Monday, 31 December 2007

Two Easy to Keep New Year Resolutions

It is very difficult to keep most New Year resolutions, and in fact most are broken within a few days. I don't recommend making them anyway. Goal setting is a far better method of achieving what you want in your life, and is something which is constantly reviewed rather than just looked at once a year. I will spend several days in the near future explaining how to set powerful and life transforming goals. However, here are two New Year Resolutions which will be easy and fun to keep and will improve your life dramatically.

I want you to resolve to be more grateful for all the things that you already have in your life.

I also want you to resolve to be more happy.

Researchers at the University of California and University of Miami have discovered significant benefits of maintaining an attitude of gratitude.
· Those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the upcoming week.
· Participants who kept gratitude lists were more like to have made progress toward important personal goals.
· A daily gratitude intervention (self guided exercises) with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, and energy.
· Participants in the daily gratitude condition were more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem.
· Grateful people are more likely to acknowledge a belief in the interconnectedness of all life and a commitment to and responsibility to others.
· Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods, and are more likely to share their possessions with others.
· Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of stress and depression.

Every morning try and spend five or ten minutes thinking of all the reasons you have to be grateful. Write them down if you have the time, perhaps you could keep a special Gratitude Journal. The film "The Secret" recommends keeping a "gratitude stone" in your pocket so that every time you touch the stone you think of reasons why you are grateful. This will transform your life. If you would like a free Gratitude Meditation (mp3 recording) please e-mail me at and I will e-mail you the recording.

Happiness results in success, most people think it is the other way round. They think you become happy when you are successful. Happiness sets into motion a whole series of psychological and behavioural changes that make you more determined to set and achieve meaningful and realistic goals, that help you get over failures (which are inevitable), that help you overcome problems and setbacks, and that help you to develop deeper, positive and supportive relationships.

Every morning also ask yourself "What can I do today that will make me happy?" Here is a list of things that have been shown to boost happiness levels. Smiling; Socialising; Intimacy; Keeping a Journal; Meditation; Contributing (Helping Others, perhaps by volunteering); Developing your Spiritual Life; Listening to Music; Exercising; Engrossing Hobbies; Photography; Pursuing Meaningful Goals; and of course Expressing Gratitude. Some recent research has shown that as little as eight minutes participation in these "positive interventions" can lead to significant impact on your happiness and emotional well-being, and help reduce the national plague of "unhappyitis."