When you set a “goal” to find more joy, you may end up having one of your best years yet — personally, financially and professionally.
Want to have your most successful year? Find joy.
Happy New Year! Now is the time when we are supposed to reflect on last year and contemplate where we want to improve in this new year. We often set financial goals and business development goals. And many (maybe most?) set fitness or health goals.
But this year, I want to set a bit of an anti-goal: to experience more joy in my life.
I think of it as an “anti-goal” because we may need to work less to find more joy. We may need to work out less. We may need to take downtime to figure out what brings us joy.
Joy Creates Motivation, Generating Success
The good news is that experiencing more joy leads to more motivation. And increased motivation generates success in all areas of life. This means that when we set a “goal” to experience joy, we may end up having one of our best years yet — personally, financially and professionally.
Now that you know the positive correlation between joy and success, here are 10 ways to find joy in 2023.
1. Prioritize Self-Care
Making time to relax, exercise and engage in activities that bring you joy can help to improve your overall well-being and increase your sense of happiness. This can enable you to handle challenges and overcome obstacles more easily.
2. Cultivate Gratitude
Practicing gratitude by focusing on the things you are thankful for can help shift your focus away from negative thoughts and toward positivity. According to Brene Brown (love her!), “practicing gratitude invites joy into our lives.” Why? In part because gratitude feeds optimism. As Brown points out: “There is a great quote by a Jesuit priest that says, ‘It’s not joy that makes us grateful, it’s gratitude that makes us joyful.’”
3. Connect With Others
Building and maintaining positive relationships with friends, family and other loved ones can provide a sense of support, connection and happiness. These relationships can also provide a sense of belonging, which is critical to feeling joy and enjoying life.
4. Engage in Hobbies and Activities You Enjoy
Doing things you enjoy, whether reading, playing music or hiking, can help reduce stress and increase feelings of contentment. If you’ve been so busy for the last several (or many) years that you don’t remember what you enjoy, you’ll first need to take some downtime — time when your brain and body can relax — to generate ideas. Then it’s time for the fun: Experiment with different hobbies and activities until you find the ones that bring you joy!
5. Help Others
Giving back to your community through volunteer activities or pro bono work not only helps others but also provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment in your own life. And purpose is necessary for happiness and joy. In fact, happiness is a byproduct of purpose.
6. Learn Something New
Whether learning a new language or skill, picking up something new can help keep your mind active and engaged. An engaged mind is a happy mind, a source of joy. This is especially true when the way you are using your mind is different from your day-to-day work. Anything novel will do, but more right-brained activities such as painting, drawing or music are even better.
7. Travel and Explore
Getting out of your comfort zone and exploring new places and cultures can help to broaden your perspective and provide a sense of excitement and adventure. Go away for a week or even two if you can (it might be more possible than you think with the right planning). And if that’s not possible, then regular long weekends work too.
8. Find Balance
Making sure to balance work with leisure and other responsibilities with self-care activities helps to maintain a healthy and joyful lifestyle. Daily balance would be ideal, but life doesn’t always work that way. Focus more on a weekly or monthly assessment of balance, and adjust accordingly.
9. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga can help to increase your focus and awareness of the present moment. This can reduce stress and increase feelings of joy. Even two minutes of a daily meditation can make a big difference.
10. Take Time to Appreciate the Little Things
Sometimes the small things in life can bring the most joy. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of nature, the laughter of a child, or the warmth of the sun on your face.
Remember that everyone has different things that bring them joy, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to experiment and find what works best for you and make it a part of your daily routine.
Have You Read Jamie Spannhake’s Bestselling Book?
In “The Lawyer, the Lion, and the Laundry: Three Hours to Finding Your Calm in the Chaos,” lawyer and certified health coach Jamie Spannhake helps you learn how to CHOOSE, ACT and THINK in ways that will clarify your desires and set priorities so you can reclaim your time and enjoy your life.
Available in the Attorney at Work bookstore, here.