Every year my goal is the same: find joy!
I laid in my bed for two hours on New Year’s Day morning, before any of The Dudes had awoken, watching YouTube videos of random people I stalk, thinking through my desire for joy.
At first I was all, welllll, maybe it’s because I am unhappy? Maybe I am just so freaking sad and unfulfilled in my life, that I am on a constant hunt for joy?
I mean I have my moments, my melancholy, my hormone induced downer days that make me cut my eyes at my husband and snap at my kids when they ask me for orange juice RIGHT AFTER I PUT THE BOTTLE AWAY.
But mostly, I look around my life on a day to day basis and am all…
I often can’t even believe it’s real.
That I get to share my life with these wonderful people in these generally more than ample and largely satisfying conditions is a true blessing and a gift.
I know that.
And I’m happy.
So, what’s with the happy hoarding?
I’ve come to realize that I am someone who is prone to look for loopholes –constantly on the search for the but’s and the however’s and the what if’s.
It’s easy for me to lose sight of the truth and get sidetracked by the crazy, particularly when that crazy is shiny and new and all clean and pretty on social media.
I used to think it was ambition.
Like, I am always looking for something better because I want to BE better. I don’t want to get content because it gets in the way of my growth.
Sure, makes sense.
Only, not for me.
I don’t need other people to encourage my ambition. I am naturally eager to improve myself and intrinsically motivated towards success.
When I’m happy.
It’s when I’m not happy that other people and outside forces start to come into play.
I let basic rewards and what other people have going on distract me from focusing on my own personal quest for awesome.
I get envious, I get petty, and sometimes, I get ugly.
BECAUSE I’M NOT HAPPY.
I know it’s hard to admit –no one wants to be this person.
But let’s just real talk it for a minute.
When things are going your way and your life is on track and your soul is joy-filled, you are cool with other people’s fortune. The Jones Family could win an all expense paid trip to an exotic island and I’d be the first to comment and mean it when Sasha Jones pops on to excitedly update her Facebook status.
Buuuuut, when your life is a hot mess and you couldn’t find a smile if your next breath depended on it, you’re more like…
when Sasha Jones comes talking about her stupid little all expense paid island trip that no one even cares about anyway. And, instead of even mustering up a fake “congrats, be careful for Zika!” type response to post, you hide her so you don’t have to see all of her ugly little pictures of her skinny little self lying on the beach with her silly little family in a few months.
I don’t like being that person.
So, I choose joy.
Every year. I recommit myself to finding it for myself and spreading it among others.
And when Sasha or you or anyone brings me happy news, I can celebrate them like I mean it (because I do) and use it as proof that good things come to good people who have faith and patience.
Joy lets me be great.
Maybe it will help you too.
17 Sure Fire Ways to Find Joy in 2017
Eliminate things that make you unhappy.
People, apps, experiences, jobs. Whatever it is that is sucking your joy out of your soul and turning you into this person you don’t like needs to die in a fire.
Once that’s done,
Find Something You Love
To fill up that time with.
Note, if you quit your job, you might want to start there, because I don’t know about you, but being homeless would make finding joy pretty much impossible for me.
Exercise Your Body
Science even says it makes you a happier person.
And, Exercise Your Mind
Science also says this makes you happier and healthier for longer.
Try Something New
It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. In fact, adding Gilmore Girls and Supernatural to my list last year were joyful enough for me!
Traveling is a great way to experience joy. Even if you can’t afford to go somewhere exotic, just getting out of your house and exploring something in or around your home can help!
Help Someone Out
Nothing makes a human feel better than helping another human. For me, being an active member of my community has been an immense source of joy.
Give Someone A Gift
Because the act is a gift to you too!
Keep a Journal
Even if you hate writing, the act is often cathartic.
Clutter can cause anxiety and the sheer act of decluttering has been known to relieve stress and help people feel better.
Food is powerful you guys! I can’t even explain all of the ways food can impact your mood and overall health, but you can read about it here:
Sleep deprivation is unhealthy and unhappy. Get more rest, you will feel better.
Eliminate Negative Self Talk
The world has enough negative things to say about you, no need to help.
Kick Mom Guilt in the Face
If you’re doing your best job on a daily basis then you really don’t have anything to feel guilty about.
Learn to Let Go
Grudges and anger only hurt you. They keep you from moving forward joyful and the ruin relationships you’d otherwise probably like to keep. If you can’t let go of something someone has done, you probably need to let go of the person.
Be a Better Friend
Check in more, listen better, be supportive, celebrate them. Be the things you want your friends to be to you and your friend group will naturally evolve to include like minded people who behave similarly.
Daily, weekly, intentionally, all the time. That doesn’t mean you won’t get sad. It doesn’t mean you won’t get angry. What it does mean is that you will consistently comb through this list, and examine your choices, to ensure that if you are being the person you want to be, and feeling the way you want to feel about life by controlling the thing you can control and letting go of the one you can’t.