems simple, But there’s a catch: If we don’t tackle these steps with the right mindset and approach, we can end up hurting our happiness instead of helping it.

Here are the best way to make moves into your HAPPINESS:

  1. Set Realistic Happiness Goals

We often set our standards for happiness too high. Like being happy 24/7.  The truth: That’s not realistic.

Happiness, just like any other goal, can be hard, take time, and result in an experience of happiness that is different than you expect. When we set high happiness expectations, we can end up disappointed and frustrated, impeding our successful pursuit of happiness.

The fix: Instead of expecting that you’ll be happy all the time set realistic expectations about when it’s reasonable to feel happiness. Like that morning cup of coffee or tea, or your dog’s morning snuggles (the best).

  1. Find What Makes YOU Happy

Even though we chase happiness, we are bad at guessing what will make us happy. It’s important to remember that you and only you can discover what happiness-boosting activities you enjoy.

Try a bunch of different activities (ex. baking for friends, a new form of exercise, trying out a new sport) and choose activities that you want to keep engaging in. Think of it like this: Doing things you enjoy will slowly but surely add new deposits to your happiness bank.

  1. Focus More on Doing Happiness—Less Obsessing About It

The more we think about why we do things or how we feel, the less enjoyable these moments become. For some of us, monitoring our happiness can send us into a full on downward spiral: Why am I not happy? It must be because there is something wrong with me. I’ll never be happy… and so on. We have all been there.

Make sure you are making your happiness a priority: Schedule regular times to meet up with friends, keep sticky notes on my computer reminding me to practice gratitude, and set an auto-reminder each week to do something kind for someone else J

By finding ways to pursue happiness without having to think about it so much, you increase your chances of attaining it! Easy!