Saturday, February 28, 2015

Be Meek!

Happiness Trigger #4 is Financial Savvy.  Learning how to use money to best advantage brings confidence and contentment.
Years ago I discovered the Crown Money Map as a means of planning, and taking steps toward the goal of financial freedom.  It taught me that financial freedom may not come in a month, or in a year, but it can come with consistent planning and self-discipline.  Just being on that journey, with a map to follow, brings peace.
Activate this trigger: (from Valorie Burton) 1. Live below your means, 2. Be meek- choose humble surroundings, 3. Generosity; Give some away!, 4. Buy experiences, not things, 5. Negotiate (for purchases, salaries, etc.), 6. Take nothing for granted, 7. Buy time - time is a worthy investment, 8. Pay now, enjoy later (anticipation for fun already paid for!). 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Am I "Others-Minded"?

This morning I read chapter 3 in the book by Valorie Burton.  Happiness  Trigger #3 is Service. 
Then I went to church, and the message today?.... was about getting involved, volunteering to become a part of the mission of the Church. 
Pastor Todd reminded us a bit of the history of The Church... starting most of the world's hospitals, universities, orphanages, etc. over the centuries.  Now it's our turn.... What will I do with the opportunity I have to influence others?  (Influence is a stewardship).
Burton encourages us to decide:  "Every day, I do at least one thing to brighten someone else's day."    John 13: 12-15 One-another-ing....
Matthew 23:11 servant-hood.....
Share knowledge, give things, smile, touch, serve others!  When I begin to forget to worry about my own annoyances, problems, weight gain, etc. and focus on lifting up others, I will begin to realize a lift in my HAPPY :-) 
It's as important as any workout or diet.  It will take discipline.  It makes me smile to think that I could begin a ripple of smiles in my neighborhood. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Taming Expectations

What do you expect of yourself? 
Do your expectations of yourself match the person God created you to be?  Perhaps you feel like others around you are expecting you to be_______.... But your personal bent is more________......

Tame your expectations...... Author Valorie Burton points out: as women grow older, it has been noted that they also tend to grow less happy.... Expectations they set on themselves begin to create "perpetual anxiety, self-doubt, and a generally unhappy life"....

At Ease!  You have nothing to prove! (That's my new motto).  God created me to be creative, smart-ish, but every so slightly (or more so) air-headed.  Other women are so capable of multi-tasking and planning, and I'm just not!  I am an ordinary "pint person in a gallon world".  I do have positive qualities that make me a worthy part of the body of Christ, a useful citizen in my town, family, etc.
Don't let anyone, least of all yourself, expect your personality to include all the strengths and none of the weaknesses.  Enjoy the role God gave you.  Valorie Burton says, "... enjoy simple but profound pleasures.  Give yourself permission to be human and appreciate the ordinary."  SMILE! 

Laughter Yoga

*Laughter!*   Mainers know how important it is to implement happiness triggers during a long winter.  That's why the local newspaper is hosting a free Laughter session at the YMCA!  Judy just told me about it this week.  Thinking I'll make it part of my Happy Plan.  Moms - you could lay on the floor with the "cherubs" and see who can laugh the loudest, longest, etc.  :-0  What a kick! 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Smile! Especially on the bad days.

Happiness Trigger #2 is SMILE! 

"A Cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

"Happy feelings don't just bring a smile to your face.  A smile on your face brings happy feelings.  There is a feedback loop between your face and your feelings." Valorie Burton in "Happy Women Feel Better".  Valorie shares a bit of the science of happy hormones in Chapter 2.  So today, huddling inside due to church being cancelled and dangerous wind chills outside..... I'm going to SMILE at my mom and my dear husband, whether I feel like it or not.... Maybe I'll end up feeling it! 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Happiness Trigger #1 Anticipation

The first chapter in the book by Valorie Burton is about finding ways to enjoy anticipation, which was one of my lower scores.  I'm really not good at planning for future events.  So I put numbers on my calendar to count the days until our trip to PA to visit our daughters in April.  75 days and counting! ..... How to you enjoy anticipation - positive expectation?   

Happy Plan

We moved to Maine in 2012, and we knew that SNOW was a part of the deal.  And really, I do love the brilliant white with the sun reflecting brightly off it.... It really looks cheery to me.   But then, I detect a bit of the Cabin Fever creeping in.
Noticed, too that my attitude toward the people I see every day can sometimes get unjustifiably cranky.... Where's that sense of humor I need so very much!?

Add to that, the fact that I really, really, really want to lose weight and get back into the clothes that have gotten too tight..... and it's been dawning on me..... am I happy?  Well, it started when I considered why am I not losing weight?  I'm eating carefully, exercising more, and -nothing-.  Thinking about those people on the TV show, "Biggest Loser".... pretty much every single one of them has some despair or such trigger that was keeping them from losing.  How 'bout instead of going on a food diet, I focus on a Happy Plan

Then!  Focus on the Family interviewed Valorie Burton yesterday... she wrote the book "Happy Women Live Better".  I knew right away that reading that book had to be part of my Happy Plan.
In the introduction, she leads the reader to her Happy Woman Test .... learned that my Personal Triggers are Flow, Purpose, Savoring, Movement..... and my Power Triggers are Play, Winning Words, Service and Financial Savvy......   to be continued.....