How to boost the chances of success by achieving Goals

Set Goals

First, you must write down your goals in clear specific language. Then Start with not only visualizing but also seeing your goals as clearly as you have written down. For example, if your goal is to go to Italy and visit Venice, activate your imagination and see that you are in a boat in Venice. Likewise, if you want to buy a specific expensive car say BMW, you should imagine or see yourself riding the BMW. You have to figure out that the sense of believing that you have already achieved the goal is to start looking at it.

Be ready to face any obstacles

Next, you need to understand the obstacles. If all things were very easy then nobody would need to create goals, write goals or work hard to achieve them. Things are not easy and they will never be easy. Once you see yourself achieving your specific goal, then you sit down and work out what are the kind of obstacles you might face. There will definitely be some obstacles, which you can visualize. And one more important thing to remember is that as you move forward towards achieving your goal, some unexpected obstacle will also come which you will have to conquer. It is only your determination, your decision and your perseverance that you will some way or the other help achieve the goal that you have already imagined.

Conquer obstacles

Create a mental picture that the obstacles are coming and you are conquering all the obstacles. Imagine that there is an athlete who is running an obstacle race, while he is running fast; he is also crossing the obstacles. Likewise, now that you know what kind of obstacles will come, you imagine crossing those obstacles, picture yourself conquering those obstacles and still carrying on with your mission.

Clear all your doubts

Many doubts can arise in your mind. It is normal. However, clear all the doubts, clear your mind of all doubts which often come, which are quite natural. You say to yourself, nothing doing, no such doubts will stop me from achieving my goal. I have a clear picture of achieving my goal, I am determined and I have created a mental picture of conquering my obstacles. Therefore, there is no doubt that I can do it. The goal itself is a challenge. And all the obstacles that you face while pursuing the goal, will also be kind of smaller challenges. Embrace the challenge. It is an opportunity which will definitely enhance your courage, which will give you more will power to pursue and to be successful. Stay on track. Keep up on the track following the same thing, which you have defined and seeing yourself achieving it. There should be no diversion. Staying on track will definitely make it easier for you to overcome the obstacles and reach your goal. Eventually show the world you can do it. As I say, SUCCESS stands for,

S See your goal

U Understand the obstacles

C Create positive mental pictures

C Clear your mind of self-doubts

E Embrace the challenges

S Stay on track

S Show the world you can do it.

When the goal is a big project, define it and write it down. Then have a very strong desire for it. That is the kind of motivation, which is necessary to follow the steps that I have already mentioned.

Schedule action

Believe in yourself; that you can do it and then you will do it. If it is an arduous task and a big project, split it up. Split it into smaller goals and then give a time line to those smaller goals. You must review these every day. You have to review what you have done. You have to check if you have come up to your expectations or not. This step is extremely important. Schedule it, add a timeline to all smaller goals and then do it.

Thanks for reading.

Attitude Is Everything-Here’s How to Keep It Positive

Even if –at any given time–your choices of action are limited, your choices regarding your attitude are not. Always choose a positive attitude.

A positive attitude makes you happier and more resilient, it improves your relationships, and it even increases your chances of success in any endeavor. In addition, having a positive attitude makes you more creative and it can help you to make better decisions. To top it all off, there are studies that show that people with a positive attitude live longer than their sourpuss counterparts.

There are people who seem perpetually perky and whose good nature appears as innate as their eye color. But attitude is not a fixed state. Whether you are 15 years old or 50, your outlook toward life is always under construction. It’s never too late to change it. If your attitude is deflating you, here’s how to pump it up.

What if there was a way you could easily expand your mind and see greater possibilities in life? What if you could develop better skills naturally?

When people think of having a positive attitude, they probably think it’s little more than plastering a smile on their face and trying to think happy thoughts.

But it’s more than that.

A positive attitude is something that goes deeper and has an effect beyond surface cheer. Negative attitudes promote fear, and a narrowing of focus and the mind, while positive attitudes do the opposite. No one should live in a constant state of “fight or flight”, but negative attitudes create exactly that scenario.

