7 Steps to Boost HappinessDec 09, 2020
No one ever complained about feeling too much joy or contentment.
Satisfaction is the benchmark of success in most things.
But here's the rub: You can't achieve long-term goals if you always default to things that provide short-term gratification.
Challenges can either stop you or they can serve as a springboard to better.
It’s all in how you respond when they come your way.
7 Steps to Boost Happiness
Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can't help but smile. It's the opposite of sadness.
Here are seven things I've found to be true.
If you practice them, over time, you will see a massive improvement in your happiness and quality of life.
1. Don't Let Things Pass You By
Too often over-40 folks get tied to workout tactics that used to work. Or gym mistakes that never really worked at all.
Yes, some things are pretty timeless and experience does matter, but in the world of "quick-fix" diets and novelty exercise programs, certain methods get overused.
Oftentimes, what was once innovative can soon become tired.
A good example is the classic "juice cleanse" which probably has a few benefits.
Blend up a pinch of cayenne powder with some fruit and veggies and drink; however, you must practice moderation.
Folks think they can drink their green juice, five times a day, and in two weeks they will be less fat.
Problem with the one-size fits all approach, is that you will eventually need to learn how to practice mindful nutrition.
My most successful clients follow an approach that is more balanced and not so strict.
Everything in moderation, including moderation.
Stay open to what will work next while staying true to the fundamentals.
2. Be Dependable and Consistent
Do what you say you'll do.
Show up day after day. Even when you may not feel like showing up.
Be someone that people can count on.
People love consistency and dependability, as simple as it sounds.
Yet many folks are unwilling to meet those simple standards.
Another thing: Be dependable and consistent with yourself.
If you commit to a goal, do what you say.
Don't flake out on yourself.
3. Watch Out for New and Shiny Things
Sure, be creative and think outside the box.
But don't overlook the greatest area for growth and opportunity:
Improving at the things you already do.
Want to stand out and finally build the body you desire and deserve?
4. Become the Best Version of You
Yes, you want to keep improving. But accept that we’re all flawed.
You have strengths and weaknesses. And that's part of being an "imperfectly perfect" human.
Spend more time making the most of what you do have and far less time dwelling on what you don’t.
And learn from others. Don't clone them.
Originals are better than imitations.
5. Nurture Your Relationships
Think of every person you meet as a relationship to cultivate and develop.
People aren't just names on a list or transactions. They're living, breathing individuals who are important and valuable.
Treat them accordingly.
6. Win Each Day
Just get a little bit better today. Maybe just one percent better.
One step toward your goals.
Set daily targets and achieve them... both personally and professionally.
Even if you're retired, each day is an opportunity to leave a legacy.
Small continuous successes, like a series of days won.
This simple approach will help you achieve more than most complex strategies.
Some things will seem unfair and others will seem lucky.
The unexpected will happen.
That roller coaster will weed many out and stall most others.
Expect it and see it as a challenge to be conquered.
A way to win.
Something else to consider when things get rough.
Yes, it may seem hard to stick to a healthy eating-and-exercise plan during certain times, especially the holidays.
Everywhere you turn there are tempting foods and drinks—the fizzy orange punch with questionable levels of alcohol.
That weird pie that doesn't taste very good, but is really sweet, so you eat it anyway.
Then you add in an overbooked schedule and feelings of being "so busy."
As a result, your perfectly planned nutrition and workout sessions get ignored.
The good news is that you really can get through the holidays without gaining weight.
It will take some effort, but you will thank yourself when January 1st rolls around and you feel lean and strong.
In order to greet the New Year without tipping the scale, it's wise to try to maintain your weight during the next few weeks, instead of trying to lose 14 pounds in 30 days.
Remember: you want to enjoy the holidays, not be miserable from chocolate-cookie deprivation.
This means that you will allow yourself occasional treats and splurges and keep the scale where it is versus attempting to decrease your weight.
(And when I say "weight" I mean bodyfat.)
There are several ways to accomplish this:
Don’t skip your workouts.
Even moderate intensity workouts can burn 300-400 calories per hour.
You need this calorie-burn to keep up with the energy-dense things that you will be eating and drinking.
You will also be less likely to overeat if you have just completed a tough sweat session, like three sets of 10 max-effort box squats.
Generally speaking, clients who eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day than those who skip this important meal.
Remember there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to nutrition.
Just simple daily habits, like trying not to overeat at night.
Keep a food diary.
Calories matter, just like they always have, so don't let any "false guru" convince you otherwise.
Write down every single thing you eat—even if it is only one bite of shrimp cocktail.
It is a proven fact that keeping a food journal results in better weight control than not keeping one.
Monitor your hunger.
Never show up at a party or buffet ravenous. Otherwise you will most certainly have a few extra cookies or donuts.
I mean, can you ignore donuts?
Drink water and have a protein-filled snack (such as nuts or cheese) before arriving.
This will help you to have more self-control around the temptations.
Weigh yourself once each week.
It's not a very good idea to step on the scale more than once every seven days.
Our clients monitor things like bodyfat and bodyweight weekly, on "Measurement Mondays."
This proven accountability method great way to stay on track with your goals.
If you see the scale start to creep, you can immediately take steps to correct it, such as backing off your calories for a day or two, drinking more water, and adding in a little more exercise.
Practice mindful eating.
Watch your portion size because calories don't just magically disappear.
(Well, they do disappear from your plate only to reappear around your waistline a day later.)
If you have an clear idea of how much food you are putting on your plate, you will be less likely to overdo it.
By the way, family-style serving is festive; but may encourage overeating.
So if you have giant platters of food on the dinner table, and you plate your food directly from the serving dishes, you may be tempted to go for second helpings.
The solution is to plate your food away from the table. And skip second helpings.
You also need a strategic approach for leftovers.
Place leftovers in single-serving stainless steel containers. You now have pre-packaged ready-to-eat meals for the next day.
Also if you have unhealthy leftovers in your home, you need a plan for that too otherwise you are likely to indulge.
Don’t leave the last piece of chocolate cake sitting around. Freeze desserts, give them away or toss them.
It’s not worth the temptation.
Check in with your future self.
Every day, speak to yourself from the future—let's say, from January 1st of next year.
Thank yourself for doing the tough work of self-discipline during the previous weeks and months.
Share your goals with the world.
Sound scary? It’s supposed to.
That kind of extreme accountability will give you will power when temptation strikes.
I want to encourage you to take action every day towards being happy and living the life you desire and deserve.
You can thrive, not just survive.
To your success,
Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online personal trainer, or you want to visit the best personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.