Helping your children find happiness in 2010

Helping your children find happiness in 2010

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Hello readers _ã_ and happy New Year!

It_ã_s early January, and I hope most of you are thinking about the year ahead with excitement and optimism. Every December 31/January 1 brings new opportunities but with these new opportunities also come challenges and, on occasions, apprehension.

How many of us, for example, have set New Year resolutions that we_ã_ve struggled to maintain beyond the end of the first month? How many of us have set New Year resolutions that we_ã_ve not even ever started? And how many of you would like this year to be different?

Well, without promising any miracles, because happiness and success requires hard work most of the time, today I_ã_m happy to bring you seven tips for maximising your chances of happiness this year (for you and your loved ones)!

1. Let_ã_s start with those New Year resolutions; I definitely encourage you to make some resolutions as we know for a fact that setting meaningful and purposeful goals is associated with happiness and living a good life but (and this is an important but) make sure that your resolutions/goals are realistic and specific. Unrealistic goals tend to lead to disappointment and frustration and vague goals lead to, well_ã_to nothing much!

2. Set yourself a specific goal of being a happier parent_ã_but make sure you know exactly what that means (for you!). What_ã_s one thing, for example, that you_ã_d like to do differently this year (as a parent)? You could obviously list more than one thing but the reality is, if you specify the right sort of thing, and if you actually do just one thing better/different/more positively this year then I_ã_m sure you, and your loved ones, will enjoy more happiness in 2010

3. Boost your energy and zest for life with some form of exercise. Not everyone likes to jump around in gyms and not everyone has time to jump around in gyms, but there_ã_s no doubt that activity and exercise are potent mood enhancers and great stress reducers. So find a way to keep more active this year_ã_even if it_ã_s just dancing around the living room with your kids!

4. But as much as movement is important, so too is sleep (for you and your children). Make this year a year in which you_ã_re not constantly tired. Work on managing your time better and get enough rest so you can focus on and passionately pursue what_ã_s really important

5. Paint a picture of a positive future; hope and optimism are vitally important so find a way to foster and develop these vitally important constructs. One great activity you can do with your whole family is to get a large piece of poster sized paper and spend a few hours drawing, writing and pasting pictures from magazines to create your family vision for a great and happy future!

6. Spend more time focusing on what_ã_s good in each other; actively watch out for and reinforce each others_ã_ strengths. Rather than just criticising yourself and/or your children when they do things wrong, make a conscious effort to catch yourself and them when they_ã_re doing things right. Getting better at identifying and utilising strengths (your inner attributes and qualities) is a sure fire way to build more happiness and fulfilment into your life

7. Have fun and play! Try not to take things too seriously. Sure, we all have busy lives to live with responsibilities and jobs to do_ã_but what_ã_s the point in living if we don_ã_t have some fun along the way?

I hope you find these tips helpful and I hope you_ã_ll check out my latest book, 100 Ways to Happy Children: a guide for busy parents, if you_ã_d like to read more about creating a happy and positive family life.

Here_ã_s to a great 2010 for all of us!