Studies have also shown that having a true positive attitude makes your view of life seem broad, full of possibilities. That view leads to actually living your life in a way that makes it natural to be exposed to and acquire new skills.

1. Evaluate your current attitude.

This is the hardest step in the process. You need to detach from yourself and take a hard look at how you respond to situations.

  • Identify your problem feelings. What attitudes make you feel most negative about yourself?
  • Identify your problem behaviors. What actions create conflict between you and others?
  • Identify your problem thinking. What thoughts cloud or control your mind?

2. Write a statement of purpose.

If your biggest flaw is impatience with others, for example, vow to take a deep breath, listen to them more carefully and develop empathy—an ability to see situations through other people’s eyes. If your downfall is complaining, learn to smile, speak positive words, or if all else fails, silence yourself entirely.

3. Find new words.

If you were trying to motivate other people, you’d pump them up, wouldn’t you? You’d offer words of support, encouragement and inspiration.

Do you do the same for yourself? So many people I’ve met—people with tremendous potential—shortchange themselves with a self-defeating internal voice. I can’t. I doubt. I don’t think. I don’t have the time. I’m afraid. I don’t believe.

This self-doubt darkens our attitudes, limits our success and casts a shadow over our lives. The fix is easy: Change the language. I can. I expect the best. I know. I’ll make the time. I am confident. I believe.

4. Rewire your thought patterns.

Our feelings come from our thoughts. We can change them by changing our thought patterns.

It’s our thoughts, not our circumstances, that determine our happiness. Often, people are convinced they will be happy when they attain a certain goal. When they do, they are surprised and disappointed to discover that they don’t feel fulfilled. What they don’t realize is the act of filling one’s mind with good thoughts every day, regardless of what’s going on in their lives, will bring more overall satisfaction than the one-time high of a job well done.

5. Develop good habits.

An attitude is nothing more than a habit of thought. Habits aren’t instincts; they’re acquired actions. They don’t just happen; they are caused. Many people allow their habits to control them. That’s good if the habits enhance our quality of life. If not, well, life becomes cloudy indeed. You can change your habits. Here’s how:

  •  List your bad habits.
  •  Determine the root cause(s) behind them.
  •  Determine a positive habit to replace a bad one.
  •  Take action to develop that.
  •  Act upon this new habit daily.
  •  Reward yourself by noting one of the benefits of this new habit.

I see habit change as a process, so don’t dismay if you don’t see results overnight. The early stages will be the hardest. Those bad habits want to remain in control. In the middle stages, you’re on the proverbial fence, deciding whether to step fully onto the other side or tumble back into your old ways. In the late stage, you’ve successfully corrected a flaw and are enjoying the attitudinal shift that comes with it. But beware: Complacency is the enemy. Just ask anyone who has lost weight only to gain it back.

Back to that Gatorade commercial, where tennis great Serena Williams looks dead-on at the camera, steely-eyed. Her secret to victory was being “on the wrong side in the biggest upset of your sport,” a reference to her stunning fall in the 2015 U.S. Open to Roberta Vinci, an unseeded player from Italy.

Two years later, she became the only tennis player, man or woman, to win 23 singles Grand Slam titles in the Open era.

“I’ve had to learn to fight all my life—got to learn to keep smiling,” she says. “If you smile, things will work out.”

Tips to overcome hesitation

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“It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past”- Carl von Clausewitz”

The fear of facing a lot of consequences can lead to hesitation and uneasiness. When you are expecting something, nervousness and anxiety can occur due to over analyzing of the situations. This way, it can make you go into depression, get angry, develop an eating disorder and whatnot. Over thinking a situation is bad for the mind and health alike.

Here are a few pointers to keep hesitation and uneasiness at bay:

1. Relax:

It may sound clichéd, but relaxation has its own value. You can keep your mind extremely busy so that the current uncertainty of events does not bother you. Having a hobby, reading a book, taking brisk evening walks, exercising, or watching TV can help you relax in a positive way. Being nervous about something will not lead to anything positive, so it will be better if you make use of the free time that you have until you get busy.

