I told you on Monday that I am already getting a head start on my goals for 2013. 2012 has been crazy busy and overwhelming at times so it is a good time for me to think about the things that really make me happy. Since I write a blog about being happy, successful and balanced, I need to model each of these for you right! So I am focusing on happiness today.
“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” - Groucho Marx
What makes me happy?
Things that usually don’t make people happy are money and material things. Things that do make people happy are having meaningful relationships with friends and family, helping others, making a difference, exercising, searching for personal growth and becoming the person you were meant to be. These are the things that make me happy. So 2013 will be focused on these things that make me happy. I decided to make a list of everything that makes me happy in my work. Hopefully it will inspire you to also think about your life and work and focus on the things that do make you happy in the upcoming year.
1. Using My Interests
I discovered my interests in an assessment I took at my company a year ago. My high interests are coaching, mentoring and influencing others. Easy to see that on this blog, right? I love that I am doing more of what I am interested in now but I do know that it took me a long time to figure it out. Your interests stay with you since you were a child so I can remember times as a child when I was always the go-to person in my group of friends to help them get through through relationship problems. I was always helping my friends with their college applications and improving their grades. I remember trying to influence others when I started the save the earth club in 2nd grade and I told my family that they needed to make their showers shorter and turn off the lights because I was saving the earth! It’s fun to be able to go back to your childhood and make that connection from who you were then to who you are today. For a long time I wasn’t happy in my job because my career interests didn’t match my job.
2. Having a Career I am Motivated By
The other thing that makes me happy is when my job fits my motivations. My motivations are altruism (helping people), autonomy and lifestyle. I love being trusted to complete a task on my own which is great because I now work for my client from home most days of the week. I am also motivated by helping people which I get to do everyday on this blog!
Towards the end of this year I did a 60 day Insanity challenge and right now I am working on a P90x 90 day challenge. It’s amazing how much happier I get just from working out every morning. I always used to work out in the evening after work and then I would be so tired when I would get home from work that I would fail miserably at keeping a workout routine. This summer, I challenged myself to work out every morning. Now I have been working out at 6am every morning for 3 months and it has literally changed my happiness and energy level. I am more energized even by doing some simple stretching and yoga poses in the morning than I have been in the past.
4. The sunrise
This summer we also moved to a third floor apartment unit in San Diego and every morning I get to watch the sunrise while I workout. This is my view from my window every morning. How could this not make you happy!!?? There’s something about starting my workout when it is pitch black and finishing my workout when the sun is shining. It just makes me ready to start the day!
5. My quiet time every morning
Before I workout every morning, I have some quiet time to start my day. I would love to learn how to meditate and I think that is one of my goals for 2013. Right now that time is used for waking up, eating breakfast and getting a head start on the blog post for the day so that I don’t have to worry about it later. Fortunately for me, I am a morning person. I don’t even need coffee in order to concentrate on something right away. The mornings are when I get my best writing done. I have an urge to write every morning and then by 2pm that urge is just gone. I can’t concentrate at night or in the afternoon. My brain is dead. Mornings are my time and they make me happy. Once you start waking up early and having time for yourself every morning, you can never go back. Best decision I ever made.
6. Checking Off My To-Do List
My to-do list makes me happy. The other day, I set an alarm for an hour and turned on some dance music and completed everything that was on my to-do list in 1 HOUR! Normally that would have taken me all day because I would have been distracted on facebook or email. I really need to do this more often! Maybe even once a day to knock out as much of the to-do list as I can. Then I will have more time for writing!
7. Thank yous from clients and readers
Remember when I told you that one of the things that I am motivated by his altruism and helping people. What could be better than wonderful emails like this? I am motivated by helping others so simple words like “thank you” or “good job” really goes a long way.
“I enjoyed listening to your advice. I am also revamping my career path and its refreshing to hear the thoughts and opinions from the working “girl next store”. Your advice and your website, has given me a boost of confidence. Thank you Anna.”
One of the things that I love about my work right now is my co-worker’s sense of humor. We can laugh about things that previously I would have gotten annoyed about. I didn’t have much of a sense of humor in my work over the past few years because I was always so serious and stressed all the time. Now that I have trained someone else to take over my old position, we are just way more relaxed about things. And we laugh about things instead of worrying. I wish I had done more of that before.
9. Seeing The End Product Of My Work
Since I consult for the Navy, I love seeing a satellite launch or a ship in the ocean that I worked on. There is nothing like knowing that I made a (small) difference in making it happen.
10. Writing a Blog Post That Really Means A Lot To Me
Yes, some are better than others. I love when I finish a post and I am really proud of it because I know it will impact other people’s lives. I love sharing things about me that make me real. I love it when I truly find my voice. That is why I will be focusing more on writing myself here on this blog and will be abandoning the old guest posts everyday. It’s time to take back my blog.
11. Having Goals
Goals that I am excited about keep me focused and I am happy when I am focused. If I have nothing that I am working on and no deadline or project to complete, I get lazy, bored and unproductive. I then just start feeling like crap because there is nothing to excite me about my work. That is why goals are really important to me. They help me know where I am headed so that I can take a small step each day. I can feel like I am getting closer to successfully completing that goal.
Since I am now working from home most days, I can’t keep sweets around or they will be gone in one day. So it really makes me happy if I show up at the office and there are donuts or cookies sitting on the table just waiting for me. It’s like it was meant to be.
13. Looking At My Retirement Account
I started contributing at my first job when I was 20. I am now 30. It makes me happy that I started accumulating funds in my retirement account early. Thank God for compounding interest.
14. When I Wake Up 1 Minute Before My Alarm Goes Off
Enough said. I don’t need to explain this one. The joy of not hearing my alarm go off makes me happy.
15. A Great Outfit
A great work outfit makes me happy. Long days are good days when you know you look good, right?
16. Talking to a New Employee On Their First Day
I think this is my love for mentoring coming out again but I really love answering a new employee’s question on their first day. New employees are just so eager and excited to learn more and that first day is so important. I love being a part of something so important to them and sharing what I have learned with them.
17. Nailing a Work Presentation
When I prepare for important meetings and presentations, I really prepare. I think, breathe and live that presentation until it is over. Why? Because I am not good at just winging presentations. I usually go over the presentation over and over until it gets in my brain and I can basically present by memory. Yes, that might sound crazy but for some of you, you totally know what I mean! Because I put so much time into presentations, when they are done I could not be more happy! Finally, I can move on and think about something else!
18. When Numbers Add Up in Excel
Yep, that’s right. When I put excel workbooks together, it makes me really happy when I link everything and the numbers add up to what they are supposed to. Oh and another thing that makes me happy are pivot tables. It makes me even happier when I give one to my client and it looks like I slaved away putting together a nice report for days. Nope! Just pressed one button. Love it!
19. A Great Work Lunch
You might be thinking that I mean going out to a delicious work lunch, but nope. Actually what I mean is a yummy (and of course healthy) work lunch that I put together that is just waiting for me in the fridge around noon. I am never happy when I make that lunch at 7am in the morning as I am rushing out the door. BUT, when I am starving at noon and I think about that delicious lunch that I put together in the morning, now that makes me happy!
Because you are reading this right now, you make me happy. Thank you for reading and I hope this post makes you just a litt bit happier today.
You have to make a choice to be happy. Will you choose to be happy at work today? What’s on your happy at work list?