I recently participated in a 21 day challenge that I want to share with you. It was truly an amazing experience, where I focused on creating everything that just feels good. I took the challenge for the first time during a very difficult break up, and I came out on the other side feeling resilient and full of joy and happiness.
This challenge is designed by Shawn Achor, author of ‘The Happiness Advantage’ and Michelle Gielan. Most people believe that reaching some sort of milestone will lead to happiness – finding your soul mate, getting the perfect job, reaching a certain level of income – the list goes on and on. What Shawn discovered in his research is that happiness is elusive when it’s based on external events. It turns out that reversing the formula leads to greater results and greater happiness – choose to create happiness first, and every aspect of your life begins to blossom.
Here are the 5 habits that I practiced during the 21 day challenge:
- Write down 3 things you are grateful for each day. This improves everything in your life – spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. Writing these improves your optimism, and also increases the level of success you achieve. You can use an app, or write them down if you prefer to do it that way. (I use Gratitude 365)
- Focus on the positive. For two minutes a day, journal your positive experiences. This exercise helps recreate the essence of the event, helping you relive the best moments of your life. (I use My Wonderful Days)
- Exercise every day – any form, for any length of time. This will teach your brain different behavior patterns, which will cause a domino effect of positive energy and creativity for the rest of the day.
- Meditate for a few minutes each day. Meditation allows your body and mind to relax, and allows you to just be in the present moment.
- Random acts of kindness. Choose an area in your life that you would like to work on, and then commit to a random act of kindness in that area each day. For me, my focus was money. Each day I did things like paying someone’s bill at a restaurant; paying for a stranger’s BART ticket; paying the bridge toll for the person behind me, and giving extraordinary tips to service providers. There is an unexplainable benefit to being outward focused!
This challenge created such positive energy in my life that I want to encourage you to participate in the challenge as well – there’s no telling what the universe has in store for you when you practice being happy! You can find information about the upcoming Master Class at www.thehappinessadvantage.com.