2. Ask yourself a few questions:

One of them is, ‘What is the worst that can happen?’ By analyzing the consequences of the situation, it can help you relax and quit being nervous altogether. You can even ask yourself, ‘why am I over thinking this?’ Once you ask such a question, you will realize that it will lead to nothing but sadness and depression. So, quit being hesitant and challenge you own mind for the better.

3. Create a schedule and stick to it:

Hesitation and uneasiness occurs due to not making any actual contributions when there was time. Hence, being nervous at the last moment will only make you erratic and dysfunctional. By sticking to a schedule, you can avoid the last minute jitters and overcome uneasiness.

4. Is it fear or discomfort?

When you ask yourself whether it is fear of the consequences or just that you are uncomfortable about the situation that is happening will help you analyze your behavior pattern. Do you get nervous very easily? Or is this something you face rarely? Hence, this will make your mind clearer about the ideas in your head. This way, you will be able to build your thoughts rationally and avoid becoming anxious or stressed over the issue.

5. Remember, it can either be success or a learning (not failure)

Humans are bound to fear from failures, but in real life scenarios, a term called failure does not exist. It is either success or learning, nothing besides that. So, if the term failure is out of your dictionary, the feeling of fear will not come into your mind. Start a project with a clear prospect of learning, then 99 out of 100 chances you will experience a success as the end result. Remember a wise man said, “I have not failed 100 times, I discovered 100 ways which cannot take me to the goal.” The motive of this statement is clear that in case you are not able to achieve success, at the least you will know that there are a few alterations needed in the way you followed to fulfil a particular goal.

6. Create a back-up plan

Remember, you will never hesitate if you have a backup plan in place. An example for this can be taken from our school period. When we are used to attending the school parents’ meeting, then most of us are hesitant to meet the subject teacher which we never studied, though we knew our parents must have a backup plan for us so that we can excel in that subject. That is why we took them to the subject teacher to discover our mistake and help us with a solution. In a similar way, there should always be a Plan B ready, whenever you sense failure can be an outcome, so that in case you fail, you can go ahead with the Plan B straight away.

7. Have a Plan to implement

Goals are never achieved overnight, they are always achieved with a particular plan. An unplanned lead has more of a chance of failure, then a well-planned and organized way of doing something. The biggest advantage of planning is that it gives you an idea of the time, money and other aspects related to the goal, hence the uneasiness is eradicated completely.

How to become a motivational speaker?

Motivational speakers can deliver presentations and speeches on any topic, however. What counts is your passion for the subject you are addressing. Become a motivational speaker by identifying your message and your audience, brushing up on your public speaking skills and promoting your speaking abilities.
Motivational speakers don’t have to complete a specific degree or training program to prepare for their careers, but they must have a unique perspective to share and a talent for communicating and engaging with an audience. Successful speakers recommend starting out by developing your unique idea or passion. Determine what expertise, experiences, and perspectives you can share, and what type of audience can benefit the most from it. While you may have expertise and experience to share on a specific topic, you may still need to do some independent research or talk with other experts to build a stronger base of knowledge in your field.

Develop Your Ideas

You won’t become a successful public speaker by rehashing old ideas in the same way as everyone else. You need to develop fresh, relevant content that people want to hear.
Invest a lot of time into thinking about your message and how you can deliver it in a way that will inspire, motivate, and captivate an audience.
Identify Your Ideal Audience

It can be tempting to think your message will resonate with everyone. But, the truth is, a message that’s too generic won’t leave a big impact on anyone.
So rather than decide you’re going to speak about sales or that you’re going to motivate all business leaders, narrow down your niche. Identify the types of groups who you really want to reach so you can create content that will resonate with them.
Understand the people you will target as audience members before you get too far into the development of your career. Different groups of people need to be communicated with in different ways.

