It's a new year, and usually with a fresh start comes a fresh perspective and renewed energy towards work, life and relationships.
However, this happy feeling can be fleeting, and we're left with a disappointing holiday slump. When it comes to true happiness, you should feel it most days--not just when you have a fresh start.
Now is a great time to figure out if you are authentically happy or are living for those external hits that only provide an artificial sense of excitement and peace.
Here is a quick quiz that will help you figure out where you stand. Do the following statements describe you? Give yourself a point for every "yes." Tally up your score at the end for your analysis.
- If you won 10 million dollars in the lottery tomorrow, you would treat yourself to some luxuries but you wouldn't change your job or location. You have already created your ideal life.
- Your work energizes you. The holidays, while wonderful for perspective and rest, aren't your haven. In fact, you enjoy working, and you're excited for Mondays on a regular basis.
- Your relationships with your partner and family are healthy. Most of the time you feel understood, accepted, and non-critical of each other and you enjoy being with them.
- Your friendships are nurturing, and when you are with your friends you feel appreciated and seen. You are energized by your time with them.
- You love yourself. You ignore most of the negative mental chatter you may be telling yourself. You look in the mirror and honor what you see and you recognize the value you posses.
- You have a handle on your emotional baggage. When you experience extreme emotions, you pause, take stock and recognize when these emotions are merited or just your own baggage coming up.
- You have cultivated an on-going habit of being grateful rather than spiteful. You don't take out your frustrations on other people, and you know how to self-soothe. You treat other people with respect and appreciation.
- You have a spiritual practice. This may be a formal religion or a personal practice that you do regularly to stay connected to your or your God's truth.
- You do some sort of physical activity at least 3 to 5 times a week. You enjoy this time to move your body.
- You are creating an impact in the world or in other people's lives that is endlessly fulfilling to you. Whether this is in your work or outside of work, you are doing something that fills up your soul on a regular basis.
How many times did you say "yes!" to one of the statements above? Tally them up!
8-10 points: Jackpot! You are happy. You are not sitting around wishing that good things will happen to you. You have learned the art of creating happiness from within and have created a life that contributes to that feeling every day. The key for you is to keep doing what you're doing.
4-7 points: You are teetering on the brink of happiness, but may be still struggling with getting fully there. Focus on the statements to which you answered "No." How can you begin to move the needle forward in these areas of your life? Now may be a great time to get some support. You are so close, so make 2016 the year you fully become and feel at peace with yourself and life.
0-3 points: You probably already know you aren't feeling the kind of joy and peace with your life that is possible. You may need to get a new job, build new relationships, or re-think some of your habits. But no worries--the key to being happy is to get clarity on where you are at and decide where you want to be. 2016 could be the year that you start to make big changes and become the person you want to be. If so, get some help! It's not fair to yourself to make these big changes on your own.
When you learn how to create happiness for yourself, you are unstoppable. Being happy is the fuel for success, joy and the meaning we all deserve.