The Year of Happy.

You know the people that say you shouldn’t wait until the new year to make resolutions. You should just “start today” rather than waiting. Well, sometimes you need a reset button. Sometimes you need a new year to really think about the changes you want to make, the person you want to be and the way you want to live your life. I’m all for New Year Resolutions and annual themes. For me, this is the year of HAPPY.

I am generally a pretty happy person. I have an amazing husband and three beautiful, healthy little girls who I get to stay home and spend everyday with. Life is pretty darn great. However, like everyone else, I have my fair share of challenges and bad days.  I am ALWAYS searching for ways to be happy regardless of what kind of day we’re having. I don’t know if I’ll ever ENJOY the seven loads of laundry that must get done or LOVE  picking up the gajillion toys scattered throughout the house. But rather than stressing out about the petty tasks, embrace the challenge, embrace the chaos and do my best to enjoy ALL of it! Because these days are fleeting and it’s so important to me that I soak up this special time I have with the most important people in my life.

I think because we moms are always so focused on our kids and our husband and making sure THEY are happy, we tend to forget about ourselves. I heard this analogy once and it has always stuck with me. You know how when you’re on a plane and the flight attendant tells you that in the event of an emergency, make sure to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping the person next to you. Even if it is your child.

They say that because if you run out of oxygen, you will be zero help to anyone else. The same goes with being happy. If you aren’t making your own happiness a priority, nobody will benefit. We all know, if mama’s not happy, ain’t NOBODY happy. Truth. Being emotionally strong, confident and happy are the best things you can do for yourself and your family.

My goal this year is not to be happy ALL of the time. That’s impossible. We all have days that are trying… some more than others. But rather, create daily habits that in return, will make me a better, happier person. A lot of people don’t realize that sometimes you have to work at being happy. It’s like developing a muscle.

So how am I planning on doing this? I’ve been on a total podcast kick lately. Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations is my favorite. I also love Good Life Project, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, The Tony Robbins Podcast & Bold New Mom. I listen to them while working out rather than listening to music. I’ll also listen to them in the car – sometimes the girls don’t mind, but then sometimes they yell at me demand another Taylor Swift song (true story – eye roll).

Most of the episodes revolve around this exact topic. After listening to a bunch of these I have picked out a few of my favorite tips to incorporate into my daily way of life. First off, acknowledging what makes me the happiest and finding ways to make that a daily habit.

What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in awhile.  Gretchen Rubin

So, when am I the happiest?

1.) When I am fully present

When I am laughing and playing with the girls or having a good conversation with David, I am my happiest self. I mean, it really doesn’t get any better. I recently shared a quote from one of my favorite books, “Hands Free Life” by Rachel Macy Stafford:

When it comes to building up a human being, unconditional attention is just as important as unconditional love.

This is everything to me. Even though I have made and will continue to make mistakes, one thing that I have complete control over is giving them the attention that they want, need and deserve.

With that said, I have a true love/hate relationship with technology/my phone/social media. Sometimes it is the best thing ever and I can’t get enough. Other times, I avoid it like the plague and feel like it’s ruining my life, ha! I am trying to find that perfect balance and realize when it is serving me and when it is working against me. I decided to carve out time at different points of the day to dedicate to stuff I must get done on the computer or my phone. Other than that I’m trying to be as disconnected as possible.

In result, I’ve been feeling SO much more productive. There were some days when I felt super busy but wasn’t getting anything done. I chalk it up to too many distractions (i.e. the phone) This has seriously helped me become way more productive.

A lot of people talk about meditating in the morning and how beneficial it is. I really want to be able to do this but just haven’t been able to. I feel like my mind is constantly racing and I end up thinking about everything that has to get done. I’ve heard about how amazing the Calming app is, has anyone tried it? Would love suggestions if you do this everyday!

 

Mia’s thigh rolls make me EXTRA happy.
2.) When I feel healthy

Motion creates emotion. -Tony Robbins

As many of you know, my husband loves a good motivational quote. I used to roll my eyes but now I LOVE it! This is one he uses often. It’s total common sense but such a good reminder. When you’re feeling lazy and unmotivated – your mood matches that. The moment you break the pattern and start moving (even if that’s just going for a walk or doing 10 push-ups), your mental state will instantly change for the better!

I am a pretty active person. One of my obsessions has always been running. Nothing makes me feel more alive than a good run. However, after having 3 kids, it’s not that easy to do. Add in the fact that our Explorer doesn’t fit three car seats AND a double bob, which has been my only form of exercise the past few years. My sweet husband who truly believes the old adage, “happy wife. happy life” bought me a treadmill for Christmas (most women would be offended by this but to me it is the best gift EVER)!

So now I get up and try and get a quick workout in before the girls wake up. This is probably the hardest for me. But I know that if I get it done, I will be on cloud freaking nine after!

If one of the girls happens to wake up while I’m running I don’t get annoyed. I got in more exercise than I normally would have and should be thankful for that!

Follow the workout with a shower and some coffee and the day is off to a perfect start.

3.) When I am productive/accomplished/growing as a person

Whatever term you want to use. True translation: getting shit done.

I have noticed that I get the most stressed when the household chores have built up and feel like I just can’t get everything done that day. I have started making a list in the morning of the top 5 things that MUST get done that day. Not a “To-Do” list, a MUST-DO list… Only 5. If nothing else gets done, I will be happy with the 5 tasks that did. If they are large, time-consuming tasks, I’ll make it three. The point of this is to not overwhelm myself and embrace the words “good enough for today.” Those four little words are a way to free myself (and my family) from the constraints of unnecessary pressure and unrealistic expectations.

Here’s another quote I read from “Hands Free Life” that I had to share with you because I love it SO MUCH.

“Today I will view the messy trails in my home as the sacred evidence that living, loving, creating, and growing are going on here. If I choose to look at clutter and disarray with a soft, open heart, I can see the quirks, hopes, talents, and dreams of my loved ones in these sacred trails. Although life is often imperfect, exhausting, messy and monotonous, it is my life. And when I open my eyes, hands and heart fully, what truly matters can outshine the mess.”  -Rachel Macy Stafford

YOU GUYS! Can I get all the praise hands for that?! I have been reading that quote everyday to remind myself. So GOOD!

I’m going to end on that note – But I REALLY want to know if you have a daily habit that makes you a happier person. DM me or comment below!

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. I love it Brooke, I might not be as diligent at those as you (limiting my to-do list to a “Must 5” gives me anxiety just thinking about it 🙄) but all wonderful tips any mom can benefit from. Thanks for sharing. Oh and Mia’s thigh rolls also make me happy 😃

  2. I love these! I need to start listening to some podcasts!I find that I am the most happy when I focus on what I’m thankful for. For example if I’m feeling down or overwhelmed I often try to make a list of everything that is going well and that I am grateful for and I quickly see my blessings and realize a lot of my stresses wont matter in time.

  3. I love these! I need to start listening to some podcasts!I find that I am the most happy when I focus on what I’m thankful for. For example if I’m feeling down or overwhelmed I often try to make a list of everything that is going well and that I am grateful for and I quickly see my blessings and realize a lot of my stresses wont matter in time.

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