The last decade wasn’t exactly an easy one. According to Time Magazine, only 31% of Americans reported that they felt happy with their situation. In 2017, that number went up by only 2%.

Many of us want to move into this new decade feeling happier. One of the ways to do that is to set thoughtful, attainable resolutions!

That doesn’t mean goals like, “Run a marathon,” or, “Learn to speak another language fluently,” although those are great goals, too. 

Instead, we mean goals that are looser and build towards the goal of living an overall happier life. Read on to find out more about how to set these goals.

1. Think of Your Resolutions as Intentions

A lot of times, our resolutions are pretty big and specific. It’s exciting to plan such a substantial change in our lives but execution becomes daunting. The moment we misstep in our path to eating healthier every meal or exercising every day, we feel that we’ve failed and may even quit.

Set yourself up for success by setting intentions rather than resolutions. To find out more about what that means in this post.

2. Celebrate Every Accomplishment

We live in a world of constant comparison. It’s hard to recognize our own achievements when the person next to use appears to have achieved a little bit more. 

In 2020, remember that your accomplishments are part of your own path. The rate at which you move up in a job, write your first short story, or overcome your fear of public speaking is your own. Every step closer to your goals, even the littlest of steps, is cause for celebration.

3. Relearn Internet Habits

Part of the comparison issue we have today comes from the use of social media. We’re logged into everyone else’s highlights on a regular basis and it can cause some serious self-esteem issues. 

You don’t have to kick your habit of using the internet. Instead, relearn the way you use it. Spend less time scrolling through your social media feed and more time reading articles or watching videos about the things that fascinate you.

4. Embrace Conversation

Stop avoiding short exchanges with neighbors and friendly cashiers.

Face-to-face conversations release anxiety-reducing neurotransmitters. Studies have found that talking to strangers or distant acquaintances, in particular, can help boost our sense of belonging and our belief that the world is, in fact, a nice place to be. 

5. Spread Positivity

Doing a good deed is a surefire way to feel more positive. Maybe in the past, you always told yourself you’d pick up some volunteer work on the weekends but never got around to it. 

Good deeds don’t have to take up much time at all. If you’re the kind of person with a jam-packed schedule, consider making donations to organizations that mean something to you. Even a small donation every once in a while will serve as a reminder that you are doing good things in your lifetime!

6. Channel Your Frustrations in Productive Ways

It’s easy to get caught up in negative feelings but make an effort to learn which ones are productive. For example, picking apart your coworker’s every flaw or annoying mannerism isn’t productive. How much time did you waste dwelling on something that gets on your nerves but, in the end, isn’t harming you?

However, some frustrations can lead to productive behaviors. Maybe you’re unhappy with your local government for ignoring the pothole-ridden roads you take to work. Take that frustration and turn it into an informative email that may just convince your representatives to take action!

7. Practice Mindfulness

When you experience anxiety or sadness, do you examine the cause? What about when you experience satisfaction or joy?

Practice sitting with your emotions. It’s important to let yourself experience emotions like sadness. When you try to push those emotions down, they are not going away but rather building up tension in your mind and body that is bound to affect you over time.

At the same time, sit with positive emotions, too! Determine what it is in life that brings you joy so that you can incorporate it into your routine more often.

8. Examine Boundaries

Are there relationships in your life that leave you feeling drained or unhappy? We tend to attribute any negativity that arises from a relationship to the other person. However, it could have more to do with you than you think.

Think about the boundaries and expectations you’d like to have in your relationships. Now, think about how those boundaries and expectations are playing out in the relationship that is causing you stress. Maybe the issue is, in part, that you’ve yet to make your boundaries clear or you’ve lowered your expectations of that person.

Once you’ve taken a step back and examined your relationships in this light, it’ll be easier to find ways to improve those relationships.

9. Love Your Body

Weight-loss goals abound in January. We’re stuck in the assumption that a lower weight means a healthier body. We’re also shown standards of beauty in the media that center thinness.

Once again, stop with the comparisons. Think less about what you want to change about your body and more about what you love. 

When you do set goals that involve a change in diet or activity, do it for positive reasons. Focus on the way you feel when you eat healthier or move your body more rather than how you look when you weigh a few pounds less. Your body is already beautiful!

10. Indulge a Little

We all have restrictions that we stress over. For some of us, that’s spending less money. For others, that’s eating less sugar or carbohydrates.

Whatever it is that you’re restricting, give it up now and then. Splurging on a great pair of shoes isn’t going to prevent you from buying a house. Eating a delicious pastry isn’t going to undo all of your progress.

The key is moderation. The occasional indulgence will make sticking to your restrictions most of the time a lot more bearable. 

Feel Happier in 2020

We hope that you’ve found inspiration in our list of ways to feel happier in 2020. We’re sure you’ll come up with some great goals this year!

For more lifestyle tips, bookmark our page and check back with us soon!