I want to be a living example of the phrase “it gets better”, because if you saw me in 2017, you probably wouldn’t recognize me in 2018. Let me explain. 2017 was not my best year. Even though a ton of great things happened to me in 2017 (I graduated from college, got my first full time job, rented my first apartment, was able to celebrate this with my family), I wasn’t really happy. I recognized it, I did something about it, and wow let me tell you, I am SO HAPPY right now. I’m not saying my life is perfect, it’s definitely not. I still have so many goals and room for growth. But now I’m having more good days than bad ones. And that feels really freaking great. Before I go into all I am excited for in 2019, I wanted to break down what I been going through lately, so you might have the slightest bit of insight on why I’m so pumped about what is coming my way. Let me start by explaining how I got out of my funk, so if 2018 wasn’t your year, 2019 will be better.
- Stop doing things that make you sad
This sounds self explanatory and simple, but when you are in the middle of any situation, it’s hard to recognize what is making you unhappy. What helped me was making a list (I’m a huge fan of writing things down when there is too much going on in your head). I broke down my day to day and tried my best to isolate the actions I was making that weren’t making me excited to get up in the morning. This helped me recognize that even though I did not enjoy certain parts of my day, they were just parts, not the entire thing. And I had control over that. I could make the changes needed to make me happy.
- Get help even if you aren’t sure if you need it
Don’t ever be ashamed of asking for help when you need it. Be it from a friend, a parent, a therapist, you deserve to be happy and sometimes doing that alone is a large task. Ask for help, you are worth it.
- Heavy up on the things that make you happy
Remember that list you made earlier about breaking down the day to day? Well, now it’s time to highlight all the things on that list that make you happy and do more of that! It sounds silly, but breaking down what makes you happy and realizing it makes a huge difference. Once you know what makes you happy, you know how to seek out more of it.
- Meet new people
Getting a new outlook on how your life is moving might include finding some new friends. This is by far that hardest part. And it’s going to be scary and weird, because putting yourself out there isn’t always simple. But doing it is so worth it. Find something you like and meet people who have that common interest. I like to run, so I found a running group to go meet up with a few times a week. It got me out of my apartment and got me moving, which made it much easier to be happier. Also, I went on some dates. This worked out really well for me in the long run, but it also got me meeting new people and out of the house!
- Get a new mindset
Focusing on the things that you can control will give you actionable items and something to work on. Once you know what you can change or work on, now you can have some purpose. That builds a new mindset that is really helpful when taking control of your happiness. Once you have tapped into that mindset, it’s much easier to tap into it again.
- Have something to look forward to
Make plans so that even during the more dull parts of the year, you have something to look forward. Plan a trip with your friends, a fun weekend, visit some family. Having plans to look forward to make the slower days go by just a little bit faster, and keep you excited. The excited energy is contagious and makes you happier, even on those days where you don’t have a ton going for you.
- Understand that change is uncomfortable
This is probably the hardest part. If you are going through a transition period in your life or if you are starting to make moves to take control of your happiness, that change is hard. That’s ok. Change isn’t supposed to be easy. It is going to be uncomfortable, and that kinda sucks. The growth that comes from the change is totally worth it. The road may be pretty bumpy, but the destination is worth the trip.