Saturday, January 1, 2011

HAPPY New Year!

The January issue of Real Simple magazine contained a series of articles on happiness - appropriate for the New Year, since it's what we think about as we "start with a clean slate." I was particularly interested in the article "The History of Happiness."  In it, the author, Marcia Menter, explains that getting everything you want in life will not necessarily make you happy, and that many people today mistakenly equate happiness to "having it all."
The article included a list of nine ways to be happier:

1) Chill out.
2) Remember whence you came.
3) Don't dwell.
4) Spread the wealth.
5) Eat a snack around 2 p.m.
6) Get a move on.
7) Limit your options.
8) Start baking.
9) Make your bed.

All are simple ways to enhance life. Each month, I'll take an item and write about it, motivation throughout the year - at least until September. Watch for my "2011's Journey" blog posts on the 2nd Monday of each month, beginning with "Chilling Out" on Monday, January 13, 2011.

As a teenager, I remember reading a quote by Ben Sweetland. It put happiness in clearer perspective for me:

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

In the Real Simple article, Marcia Menter confirms this: ". . . almost any track, followed in the right spirit, could be the right one. Happiness comes in small moments while you're pursuing the big stuff. After a while, the small moments become the point."

I have realized that if I focus on a "thing" down the road that I believe will bring me happiness -- if I wear blinders to the moments of joy along the way -- happiness is like a mirage - not real and something I will never touch. One mirage is replaced by another, and the destination of happiness is never reached.

The destination is only a goal. Keep moving toward it, but don't forget to enjoy the scenery along the way.

Happy 2011 Journey!


  1. What a wonderful list. I look forward to reading your thoughts on #1: Chilling Out. In August, I'll be glad to share some recipes for # 8--Start Baking. :-)

  2. Thanks, Patty! You were the first person I thought of with the "Start Baking" item. I would LOVE to share one of your recipes!

  3. You'd probably enjoy checking out the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. A sort of Julie and Julia project where, for a year, Gretchen spent a month on 12 different ways to increase her happiness.
    Looking forward to your posts (and in general, enjoy your blog very much)
    Here's to a great 2011!

  4. LeAynne, thanks for the book suggestion. It sounds like something I'll enjoy as I post this series. I'm glad you enjoy reading my blog, and I sure appreciate your comments. Happy New Year!