Well hello there. It’s been quite some time since I’ve written, but I decided to focus on other matters throughout the year and my blogging took a back seat. That said, I’m happy to be back and start consistently blogging again- I’ve missed writing in my life and for 2016, I have set an intention to make time for the things I enjoy doing- writing being one of them. As my first post in 2016- I’d like to review the time that I was away and share three the things I learned about happiness and self-help along the way. So here goes:

What worked for you before, may not work now.

I spent the year trying to get my proverbial shit together and I started out leaning on all the things I’d done in the past. (Stick with what you know right?) Instead, I found frustration and irritation that my list writing, routines, and go-to's of the past had stopped working for me. What had helped me become happier and enveloped in the world of self-help when I was 25 had no effect on me at 27.

The harder I tried to push myself into what had worked before (having daily habit-building tasks, forcing set times to complete something, etc.), the less they seemed to work and the more I found myself in a depressed funk of self-loathing. I knew what it took to get my act together so why couldn’t I do it now?!?! It took several months before I decided to try to take away the pressure I was putting on myself and see where going with the flow would get me (no more internal guilt trips about being unproductive and zoning out on Netflix). And HOLY SHIT! Low and behold, I gave up Netflix, lost about 10 pounds, read several books, and started to get things back on track (all within a month).

Moral of my story: go with what speaks to you now, not what may have worked before. Life keeps changing and you change with it. The challenge and the beauty in this is that we get to keep trying new things, changing it up, and living life to become better versions of ourselves on a constant basis.

The Five Love Languages book is a game changer

I have discovered that the right books come along at the right time and sometimes it feels almost as though you’re getting smacked upside head with them to be encouraged to read them. The Five Languages Book by Gary D. Chapman seemed to come up in every blog post I would read, it would be featured in several pins from Pinterest that highlighted top self-help books, I had family members that had read it… the list goes on. So I decided to read it- it was time.

What a game changer. The book is focused on spousal relationships but once you know the languages, you see how they can relate to other relationships (friendships, familial) in your life. I found out (after forcing my husband to read it) that his love languages are Words of Affirmation and Touch. I had no idea that he needed words of affirmation to feel valued and loved, so that was a huge turning point for how I worked to show my love for him. It was an even bigger game changer for me personally. After reading the book, I realized that my main love language is quality time- which completely explains why I set up recurring visits with grandparents, family, and friends. Why when I imagine my husband and I in the future, we are out hiking, traveling, or hanging out at home- all quality time.

I won’t go into the other languages (acts of service and gifts)  because I encourage reading the book for yourself.* It really can change your perspective of how you interact with the people you love. And it’s incredibly fun to figure out what family member’s love languages are too.

Trust your track record

I spent 2015 struggling on so many fronts. Whether it was home, work, my health, friendships, or family, I found myself having bad day after bad day. Then I read a saying (author unknown) that turned things around for me.

“On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days is 100%, and that’s pretty good.”

BOOM! Talk about an awesome way to turn things around and feel like a badass. Now when I find myself having a rough time, I think of this quote and change my mindset; which has changed my struggles and changed me for the better.

Well there you have it,  the three things I learned about happiness and self-help over this past year. What things did 2015 teach you? Thanks for reading and check back soon for my next post.

*I am not getting paid to endorse or recommend this book.

Photo by: Artur Pokusin