About three years ago, I got laid off from my job, ended a long-term relationship, and started a series of moves around the city. It was a time of some big unknowns and instability.
Knowing that these huge life changes could easily knock me off my feet, I created what I came to call my Happiness List.
The items that went down on my Happiness List answered the question: What do I need to make me happy (that doesn’t rely on anyone else)?
It’s not that I feel we shouldn’t derive our happiness from others. I absolutely think that cultivating happiness with others is essential!
But given that I anticipated a lot of alone time and self-exploration, I knew I had to get clear on how I could feel happy on my own.
And so, I wanted to share with you my happiness list, in case it inspires you to create your own!
Thing is, it doesn’t matter whether you’re single, in a relationship, an introvert, or constantly surrounded by people. We all need to be good with ourselves first and foremost before we can genuinely be good with others.
All right, here it is. The things that truly make me happy in life and keep my soul balanced and fulfilled:
- Quiet spaces and time
- Being in nature
- Making intentional decisions based on what’s right for me
- Understanding my spiritual self and what it needs to grow and be healthy
- Making an effort to have a positive relationship with my family
- Keeping negative energy out of my life
- Being on my phone less
- Drinking less
- Keeping to my budget
- Writing creatively
- Making music
I do this as a journaling exercise and reflect on each item, asking myself: How is this present in my life right now? If it’s not, what’s been blocking that? How can I make more space for it moving forward?
This list is great for me to revisit at any time, but I do find that I usually do a Happiness List check-in when I’m feeling a lot of imbalance inside me, or a prolonged sense of frustration that I can’t really trace back to one specific event.
And when I am feeling that dissonance, it always turns out to be the case that there are several happiness items that I’ve been neglecting.
That’s my soul saying: “Hey! You haven’t been taking me out to nature recently.” Or: “We’re feeling drained because you keep saying yes to a million things, when what you really need is rest and alone time.”
What is your soul asking you for? How would you answer the question: What do I need to be happy (that doesn’t rely on anyone else)?
Let me know in the comments below, if you’d like to share! I would love to know your thoughts!
Lots of love and self-love,