Test Your Content

The internet gives you opportunities to test your content before you get on stage. Most people, however, worry that no one will hire them if they give away their best stuff for free.
But if you inspire thousands–or perhaps even millions–of people online, you’ll attract attention and people will want to hear more from you.
Use social media to share original quotes or to launch a blog to share your ideas. When things catch on, you’ll know you’re on the right path. Your audience will let you know what they want to learn more about if you’re willing to listen.

Use humor

You don’t have to be a comedian to become a motivational speaker, but humor makes a massive difference. Humor works to endear you to an audience, but it’s also a big differentiating factor in the speaking market. Many of the top speakers in the industry use humor in their talks.

Allow the audience a chance to laugh

When you tell a joke or deliver a punch line, give the audience time to laugh. Sometimes speakers like to rush to the next point, but don’t do that. You need to give the audience a chance to respond to what you just said (in this case to laugh), but also if you rush on to the next though while the room is still laughing, nobody will hear what you’re saying.

Tell stories

Humans relate to stories. We connect to stories. Funny stories. Sad stories. Inspirational stories. We love stories. So tell them. Lots of them. Stories will keep your audience engaged and are also easier for you to memorize.
Gain Speaking Skills

Having good content is only part of the battle. The way you deliver your message is more important than the words you use.
Even if you think you’re a rock star speaker already, there’s a good chance you have some bad habits (from swaying back and forth while you talk to using filler words like “um” more than you know).
Join a public speaking group, take a college communications class, or hire a speaking coach to help you develop better communication habits. A few little tweaks to your delivery can make or break your career as a speaker.
Also, record yourself giving a speech and watch it back. It can be painful to watch yourself but it’s important to learn more about your hand gestures, body language, and speaking habits so you can improve.

Offer to Speak for Free

Once you have your content ready to go and you’re comfortable speaking to an audience, offer to speak for free. Reach out to local organizations who may benefit from your content.
There are many conferences around the country who don’t pay speakers (some of them offer free admission to speakers). Apply to speak for them to help you gain practice speaking to a live audience.
Some people do a handful of free speaking engagements before they feel equipped to look for paid gigs while others speak at a few dozen events before they feel comfortable charging. But be prepared to speak for free until you’re in-demand.

Apply to Speak

Early on in your speaking career, you may need to apply for speaking gigs. Be on the lookout for conferences, conventions, and gigs.
Find other speakers with a similar message and see where they’re speaking. You might reach out to event organizers and ask them to keep you in mind for future events.
The more your speaking career grows, the less you’ll need to apply for speaking opportunities. Eventually, people will seek you out.
And if you’re doing well, speaker bureaus will want to represent you and they’ll proactively market you as a speaker for events. They’ll take a percentage of your fee, but they can help you obtain higher paying gigs.

Market Yourself

Once you feel like you have a talk ready to go, start marketing yourself. Build a website that shows you’re a speaker. Add “speaker” to your social media profiles.
Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for speaking engagements. Word of mouth is often a key factor in getting speaking engagements.
Keep releasing content too. Blog about your ideas, guest post on popular sites, make videos, or write a book. Release your ideas into the world so you can gain credibility as an expert.
Event planners will want to see you in action as they make decisions about who to hire to speak, so at some point, you’ll want to create a demo reel that showcases you as a speaker. It may contain footage of you from several speeches, clips of you in the media, or audience reviews of your performance.

Kindly ask Questions

Understand ABC Model of Attitude and live more intelligently

Do you believe that God exists? What’s your opinion on politics? What are your favorite pizza toppings? These questions may be seemingly unrelated, but it’s likely you have strong opinions about all three of these topics. Developing opinions and forming likes and dislikes about everything around us are part of our daily lives. These attitudes affect the way we live and the choices we make.

Attitudes can be defined as evaluations of ideas, events, objects, or people. Attitudes are generally positive or negative, but they can also be uncertain at times. For example, sometimes we have mixed feelings about a particular issue or person. Regardless, attitudes are an important topic of study for social psychologists because they help determine what we do – what we eat, how we vote, what we do with our free time, and so on.

