Many of us find our mood changing slightly at the beginning of another year. Some may be relieved to be rid of the stress associated with holidays and social or family gatherings. Others may feel a little let down that upcoming months seem less joyful. Environment also plays a part in how we think or feel. For example, those living in northern climates are sometimes affected in the winter months by lack of sun light (SAD). We each have our own personal experiences that guide our mood. The important thing to remember is that we all do the best we can.

Whether we resolve to make it to the gym more often or balance our checkbook on a regular basis, our happiness is directly related to the expectations that we put on ourselves. I am suggesting that we make our intention visible to others. Let’s find our happy place and go there often. We can be the creators of our own Happiness Project.

How to Find Your Happy Place

1. Focus on only that which makes you feel confident and satisfied. Let go of the past and live in the present, where you have every opportunity to make a change, accept or reject each and every thing in your life, and move toward something fantastic.
2. Seek out professional mentors for guidance (on the path of least resistance). We do not live, work or play in a bubble. There are millions of people all around us. We are more connected now than ever. Do just that: connect. There is no reason to struggle in this miraculous age of discovery—just reach out and ask the ones who’ve gone down a similar path before.
3. Fraternize with those people who have expressed an interest in you. We don’t really need to “Friend” everyone we meet. Concentrate on good, healthy relationships that offer both comfort and companionship, and prove dependable. All others just zap our energy.
4. Plan your journey from the first moment you realize what makes you happy until you can visualize your ultimate utopia. Make the actual commitment to be happy. For example, when you rise each day, say out loud, “I’m going to ______________ (dress up, eat well, run, watch a movie, etc.) to make myself happy today.” Then do it.
5. Give freely of yourself to those in need, especially you. Human service, charity work, volunteering and other forms of helping can give us great satisfaction. However, we must be careful of serving others before we serve ourselves. Assess your intentions of giving so as not to feel depleted.
6. Join a group with people of common interest. Whatever we love to do most becomes apparent when we talk with others. It’s the first part of our conversation when we socialize. Take a moment to think about the next time you’re excited about a new project or a book you’ve read. Wouldn’t it be fun to share your enthusiasm with others?
7. Let your uniqueness shine. There is only one you. Each of us brings our life story to everything we do. Celebrate it openly. The world will be a better place for it.