We're rapidly approaching the end of 2016 and before we know it, we'll be raising our glasses of champagne as the clock strikes twelve.
As this year winds down, it's natural that we're thinking about what we want to change in the one ahead. If "be happier" is one of your goals for 2017, you're probably not alone. According to this year's Harris Poll® Happiness Index, America's overall happiness was at an all-time low when compared to the last eight years.
Want to start ramping up your moments of joy and peace in 2017? Here are five New Year's resolutions you need to make (and keep).
Resolution #1: Stop making career decisions based on what others think.
If you're making career decisions based on what others think, you're steering your career in the wrong direction. You're also missing out on an opportunity to be a trailblazer.
Think about Amazon's Jeff Bezos or Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. They certainly didn't prioritize what others thought over their own instincts. Why should you?
Give yourself the chance to become the best at what you want to do and start listening to your own desires. It'll put you on the fast track to a happier, more fulfilling career.
Resolution #2: Start being more curious.
Nothing creates more conflict than being close-minded. If you want to have happier relationships in 2017, you're going to need to reverse your biases. That's where curiosity comes into play.
Curiosity is a connecting attribute; it invites others in and gives you the opportunity to learn about new perspectives and ideas. Curious people, therefore, open doors and invite opportunities into their lives.
Try curiosity on for a month or two. You'll soon start to see the difference in your conversations with friends, partners, and colleagues.
Resolution #3: Build your confidence.
Feel like you're standing in the way of your own greatness? If your lack of confidence is causing you to feel defensive and insecure, pay close attention to what triggers it.
Often, people look to something external rather than digging into the root of the problem. For example, you might notice that when someone doesn't respond to you in a timely fashion, you immediately assume the worst-case scenario. Your confidence plummets because you believe something bad has happened.
Instead of jumping to conclusions, pause and acknowledge that everyone has different response times. When you build this sense of awareness, you decrease the power that particular trigger has over you.
Work on managing your fear instead of allowing it to control you. It's a small step you can take right now that will have a big payoff for your confidence in the future.
Resolution #4: Rewire negative thoughts.
More often than not, it's that voice inside of you that breeds lack of confidence, stress, and anxiety. If you want to feel happier, rewire those negative thoughts.
Pick two that seem to cause the most havoc and reverse them. Make sure that when you reverse the message it's one that is true. Those positive messages will help reduce stress and create more peace in your life.
Practice this message reversal for 30 days. Notice the difference in your mood, stress, and overall happiness. Shedding emotional baggage might sound simple, but you'll be amazed at how powerful it can be.
Resolution #5: Get more sleep.
Easier said than done, right? This may seem obvious, but so few people spend the time ensuring that they get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. To feel happier about your health, it's going to take more than just saying you wish you could get more sleep. You're going to have to do something about it.
This year, create new habits that will help you get more rest. Track your sleep so that you can get a baseline and measure your progress or come up with a ritual around sleep--such as determining a lights-out time--and stick to it.