Every attitude has three components that are represented in what is called the ABC model of attitudes: A for affective, B for behavioral, and C for cognitive. Although every attitude has these three components, any particular attitude can be based on one component more than another.

In other words, each component can also be the answer to the question: where does an attitude come from? There are affectively-based attitudes, behaviorally-based attitudes, and cognitively-based attitudes.

Structure of Attitudes

Attitudes structure can be described in terms of three components.

  • Affective component: this involves a person’s feelings / emotions about the attitude object. For example: “I am scared of spiders”.
  • Behavioral (or conative) component: the way the attitude we have influences how we act or behave. For example: “I will avoid spiders and scream if I see one”.
  • Cognitive component: this involves a person’s belief / knowledge about an attitude object. For example: “I believe spiders are dangerous”.

One of the underlying assumptions about the link between attitudes and behavior is that of consistency. This means that we often or usually expect the behavior of a person to be consistent with the attitudes that they hold. This is called the principle of consistency.

The principle of consistency reflects the idea that people are rational and attempt to behave rationally at all times and that a person’s behavior should be consistent with their attitude(s).

Affective Component

Affective component is the emotional or feeling segment of an attitude.

It is related to the statement which affects another person.

It deals with feelings or emotions that are brought to the surface about something, such as fear or hate. Using the above example, someone might have the attitude that they love all babies because they are cute or that they hate smoking because it is harmful to health. The affective component refers to the emotional reaction one has toward an attitude object. Think of someone – we’ll name her Alice – who has ophidiophobia (a phobia of snakes). A snake is an attitude object. Whenever Alice is exposed to a snake – whether she sees one or thinks about one – she feels extreme anxiety and fear.

Behavioral Component

Behavior component of an attitude consists of a person’s tendencies to behave’in a particular way toward an object. It refers to that part of attitude which reflects the intention of a person in short run or long run.

Using the above example, the behavioral attitude maybe- ‘I cannot wait to kiss the baby’, or ‘we better keep those smokers out of the library, etc.

Cognitive Component

The cognitive component of attitudes refers to the beliefs, thoughts, and attributes that we would associate with an object. It is the opinion or belief segment of an attitude. It refers that part of attitude which is related in general knowledge of a person.

Typically these come to light in generalities or stereotypes, such as ‘all babies are cute’, ‘smoking is harmful to health’ etc.

Attitude in Organisational Behaviour

Viewing attitudes as made up of three components – cognition, affect and behaviour– is helpful toward understanding their complexity and the potential relationship between attitude and behaviour. The object of an attitude is represented as a prototype in a person’s memory. Then an individual uses an attitude as a schema for evaluating an object. The person may assess the object as good or bad, positive or negative, favoured or not; then the person determines the strategy to take toward it. The accessibility of an attitude, or ease with which it is activated, affects its implementation. Personal experience with the object and the repeated expression of the attitude increases it accessibility. In this way, attitude-related information helps process complex information.

Why Interpersonal Relationships Are Important?

Interpersonal relationships that you form at work serve a critical role in both your work success and career progress. Positive interpersonal relationships will allow effective communication and understanding among employees.

Relating to your “boss” is one of the most important relationships you will establish as you begin your career, and with each new position you take in the future. Be sure what you do and how you perform supports the direction of your management team. Remember, you cannot become a good leader until you learn how to become a good assistant. Show your managers/co-workers that you are a “team player.”

Real interpersonal skills are about connection. This includes actions like smiling, a handshake, an outgoing personality in addition to a good mindset. Working in a team is important in today’s workplace and communication skills are essential. The Center for Public Resources did a national survey and discovered 90% of the time individuals are terminated for poor attitudes, inappropriate behavior and poor interpersonal skills rather than deficient job skills 

Below are some important interpersonal skills that will help you at work and in your personal life:

  1. Listening.  Make sure you understand other people’s perspectives before trying to just emphasize your own.  Paraphrase to clarify understanding.  If you make an effort to hear what someone else is saying, they will be much more likely to hear your ideas. Be an empathic and engaged listener.   Listening is a key interpersonal skill for building connection with others.
     
