Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What Makes Me Happy? My 10 Habits

Welcome to the midweek point.

I’m having a whole bunch of fun here this week as I work my way through a ton on material on this week theme. Luckily for me, many of our contributors have a stock of writings on the subject, and part of my day is spent perusing some really neat stuff.

Today we send you and offering from a lady who does some very imaginative work. Her personal style may just assist you in bringing balance to some of your own day.

What Makes Me Happy? My 10 Habits
By Alvah Parker

What makes you happy? We are responsible for our own happiness so I want to insure that I do whatever is necessary to keep me happy and healthy. People are often focused on their goals. Instead these are habits I love to do and want to make sure I make time for them in my busy schedule. Writing them down helps me keep them in the top of my mind. For the most part they are activities I've been doing in previous years and I know they do a lot for my well being. What activities make you happy? I encourage you to make your own Happy Habit List!

1. 2 weeks of vacation time - This is something I instituted 3 years ago when I noticed that some years went by with no real vacation. I try to find something early in the year to put on my calendar for July. Sometimes I split the vacation time so there is some left for later in the year. Knowing it is on my calendar in January gives me something to look forward to.

2. Meditation time each day - This is a practice I am developing with the help of a coach friend. I love doing it but get so involved in my work taking time for this is often challenging. I've set up a special quiet place in my home to do this that is inviting and restful. It helps having a coach remind me too.

3. Exercise 3 times a week - Ok I said these are habits I love to do but not this one. I just love the way I feel after I am done! Amazingly even though I don't love it I am very good about doing this regularly.

4. Read at least one book a month that is non work related - I have a book club that keeps me honest on this one. I've been doing this for about 5 years now and have read a variety of books both fiction and non fiction. This month was the autobiography of Sidney Poitier and last month In the Heart of the Sea, a book about the whaling ship, Essex, that sank in the 1800s.

5. One concert or play each month - Since I love music this one isn't difficult either. During the month of December I went to two different Christmas Concerts. I love religious music of all types. (I sing in a Gospel Choir) December is a really good month for hearing this kind of music.

6. One totally free day each month with no agenda - Not so long ago Massachusetts had blue laws that kept all stores closed on Sunday. That meant Sunday was a really quiet day. I love the peace and quiet of having nothing scheduled. You probably can tell I am a planner so not planning is hard for me but when I do it I love it.

7. Have pedicure, facial or massage at least 6 times during the year. Another way to relax is to get away from it all for an hour or so. I enjoy it when I do it but unless I put it on my calendar I forget about it.

8. Try something I've never done - I try to do something new every year. Last year I went to the opera in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the year before I sang a solo at a workshop in Italy and another year I learned Yoga. This year who knows maybe I'll take up painting, do an improv class, or try ball room dancing.

9. More flowers in the house - I love gardening and in the summer bring lots of flowers into the house. This winter I picked up some winter evergreens to spread throughout my home but there is nothing like a beautiful flower to lift my spirits. In December I bought a beautiful rose for my kitchen table and today I bought a lovely flowering primrose plant that sits on my kitchen window.

10. Grandchildren Time - Nothing is more fun for me than spending time with my grandchildren. Last year I took my granddaughter to her first ballet. It was special performance of Cinderella for young children. She loved it and I loved watching her enjoy it. The same day I took my grandson out for an ice cream cone and scooter ride (He rode it not me). He likes his ice cream in a dish and eats it very slowly (to make it last!). Lots of time for a nice chat and very special! Seeing the world through a child's eyes is wonderful in the true sense of the word. (full of wonder)

Alvah Parker is a Practice Advisor and Career Coach as well as publisher of Parker's Points, an email tip list and Road to Success, an ezine. To subscribe send an email to join-roadtosuccess@go.netatlantic.com

Parker works with successful attorneys who feel overwhelmed by their work and are willing to take action to create a more profitable practice and a more fulfilling life.

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