Sunday, 8 March 2015

What Would Make You Happier? #makeithappen

Here's the BIG question: are you happy?  What aspects of your life are you happy in, and which would you change?  How would those changes impact on your life, your goals and your happiness?  What little things could you change to make every day happier?

My happy
We are told from a young age that money doesn't make you happy, yet many of us know that not having any doesn't exactly leave you dancing for joy either!  I'm sure there are many lonely, miserable millionaires, but on my down days, trying to feed 10 of us on £30 a week, I would happily trade places with them.  According to recent research*, us Brits believe the secret to happiness is earning £68,770 (women) and £96,010 (men), and living in a £443,000 four bedroom house.  Wow!

That does seem rather excessive, but yes, I think I could cope with that.  Currently, Steve and I earn a quarter of that £80k average between us and live in a 1 bedroom flat worth less than a quarter of that!  The study also found that this ideal life would involve living close to family, having two children, and only working 27 hours 20 minutes a week.  Well I guess we 'win' with that one, having elected to only work one 40 hour week between us and spend the bulk of the time with the children.

What about you, how well do you measure up to this ideal life?  Would it be ideal to you?

A third of people said that their main goal in pursuing a happier life is to get a job paying more money, whilst 20% said their happiness is not dependent on salary.  As much as I would love to have more money, I do of course agree with them, otherwise we wouldn't have chosen the life we currently have.  To us, the most important thing is having fun with our children and enjoying our time together, and you don't need much money for that.

This research was commissioned by the Post-it Brand from 3M to launch its new Make it Happen campaign, encouraging people to make those small changes that will have a big impact on their happiness.  Katie Piper is spokesperson for the brand and knows a lot about choosing happy following that vicious attack in 2008.  She says:

"A combination of positive thinking and plenty of support from friends and family can really help you get that bit closer to your goals.  Be brave.  Set some small, achievable goals to aim for, and go for them. Don’t give up. Anything is possible."

Wise words.  Whatever makes you happy, you are in the ideal position to act today.  Not tomorrow, not next week.  Write down what makes you happy and plan to do more of it, decide what would improve your life and resolve to do it.  Today.

Small changes to our everyday life really can make a huge difference to our happiness.  Perhaps having fresh flowers around you, cut or in your garden, would make you smile every day; or maybe organising your home better could shave so much time off your daily tasks that you have time for a bubble bath every evening; or would getting up half an hour earlier to tend your garden, read (or write) your book, make a special breakfast, or just have some peace and quiet before everyone else gets up make a big difference to your happiness levels?

Writing down your goal(s) and placing them somewhere where you will see them often can be a great way to keep you motivated.  My current goals are to make time to read for at least half an hour a day, yep proper books and everything!  And to spend 10 minutes doing some balcony gardening, or just being out there, every day.  Time is such a precious commodity for all of us, but I can definitely find 40 minutes in my 24 daily hours to do those two things for me, and I have my goals up on Post-its around the house to remind me to do it.  Here's my bathroom mirror reminder:

Tell 3M Post-it what you would like to change and Katie will select her favourite, and the most achievable, goal to win £200 of Capital Bond vouchers, and a signed copy of Katie's new book, Start Your Day With Katie.

What small changes would make your life happier?

*Research was carried out between 3rd and 9th February 2015 on a sample of 2,043 UK Adults

Post in collaboration with 3M Post-it


  1. I'm in the process of making lots of small changes in my life, last year I had a heart attack (aged 44) and this has been made me re-evaluate what is really important in my life and it's not material things or money it's the relationships I have with family and friends. I'm trying to take time out each day to do something that makes me happy - be it baking, reading or crafting. I'm also taking advantage of all the bargains and freebies I can find - not because I'm greedy or anything, just to make every penny count and whatever I save makes for other treats and days out.

    I discovered this old Chinese proverb and it seems to sum up exactly what we need "It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward".

    (Real name: Christine Lockley)

  2. I think if I could change my garden into just lawn and only white carnations it would make me very happy indeed. If I could change its location to somewhere hotter it would be total fulfillment !

  3. To not always be in a rush to do things and get to places. As long as my family are happy and healthy everything else will fit around us.


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