  2. Look for the best in others. When you expect people to do the right thing and have worthwhile motives, your relationships improve.  You will naturally treat others with respect and they will most likely respond in kind.  One of the strongest ways to build a connection is to let someone know what you sincerely appreciate about them.
     
  3. Adapt your style to the needs of others.  When you know your behavioral style and can recognize the styles of others, you can approach other people in a way that builds rapport, strengthens relationships and reduces conflict.

Interpersonal skills are critical for  keeping your team motivated  and getting them to do their best work. With good use of interpersonal skills, you can increase your team’s happiness and engagement in what they’re doing, and improve your organization’s productivity.

So lets break down the different styles to see what the strengths and weaknesses are for each, here are the styles:

D – Dominant

I – Influencing

S – Steadiness

C – Conscientious

Dominant (D) Style Characteristics

The dominant style or (D Style) their goal is to get results, they tend to be fast paced. You can see a lot of progress around them. They get frustrated if there are a lot of obstacles in their way. They tend to go over, around and through to accomplish their goal.

Their de-motivator is loss of control or lack of control. For example, bureaucracy to get things done, micromanaging, anything that is an obstacle in their path that slows them down.

It is good to have “D’s” on a team because they will challenge the status quo. They are good at bringing progress and moving things along.

Working with the “D” Style

When working with a D Style they want you to be like them, no matter what your style is. The best analogy I can give is going to another country – speak their language. We will not be effective if we don’t speak their language (never lose your native tongue or style), but you adapt to their style and needs. It is one of the best ways to honor and respect them.>

To be like the D style – don’t waste time, ask their input, they are good problem solvers. Let them have some control and insight. Don’t micromanage or set up obstacles.

Influencing (I) Style Characteristics

The influencing style or (I Style) their goal is to have a positive interaction with people. They are very people oriented. The energy they create tends to make them persuasive. They are your best talker.

Their de-motivator is to be rejected or to not be liked, if people are negative. So if you know that there is an I style on your team they may be looking for that affirmation.

It is good to have “I’s” on a team because they bring positive enthusiasm and energy to a team. They use levity and humor to get their point across.

Working with the “I” Style

When working with the “I” style use humor, levity and enthusiasm. Mirror their enthusiasm and optimism. Let them know you like them and value the relationship, even if you disagree.

Steadiness (S) Style Characteristics

The steadiness style or (S Style) their goal is to have harmony. They are also people oriented like the I style, but they are more slower paced. If the I style is your best talker, the S style is your best listener. They truly want to be thoughtful and helpful

Their de-motivator is chaos, direct conflict and confusion.

The S style is the glue of the team, they are good at keeping the harmony amongst the group.

Working with the “S” Style

When working with the “S” style be consistent and reliable, they are people oriented. Sincere praise and compliments. They are motivated on how to be helpful and want to depend on you as well. They are demotivated by conflict.

Conscientious (C) Style Characteristics

The conscientious style or (C Style) their goal is accurate work. They focus on accuracy and quality, very analytical, focus on the details others would miss. They are more moderate paced. The standards they set for themselves are even higher than the organization has for them.

Their de-motivator is criticism, more specifically of their work. So broad sweeping, unfounded generalizations criticizing their work, making errors, or others not paying attention to the details, not giving them the information they need to do a quality job. Also, giving them enough time to analyze things.

A challenge they have is that they are critical thinkers and in general can be more critical of an idea. They pick up the finer details others miss. They are the detail people that keep the non-detailed people out of trouble….they can help avoid lawsuits for example.

Working with the “C” Style

When working with the “C” style have details prepared, reserve emotion, and focus on the facts. Don’t rush them if not necessary, but let them know the deadline.

Identifying the styles of other people doesn’t have to be hard. You can basically ask yourself these two questions:

Think of Accepting/Warm as basically People Oriented and
Questioning/Skeptical as basically Task Oriented.

