1. Break up routines. Take a different route to drop the kids off, order a different drink at the coffee shop, buy one book from a different section of the bookstore.
2. Build sabbaticals into your life. A day, an hour, a week, whatever your life will accommodate. And if you’re a mom (like me), then call bullshit on your “logical justifications” (we are deliberately avoiding more judgmental words like “excuses”) for why you “can’t.” Sure, you can. It’ll make you feel better about you, and make you an even more amazing mom.
3. Dance to a song, daily. Like, even if you need to do it in the bathroom at your shitty job.
4. Deliberately express compliments to every single cashier or service person you meet. In fact, after receiving great customer service, play my favorite game: “May I Please Speak With the Manager?” The manager will inevitably come over expecting a complaint, and then when you gush about how AWESOME of a job they’re doing, it will make her day (and yours).
5. Do something aimless, something that isn’t time-bound. I’m convinced that 70% of the stress in our lives is due to deadlines or trying to be “on time.”
6. Buy five blank cards and in them, write a generic love-filled note, something like, “I’m sending you this card at random, to let you know that you are amazing.” Then walk through your neighborhood, select a few houses, and mail the cards to those addresses within the next week. You’re creating serious cosmic, karmic goodness for those people.
7. Meditate. But don’t meditate like it’s a death sentence. See it as a holy-moly opportunity to not have to figure another thing in life out. You’re just sitting, breathing, relaxing.
8. Eat vegetables with at least two meals. But don’t do it like it’s a death sentence. See it as a hot-tamale-Batman opportunity to nourish your body at a cellular level. Easy to do: egg scramble with vegetables for breakfast, a salad with dinner. Boom. Vegetables, done.
9. Bring someone a cup of coffee, just because.
10. Throw out all of your old underwear. There is something to the theory that better underwear equals a better life.
11. Donate money, even if it’s just $5, to a worthy cause. If you’re feeling stumped on who, I vote CharityWater.org , every time.
12. Take on the goal of becoming positively addicted to exercise (as in, it’s a “positive addiction,” something that you’ll actually start to crave if you do it enough). I used to hate going to the gym. Now I love getting sweaty mashing it out on the bike or seeing if I can lift just a few pounds more this month than I did, last month.
13. Tell someone who routinely disappoints you all of the things they’re doing right. Intentionally remark and comment on anything positive. Actively look for it. It’s a game-changing relationship move, especially for the people who typically annoy the shit out of you.
14. Visualize what makes you happy. I’m not suggesting the “Law of Attraction.” I’m suggesting that the more time you spend thinking and picturing happiness, the happier you actually feel.
15. Understand that any voice that tells you that happiness isn’t possible is a voice of fear. You’re fearing your power, or perhaps stepping into a new way of being (maybe existing in a state of consistent happiness is totally foreign and thus, scary). The voices of fear are wounds, and need healing.
Want to take a next step to be the happiest person you know ? You need the Shift Plan–when you clarify your vision for your life, and use happiness to point you where you want to go, you get unstoppable.