Intentional Living

10 Ways To Live a Happier Life

How to Be Happy

I recently listened to the 5 AM Miracle with Jeff Sanders podcast and was inspired to write this post. The specific show title was “How to Live a Good Life” with guest Jonathan Fields and in it he described his ideal day. Everyone’s “ideal day” will look different than someone else’s, but that’s totally a good thing. My goal for 2016 was to start new habits so I could live a more productive and happy life. Today I’m sharing ten actions that I incorporate into my daily routine that make up my ideal day and bring me happiness.

Isn’t happiness what we all want? Well I’ll be the first to tell you there is no specific formula–it all comes down to your perspective. These are just elements I incorporate into my life that make up my ideal day. My only intention is to inspire you to make subtle lifestyle changes in order to achieve your definition of happiness.

1. Wake Up Early
For me a good day is when I get up early enough to have a productive morning. I like to set my alarm between 6:30 and 7:00 am. I always chug water that I keep on my bedside table because it helps to wake your body up after a long night’s sleep. Sometimes I will check my social media accounts, but most of the time I try to get right up and into the bathroom. If I wake up late I try not to let it ruin my day. Getting the most of my mornings brings me joy.
2. Practice Yoga Daily
My daily ritual consists of yoga in the morning and before I go to bed. Yoga energizes me and helps with physical pain or soreness I collect overnight (anyone else suffer from back pain?) and also eases my mind. Beyond it’s many health benefits, it also teaches me to devote a part of my day to me, which we all deserve.
3. Set an Intention for the Day
I usually do this at the end of my yoga routine. It’s good to set an intention or goal for your day because you are more likely (at least I am) to fulfill it because your brain has accepted it as a priority. Some ideas can be…”Today I will have a productive day” or “Today I will get everything on my to-do list done” or something as simple as “I will have a good day.” Sounds SO cheesy, but these mantras will make your day a little more positive.
4. Be Conscious of What You Eat
What we put in our bodies has a huge impact on how we feel. If we eat junk, we will feel like crap. My diet is so much different than it was a year ago. The only meat I eat is seafood (would like to cut this out eventually too) and I’ve totally cut out dairy milk. I also try to avoid as much processed food as possible. Breakfast is usually a smoothie or banana and my lunch and dinner usually consist of a salad or sandwich/wrap, veggies, and carbs such as potatoes. Sometimes I’ll add pasta in the mix, and of course I go out to eat occasionally. Healthy snacks such as nuts and fruits throughout the day also helps with feeling hungry too. Remember that it’s OKAY to indulge once in a while. I actually recommend this so it allows your body to realize why you decided to cut out bad stuff in the first place. If my tummy is happy, I’m happy.
5. Be Active/Implement a Workout Routine
Fitness makes me so happy and literally makes me smile (THOSE ENDORPHINS!) Currently I follow the monthly Blogilates calendars and work out for about 30-40 minutes a day, six days a week. Yes, I do skip days from time to time, especially lately since my work schedule has been a little nuts. I also recently got a gym membership so I can expand my workouts and also take some group exercise classes. Working out adds an element of routine into your day and helps you stay motivated and on track. If 30-40 minutes of fitness six days a week is a little intimidating, just start but walking once a day for 15-20 minutes. Having a fitness friend also helps too. Just get up and move!
6. Find a Hobby You Love
Although the dream is to get paid to do what you love, some people unfortunately have to stick with a job that isn’t necessarily their passion. That’s why engaging in an activity outside of work is very important to achieving happiness. Find something in your life that you’re passionate about and devote as much time as you can. Blogging and photography have become a huge part of my life and I find joy in them. One day I hope to make an income from blogging, but for now it’s a hobby that I plan to stick with for a while.

7. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
It’s taken me a very long time to stop this habit, although it does still happen from time to time (we’re all human!) Once you realize that despite what’s being shown from the outside (this means you, Instagram) everyone has their own sh*t they have to deal with. No one is perfect and once you start putting all of your energy into bettering yourself rather than comparing yourself, you will become a happier person.

8. Surround Yourself With Inspirational People
Being social creatures, humans need to interact with others to be happy. Surrounding yourself with positive people whether it’s your friends, family, or coworkers will in turn make you happy. If there is someone in your life that is constantly putting you down or makes you feel ashamed for no reason–you need to get rid of them. (Understandably, this may be hard to avoid in a work environment, in which my advice is to ignore them and focus on you.) Anyone that doesn’t support you or brings you down for something that makes you happy is not a friend. Being around others that encourage you will instantly boost your mood and overall happiness.

9. Listen to Podcasts
I mean, a podcast inspired this post! Podcasts are a great tool to gain new information about specific topics and trigger motivation. I particularly enjoy listening to personal development and health podcasts and ones that helped me develop healthy habits are Learn True HealthHappier with Gretchen RubinYour Motivational High 5The Chalene Show, and The Minimalists.

10. Journal
Every night before bed I like to write my thoughts in my journal. When I don’t have anything in particular to say I’ll just start writing because it allows my brain to pour out all my thoughts. Journaling helps you recap the good (and the bad) parts of your day and puts your life into perspective. 

Overall, the takeaway is to reach your own individual definition of what happiness means to you. Don’t let your friends, television, social media, or anything else tell you what you need to be happy–you can find it on your own. By incorporating these aspects into my life, I know how to focus on reaching my own potential, be as productive as I can, and ultimately find happiness.
I hope this helped some of you. Be sure to share this post with friends and family if it benefited you in any way.

Do you have anything specific you implement into your days that makes your life a little happier? Leave a comment down below or email me at if you have any questions or want to discuss anything I mentioned above.

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