You can quickly identify the style of a team member by asking two simple questions. Is he/she more fast-paced and task focused or is he/she more deliberate/slower-paced and people oriented.

You’ll remember that:

D Style: Fast-paced and Questioning. Key goal is to get results. Interested in the bottom line.

I Style: Fast-paced, Accepting and Warm. Key goal is to have positive interactions with people.

S Style: More reflective but also Accepting and Warm. Key goal is to have things run smoothly in a harmonious way.

C Style: Reflective and also Questioning. Key goal is that their work is accurate.

Steps That Will Make You Happier

Today there’s solid research on techniques that can increase your happiness and fulfilment in life.

1) Use Your Happiness Autopilot

Researchers at Duke have found that more than 40% of your daily actions are autopilot habits that don’t use up your decision making brain power. So let’s tack a little add-on to one of those ingrained habits.

Here are 3 ideas.

  • When you put toothpaste on your toothbrush, think of 1 thing that makes you feel grateful.
  • Or when you wake up in the morning, glance at a photo that makes you feel happy.
  • Or at night, do what Christine Carter of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Center says, “After I put my head on the pillow, I will think of one good thing from my day.”

What will you choose to add to your autopilot?

2) Good Enough Instead of Perfect

Place the motto “good enough is great” in your mind. You’ll be saving time and effort and you won’t be berating yourself since you planned to adhere to your new motto. You can tell yourself, “I know I could do more with more time and more effort but it’s not necessary.” Think of that 60-page report you produced when a 10-pager would have been good enough. Easing up on yourself will add to your happiness.

3) Do What You Love

Don’t say, “When I retire, I’ll do what I love.” Instead, plan on spending some time doing things you love, even if it’s as a hobby. Decide when you can devote a little time on a regular basis. Or, is a career change needed?

4) How To Choose Your Friends

Researchers at Harvard say choosing your friends wisely is one of the most important factors related to happiness. Do you have some friends who sap your energy when you’re around them? Perhaps they’re frequently complaining and reminding you of negative events? Zap these people from your new friend list and replace them with optimistic people who make you feel energized when you spend time with them. And besides spending time with them, spend money with them also (see #5).

5) Where Should You Spend Your Money?

Michael Norton, Harvard Professor and co-author of Happy Money, says purchasing material items like televisions, clothes, and coffee machines won’t make you happier overall. People are wired to become happier with social connections, so spending your money on experiences with friends will give you the biggest happiness boost. So my advice is, “Spend your money on concert tickets or on a yoga retreat with a friend and enjoy the happiness surge.

6) Cultivate Flow

The author of Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, says when you find an activity that you enjoy, one that challenges you, and increases your skill, you’ll find yourself fully engaged in it. You’ll be in a flow state. This means you’ll be concentrating on the present and may even lose your sense of time. This feels good and contributes to your well-being and happiness.

stress relief

7) Enjoy The Funny Side

When we crack a smile—a genuine eye crinkle that researchers call a “Duchenne smile”—our cardiovascular system calms. Laughing takes it one step further partly because it forces us to exhale. Simply exhaling lowers our heart rate and induces feelings of calm.

Smiling releases endorphins, which combat stress hormones. My advice is, “You should practice smiling right now, even if you feel foolish. You’re canceling some of the stress cortisol and you’re increasing your happiness—a double bonus.”

8) Reframe Obstacles

No one gets through life without encountering obstacles. Each time one pops up, try to reframe it as a challenge that you can handle. If you need support, think of a time when you surmounted your fear and successfully took action. Be a problem solver. My advice is, “Say ‘How can I fix this?’ Questioning opens the creative parts of your brain and you may come up with more than one solution.”

9) Random Acts Of Kindness

Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky has shown that practicing acts of kindness gives people a happiness boost. In addition, the recipient becomes happier and this even extends to people who merely observe the act. These acts don’t need to be anonymous, as her research shows. The observers often want to pay it forward.

So please add more acts of kindness to your week and help make the world a happier place.