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How To Be Content

by Kate on January 2, 2011

in Live Well

We focus too much on resolutions, and making big changes this time of year, which is a shame because if you don’t know how to be happy with what you have, you’ll never be satisfied no matter what you do.

There have been times in my life, when I’ve wanted to get fit, lose weight, get a new job, make home improvements, save more money etc. I’ve never managed to achieve all of these things at once. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been careful to be thankful for what I have, which has enabled me to focus on the most important lifestyle changes, rather than aiming for a complete overhaul. Over time this tactic has had more of an impact on my life, because making small changes over a longer time frame, is better than trying and failing to make big changes all at once.

Here are the Curb Your Consumerism tips on how to be happier with your lot:

Change your language to change your mood
Try to avoid negative words, especially when you’re talking about people – yourself included. Sometimes we put ourselves down when we are frustrated with our performance, or achievements, and although being self deprecating may be a fairly common practice, it isn’t doing you any good. If instead, you focus on the positives of a situation, you’ll put yourself in a better position to meet your expectations next time.

Have you ever stopped to think about the effect your negative words have on your mood, or your friends moods? Try to avoid using words like disappointed, loser, and idiot for a month, after a while, this will become habit and you’ll find yourself talking more about positives. It’s amazing how much of a difference this little change can have on a person. It will also make you easier and more enjoyable to be with, and if you’re lucky, it will rub off on those close to you.

Smile more
I’m British, so I’m not one to gayly skip along pavements, smiling at strangers. However, if you give a little smile to the people you pass in the mornings, the ones that don’t look taken aback with suspicion, will smile back :) sometimes they’ll even give you a little “mornin”, which is better than a kick in the teeth.

Cleanliness is next to godliness
A carpet that needs vacuuming, a sink full of dishes, a pile of ironing, all of these things will make you feel restless in your home. If you’re anything like me, you’ll not feel comfortable unless there are no chores to do. It also has an effect on how I feel about my home. I’m a lot more house proud, when the place is fit for visitors. A good way to give yourself the motivation to keep the house tidy is to invite friends round more often. People who entertain regularly, generally have tidier houses.

Be organised
It’s easy to blame having no time on why you don’t see friends as often as you’d like, or why you haven’t had that weekend away yet. Bad organisation will make your life feel chaotic and give you a sense that you’re not in control of your immediate, let alone distant future. Try to swap the ‘no time’ excuse with ‘fix a date’ behaviour. So instead of saying to an old friend “sorry I haven’t called, I’ve been so busy but I’ll give you a ring”, replace it with “We haven’t caught up in a while, shall we meet for coffee next Sunday?” Whatever the event, make sure you give yourself enough time so that you can plan other engagements around it. If you plan your year ahead, you’ll also have events to look forward to, and the time soon passes. It might not sound very sexy, but be honest, do you ever get round to spontaneity?

Further reading:
Seven habits to take into the New Year by Thrifty Chick
8 Bad Habits that Crush Your Creativity 
And Stifle Your Success By Copyblogger
5 habits of happy people even the biggest grump can borrow By Shine

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