I recently read You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too by Tammy Strobel. At the end of almost every chapter, Tammy lists micro-actions that the reader can take to start or enhance their own journey in simplifying. One of the first micro-actions she lists is to define happiness for yourself.
I kinda know what I mean when I think about being happy, but putting that into words is actually pretty difficult. Just thinking about it makes me want to take a nap.
To start, I will list things that I think already do and would contribute to increasing my happiness levels.
Things That Currently Contribute to My Happiness
- My family, especially my husband, son, cats, parents, and in-laws, who are a constant support and pleasure to be with.
- Having a house that is the perfect size for us.
- Being more mindful of my things and how I spend my time.
- Having less daily choices and things-to-do than I gave myself in the past.
- Going outside, especially for walks with someone else.
- Our family having the financial freedom so I can take off of work to care for my child(ren).
Things That I Believe Would Contribute to My Happiness if Achieved
- Getting out of debt.
- Refinishing our bathroom so the tiles stop falling off and we stop wasting water through leaks.
- Writing regularly (outside of November, since I’ve gotten pretty good at NaNoWriMo).
- Saving more money.
- Actually getting myself to send out query letters to publishers regarding books I’ve already written.
- Putting up a fence along our driveway (safety issue for kids).
- Cleaning and finishing our basement (another safety issue for kids).
- If my husband didn’t have to work 40 hr/wk so he could spend more time at home.
So it would seem that basically happiness to me is to be able to spend time with my family, appreciating nature, as well as some other me-time stuff thrown in, like eating chocolate outside before falling asleep reading.
To do this, however — for me to be happier — it seems that I need to spend less money on things that aren’t on my happiness lists. Seems easy, but again, I’d rather nap instead of thinking of how to actually do it. But think about it I must. Because I want to achieve those things on the second list.
But figuring all that out is a micro-action for another day. Today, I’ve defined my happiness. I will delve into other ideas on how to achieve more happiness in the future, one step at a time.
What defines your happiness?