Professional Development

Change your daily routine and find happiness

Written by Eric Titner

It’s a new year, and like most of us you’re probably eager to get it started off on the right foot—which might include figuring out how to increase your daily happiness. After all, life is short and no one wants to spend their days needlessly unhappy, especially when you can make a few easy life adjustments to get you smiling again.

Even making some small tweaks to your daily routine can make a world of difference. Is your usual routine relaxed and well organized, setting you up for a positive and productive day? Or is it more chaotic and anxious, setting you up for uncertainty and a greater likelihood that things will go wrong? Setting your day off on the wrong foot—and keeping it there with the wrong daily routine—is a clear recipe for unhappiness.

Inc. recently published an article that highlighted 7 easy-to-implement changes that you can make to your daily routine that can improve your overall mood, productivity, and health—key components of lasting and sustained happiness. Use the strategies presented here to make positive changes to your daily routine and increase your level of happiness.

Write down your thoughts and feelings.

Keeping a small notebook or journal to jot down your daily thoughts and feelings can make a world of difference. Not only is it an excellent way to calmly work through the tangle of ideas that continually fight for primacy in our crowded brains, it’s a good way to slow life down for a bit, relax, and allow some quiet time for thoughtful reflection. Beyond this, it’s also a good way to ensure that you don’t forget things, which can really ruin your day.

Chat with a fellow commuter.

Many of us go through significant portions of our day feeling isolated and disconnected from the world around us, which can be a real recipe for routine unhappiness. Forging a new, meaningful connection with someone you encounter each day—like a fellow commuter—can help reconnect you to the world at large, and with any luck you’ll make a meaningful and lasting friendship. Who wouldn’t be happy about that?

Take a beautiful photo on your way to work.

When we get stuck in a rut, we become desensitized to things around us as we mechanically go through the motions of our daily routine. When we can no longer recognize the beauty in the world, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay happy. Do yourself a favor—take a moment to stop and find something beautiful around you each day and take a photo, which will serve as a lasting reminder that life is filled with wonderful moments. Chances are, those photos will make you smile whenever you look at them.

Plan something joyful for tomorrow.

In many ways, humans are predictable creatures—we feel happy when we have something to look forward to. Take advantage of this quirk of human nature by taking time each day to plan something joyful for tomorrow. It doesn’t have to be something big; even a small bit of future happiness can bring a smile to our faces. Give it a try.

Set one goal for the day.

People also feel good when they achieve goals they set for themselves. Each day, set one achievable goal for yourself—and make sure you give an honest effort towards achieving it. Once again, the size of the goal isn’t the main thing here; even achieving a modest goal that you set for yourself can bring you a measure of happiness, not to mention help make your day productive.

Consider outsourcing a chore.

Life is full of responsibilities that we as adults must devote our time and energy to each day—whether we want to do them or not. That said, there are some chores in our lives that we don’t necessarily have to do ourselves. Try letting yourself off the hook for a chore you can just as easily pass along to someone else. Chances are, you’ll breathe a small sigh of relief and have a little extra time for something that makes you happy.

List something you appreciate.

Although it’s easy to take the good things in our lives for granted at times, it gets much harder to do so when we write them down. Try thinking of something you’re grateful for each day and write it down. The act of doing so can really solidify its importance and can serve as a powerful, tangible reminder that there are things in life worth being happy about.

There you have it—ideas you can incorporate into your daily routine to make your life a little brighter. It may take a little effort, but isn’t your happiness worth it?

About the author

Eric Titner

Eric is a NYC-based editor and writer, with years of experience in career-focused content development across a wide range of industries.