I got off to a really slow start today. It started out just like any other day: I got up and made the bed as usual, ate my overnight oats for breakfast, put a truck-load of effort into my morning workout and watched a couple of motivational business videos on YouTube before heading towards my laptop to begin my working day. I briefly popped my head back into the bedroom and that’s where it all went wrong. Both of my cats were curled up on the bed looking fluffy, warm and content. The bed was perfectly made and laden with cushions and the cats had left ‘my side’ free, just willing me to get back into bed. I sat down for a moment to give the sleeping furries a stroke and within a couple of minutes I’d slipped back under the duvet. Now I’m pretty sure that’s not the best way to achieve my goals but it sure felt good to skive for a few minutes!After realising it was bin-day and dragging myself up again to put the bins out, I decided to get motivated, avoid the bedroom and crack on with my day. I’ve found that the best way to achieve this is my sitting at my desk and reading through motivational articles from inspiring women such as US business and marketing guru Marie Forleo and my personal hero Katie Piper. While searching for advice online to give me some much-needed oomph I came across a piece of research recently published by Post-it Brand on ‘the secret to happiness’ as part of their #MakeItHappen campaign and was I surprised by the results.
Over 2000 UK adults were questioned and, from reading the research, I discovered that many believed money to be important to their personal happiness, as high value salaries and homes were top of the list. I really don’t think that money equals happiness for me and although 60% of the survey participants agreed that money can’t buy happiness, a third of respondents said that their main goal in pursuing an ideal life was to get a job paying more money.
Would earning £80,840 a year and living in a £443,000 house make you happy? These are the figures that the research discovered were key to happiness, but I think that good health, meaningful relationships and spare time is much more important to my own personal happiness. Even though survey participants wanted higher salaries, they also agreed that fewer working hours would be ideal, so perhaps having time is as important to happiness as money?
Almost a quarter of people surveyed believe that they will never be truly happy, citing lack of determination or bravery, alongside money, as the thing that is holding them back. My favourite motivational speaker and charity campaigner Katie Piper is the spokesperson for this research and advises that happiness can be achieved no matter what life throws at you; “Be brave, set some small, achievable goals to aim for, and go for them. Don’t give up. Anything is possible.”
She highlights that while plans can change and grow, it’s simply having a goal that will keep you motivated and happy in the long term; “It’s great to have a life plan but we need to ensure that we don’t get disheartened if things don’t go to plan. You should never give up on your dreams, just be prepared to modify them, and continue to keep them at the forefront of your mind as life throws up different paths and challenges. A combination of positive thinking and plenty of support from friends and family can really help you get that bit closer to your goals.”
Just reading this research has made me think about my own goals for my life and career, and even though we’re already heading into Spring, I want to make my first resolution of the new year: write for fun.
Although I write every day in my day job, it’s not often that I get to do things just for myself and I’m sure that this is holding me back from achieving complete fulfilment. Everything else in life is going pretty well at the moment, so I want to have a go at writing some pieces that I am really proud of and see where it takes me. I’d love to make time for all those projects that I never quite get round to because my paid work always takes priority. I fancy writing an e-book and exchanging guest posts with other bloggers. I’d love to write articles for my favourite magazines: not for payment but just because I want to see my work printed in those publications and get that same feeling that I had when my first article was published back in 2000! And who knows what this might lead to?
Writing for fun is definitely important to me and I never realised just how much until I read this research and Katie’s inspirational words. Just writing down these goals is getting me all fired up and I can’t wait to get started. In fact, today is probably the first step towards achieving this short-term goal and I am going to set aside time each day – at least an hour – to work on personal writing projects. Keeping this written on a Post-It note on my desk will remind me to take that time for myself and encourage me to really enjoy putting time and effort into my work.
I’ll be sure to let you know how I get on and share any writing progress with you, and in the meantime I want to hear about your own goals and plans – please tweet me @Cassiefairy with the hashtag #MakeItHappen or leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!