As autumn drives onward and you open the morning curtains to foggy skies, you know that summer is very much over. As a self-professed sun-lover and property mermaid, you can imagine how I feel about gloomy and chilly days. Everything gets a bit slower, and I sometimes have to exert extra effort to happily get out of bed in the morning. That led me to think about motivation.
I view motivation not as separate packages or projects, but as a general overall state of being. Sure, we can be more motivated to practice a fun hobby than to sit down with a spreadsheet, but if we maintain an overall feeling of motivation, all of our to-dos become much easier – and more successful.
I would love to know what motivates you, what really makes you happy, and gets you out of bed. In my podcast, A Wealthy Life, I talk about how we can create a life of our dreams and making that life a reality. It’s very difficult to create a wealthy life, a life that is yours by design, if you are not clear about what makes you happy. Now, we probably won’t be deliriously happy every second of the day, but I think we can (and should!) make daily happiness a serious goal.
There are people who talk about the fact that life is naturally on a cycle, and that we can’t be happy all the time. If you’re going to be happy, you have to have sad days; I don’t subscribe to that. I think that’s a choice. I certainly have times of the year where I’m not as happy, not as energetic, not as motivated as I am at other times of the year, but I don’t label those as times that I’m sad or times that I’m down.
I don’t want to consider my life a roller coaster of days when I’m up and days when I’m down. I don’t think that way of looking at things is helpful to your mindset. My goal is to plan for every day to be a happy day.
Now, I love a list and I love an exercise so let me share with you a technique that inspires me and that has consistently filled my life with more and more happy moments. You will need a pen and paper, and ideally a wall calendar. Of course, this exercise can be done on your smartphone or laptop by typing and entering items into a calendar, but make sure whatever you use will be something you look at often.
- Take pen and paper and quiet space and list last ten times you were happy. Take your time doing this and try to connect to these moments from your heart.
- Next, create grouping in the list – condense the moments into categories so you can draw inferences from the things that make you happy. They might look like: “time with family,” “enjoying playing or watching sport, music or dance,” “outdoors or gardening,” “travel,” etc.
- Now get a calendar and list your holidays, days off and major events – things that are already in the cards that will make you happy. Next, program in times you will devote to playing your sport or seeing a concert, or going outside – the things that have made you happy. Use a colored pen and make planned dates when you are going to spend time “doing your happy.”
- Fix your calendar to the wall where you can see it and then add to the calendar your happy list – it’s a good reminder of the happiness you have had and you will have in days to come.
Don’t forget, there are 12 months in the year. It’s very nice in the summer when you have a holiday planned and there’s a very definite “happy line” in your calendar, but what about the rest of the year? How are we going to make the rest of the year joyful? That’s where the “happy planning” comes in – we have got to make sure that there is something happy at regular intervals – no massive gaps or lulls in your happy.
Maybe what makes you truly happy is going out for a regular meal with the girls or the lads, or maybe you like going to the cinema or to the theater, or attending concerts. Get those on the calendar! And if you haven’t booked any events for next year that you love, then make sure they’re on your list as a reminder that you need to book a few more of those. At the end of this exercise, you should have a calendar that has got a good sprinkling of your brightly colored dots. What we are looking for is preferably two or three dots per month line. That is a motivating image, isn’t it? Spots of happiness to look forward to every couple of days.
This is a tool to attract happiness to your life and focus your mind on seeking out happiness. The calendar will end up being a reminder of the happiness that you have had; you’re going to look back at that calendar and you are going to say: “what a wonderful year I’ve had. Look at all that happy!” For me, this is always a wonderfully motivating thing, and I have noticed my happiness becoming more and more concentrated and conscious over the years. This is the power of Clarity in creating a wealthy, happy, abundant life.
If you are interested in learning more about creating a wealth plan, make sure you listen to my podcast A Wealthy Life, and look at the free resources I offer like the Readiness to Retire Wealthy Audit. Happiness is an art and a goal – very often my clients’ definition of their wealthy life. Let’s practice cultivating happiness over the long term together. For more impactful wealthy life tips, please visit my website www.vickiwusche.com, listen to my podcast here and here, or schedule a free call with me.