It is the beginning of another year and for me, that means thinking about what I want to achieve this year. I know a lot of people don’t put any sway into new years’ resolutions, but I absolutely swear by them. I always take the time to write down my goals and with the crazy couple of years we have just lived through, setting goals is more important than ever.
The beauty of writing them down serves as a constant reminder of what I want in my life. For the first time, in 202, I also created a vision board around my goals which really helped me too. For example, one of the goals I had set was to start playing the piano again. I had a picture of a girl playing a piano and I wanted that to be me. So, in April when I revisited my picture board, I realised I hadn’t done anything about that goal. I went straight to Facebook Marketplace and started looking for a piano that would fit in my new home. I found the most amazing digital piano that was not super expensive and the next thing you know, I’m playing again. I experienced so much pleasure from playing the piano last year, I want that to be part of my life forever.
As many of you will know, the end of 2021 brought the passing of Eddie Jaku, also known as the Happiest Man on Earth. An Auschwitz survivor, he spent seven years imprisoned in concentration camps in Germany and over that time lost his family, friends and his country. But, because he survived, he vowed to smile every day and to live the best life he possibly could.* I thought about him the other day as I listened to a podcast with Dr Catherine Sanderson (** link below and definitely worth a listen). She has a Psychology Degree from Stanford and both Masters and Doctoral degrees from Princeton University. Suffice to say, she probably knows what she is talking about. She has written a book entitled Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness and I absolutely loved her take on being happy. She maintains that some people find it a lot easier to be happy than others, however, for those who struggle with ‘happiness’, it is important to differentiate between being happy (a state of mind) and experiencing happiness. Once you understand the difference, you realise that, like your goals, you have to work at being happy and you can make it happen.
In the past, when I set my goals each year, being happy was not something that was on my list. I figured that if I achieved my goals, happiness would be a consequence of that. But listening to her, that is not necessarily the case. Like everything in life, you have to work at being happy and understand that experiencing things that makes us happy is much easier (and quicker) to achieve than a permanent state of happiness. And in time, one will lead to the other.
In short, set your goals, be specific and then take the steps to work on them and make them happen. Stop meandering through life and make 2022 your best year ever!
* Listen to Eddie Jaku’s Ted Talk here