2015 already looks like it will be a great year. Gas prices and unemployment are down, the stock market is up, and entrepreneurs have become role models for an entire generation.

Based on my previous posts about workplace happiness and stress reduction, here are some powerful ways to make 2015 your best year ever:

  1. Start each day with expectation. Make your first thought on rising: "Something wonderful will happen today."
  2. Assume good intentions. Imputing evil motives adds extra misery to life, while assuming good intentions leaves you open to reconciliation.
  3. Avoid negative news. When a news story makes you angry or upset, unless it's 100 percent relevant to your life, change the channel or click to another page.
  4. Be more understanding. Put aside your preconceptions and really listen to what other people say. This creates clarity.
  5. Beautify your work area. As much as possible, make your work environment a place where you feel comfortable and positive.
  6. Break major tasks into smaller steps. When a single task seems overwhelming, break it up into sub-tasks and take them on one by one.
  7. Breathe more deeply. When you take long deep breaths, it tells your body to relax. Do this consciously for a while and it will eventually become automatic.
  8. Bundle minor tasks into single efforts. Combine minor to-do items into a single project and they will seem easier to accomplish.
  9. Create or join a community. Communities where people share mutual goals help you feel more connected and therefore happier.
  10. Create powerful playlists. Build a library of music that gets you energized and a second library of music that calms you down. Use each when appropriate.
  11. Cultivate a tactile hobby. Rather than seeking fun in front of a screen (which is like working), find a hobby that requires you to so something physical.
  12. Daydream more often. When you let your thoughts wander you'll eventually have insights that will make you and your team more competitive.
  13. Disconnect from the uncontrollable. Don't waste time and energy on things you can neither influence nor control: the economy, traffic, politics, and so forth.
  14. Do the easy stuff first. Look for easy-to-do tasks that will have a large positive effect on your career and business. Do those tasks first.
  15. Don't ever be a hater. Hate is a parasite that eats away at your energy and health. Forgive and forget rather than stew in your own juices.
  16. Eat a bit healthier. Take healthy foods (like fresh fruit) to work rather than the sugary stuff most other people eat.
  17. Eat something delicious. Rather than scarfing fast food, eat something really delicious every day, like a chunk of fine cheese or an imported chocolate.
  18. End each day with gratitude. Just before bed, write down something wonderful that happened that day. Be grateful for the day because it will never come again.
  19. Enjoy your own foibles. Being able to laugh at yourself and your own limitations is the first step to overcoming them.
  20. Forgive more often. Rather than wasting energy fixing blame and punishing, fix the problem, let it go, and then move forward.
  21. Get a therapeutic massage. Don't think about work while you're on the table. Focus on the pressure and imagine each part of your body releasing tension.
  22. Gift everyone you meet. This gift can be your smile, a word of thanks or encouragement, a gesture of politeness, even a friendly nod.
  23. Give yourself more credit. Give yourself a mental and emotional pat on the back every time you complete a project, even if it's only a small part of a larger effort.
  24. Hang more with non-work friends. Spending time with those who aren't plugged into your workplace creates better balance in your life.
  25. Have a broad set of interests. Rather than being a workaholic, actively find interests that expand your mind.
  26. Help someone less fortunate. Giving to others is the best way to create a sense of abundance in your own life.
  27. Laugh more often. Numerous studies show that laughter doesn't just make you happier, it also make you healthier by relieving stress.
  28. Let go of your results. Once you've taken action and there's nothing else you can do, forget about the result and focus on the job at hand.
  29. Limit exposure to media violence. Intensely violent and suspenseful movies and video games can force your body into "fight or flight." Don't overdo them.
  30. Lose more arguments. Some battles aren't worth fighting, and many people are easier to handle when they think they've won.
  31. Maintain your integrity. You'll never be happy at work if you let other people push you into places that violate your personal integrity.
  32. Make weekends a haven. While it's sometimes necessary to do some work when you're technically not at work, you need time to recharge your batteries.
  33. Meditate more often. Numerous scientific studies reveal that prayer and meditation change your physiological state for the better.
  34. Never overcommit yourself. Be enthusiastic and go the extra mile, but avoid making promises that you can't reasonably keep.
  35. Read more that's inspiring. Fill your quiet moments with music, books, and TED talks that are uplifting and help you aspire to be your best.
  36. Realign your plans regularly. You'll make better decisions if you know how the actions you're taking will help you achieve your long-term plans and goals.
  37. Rebalance your workload. If you must do A,B,C, and D, and there's only time to do three of the four, delegate or ignore the task that you can't accomplish.
  38. Record good memories. When you experience a special moment, capture it on your phone or your journal. Or both.
  39. Refuse to be "stressed." Rather than use the word "stress" when you're busy or under pressure, use words that will motivate you, like "excited" or "energized."
  40. Relax for five minutes. No matter how much pressure you feel at work, you'll get more done if you set work aside five minutes every hour.
  41. Remember that this too will pass. The nature of the physical universe is change. Nothing remains the same.
  42. Schedule time to concentrate. Set aside a time each day when you won't be interrupted to work on projects that require sustained concentration.
  43. Show more respect. Respect is the foundation of a strong business relationship. Respect creates respect, and thus the relationship grows.
  44. Shrug off things more often. In the grand scheme, the stuff that bothers you every day probably isn't all that important.
  45. Shun needless gossip. Before telling (or listening to) personal stories about co-workers, ask yourself 1) Is it true? 2) Is it kind? 3) Is it necessary?
  46. Shut off background TV. The point of broadcast television is to make you want more stuff. Why program yourself to be a mindless consumer?
  47. Sleep more soundly. An hour before bed, shut down your computer and phone. When you wake up, wait until you're ready for work to read your emails.
  48. Smile more frequently. This tells your brain to be more happy and, because happiness is contagious, makes other people smile.
  49. Spend 10 seconds on gratitude. Spend at least 10 seconds--right now--to be grateful for all the wonderful things in your life.
  50. Stop comparing yourself to others. You have no idea where someone else's journey might take them, so drawing comparisons is a complete waste of time.
  51. Take a long bath. When you're in the tub, you can't use your electronics, so that's a perfect haven from work pressures.
  52. Take joy in small victories. Don't wait for the big wins. Celebrate the intermediate milestones that you hit along the way.
  53. Take more walks outside. When things get intense at the office, a breath of fresh air and a stretch of your legs can give you valuable perspective.
  54. Take yourself less seriously. If you can't or don't laugh at yourself, I can guarantee you that everyone else will be laughing behind your back.
  55. Thank the thankless. Janitors, maintenance stiff, customer support people and so forth have tough jobs. Having someone thank them is huge.
  56. Worry less what others think. Because you can't read minds, you have no idea what people are really thinking about you.
  57. Believe the best is yet to come. Trust with all your heart that the world has wonderful things in store for you.
Published on: Jan 11, 2015
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