Our happiness is affected by a variety of temporary feelings and circumstances. If you run out of gas and are late to work, if your boss gives you a big raise, if your spouse goes to bed angry with you, if the flowers you planted bloom beautifully, if you twist your ankle—all of this temporarily affects your sense of happiness and well-being. So if you wish to explore how you could be happier, I have created questions that will assist you in looking at your life longer range rather than keeping you focused on what’s temporary:
In what ways have you made yourself proud during the last year? In what ways are you making yourself proud now? What are you proud about yourself lifelong?
Regarding relationship, love, romance and sex, how well is this going for you? What could you reasonably do that would make this part of your life better than it is now?
Make a list of your other most important relationships, including your children, extended family, parents, friends and anyone else important to you. What could you do to strengthen or deepen these relationships?
With respect to money and financial goals, how are you faring? What two things could you do that would positively impact this aspect of your life?
Regarding your work or career goals, are there any changes you would like to make?
What do you do that’s playful and fun—and how can you add more fun to your life?
How would you rate your overall health, including fitness, diet and nutrition? What could you do that would assist you in feeling greater levels of health?
How do you feel about your appearance and the way you present yourself to the world? Are there any changes that you could make in the next year that would enhance how you feel about the way you present yourself to others?
Is your home environment comfortable? What could you do that would make it better?
How resilient are you? What skills do you possess that allow you to bounce back from adversity? Is there anything else you could do that would help you be more resilient?
Where in life do you express your creativity? Is this something you wish to do more of?
What adventures would you like in your future?What are you grateful or thankful for? Be thorough in answering this question.
What two things could you do that would enhance your sense of well-being?
Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Westminster and Boulder, Colorado. His column is in its 25th year of publication. You can reach him at 303-758-8777, or email him through his website: www.neilrosenthal.com. The second edition of his book: “Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating A Vital Relationship,” recently hit the #1 best seller list on Amazon its first day of release, both nationally and internationally.