I'd like to start off the New Year with a post about happiness. At the beginning of every year, I always try write out my goals. I think it's a great way to lay out your plans and if you're like me it helps to see it on paper. :) This year, one of my goals is to make sure that before I go to bed at night - I've made someone else smile. Now, I'm probably not going to be giving cars away like Oprah (although that would be awesome) but I am choosing to make a conscious effort to make sure that I am spreading smiles. Whether that is complementing a coworker, saying hi to someone at the grocery store, or anything - if you truly look at the day we have so many opportunities to spread joy. You can be the door to happiness - you just have to look around. Help an older person get their groceries in the car, hold the door open for someone, tell a friend you like their shirt, offer to get someone lunch when they look really busy, send an encouraging text to your friends & family (my mom loves this), pick up a piece of trash that's not yours (the earth will smile!). There really are endless opportunities to make a difference. I think it's easy to get caught up in our own problems or situations and we can forget that what makes us happy is helping others. The more you help other people - I think the happier you'll find yourself to be!
I've been dealing with some health problems for the last couple years, and yes some days have been tough, but I've found the only way I've made it through is by my faith and choosing happiness, in keeping a positive attitude no matter what the circumstances. This isn't to say I am 100% happy all the time -- that's next years goal ;) -- but instead of getting down on myself I choose to see the best in what I have today. You truly have to try to bloom where you are planted. I've learned through my walk with Christ that no matter what I face I can be content with what I have because I know happiness isn't defined by our situation but by our attitude. We may not understand what's going on, but really if you think about it - we can't see the bigger picture when we are looking at the tiny details.
So back to happiness... I encourage you to choose to spread joy this year. Make a difference just by smiling. Do your best everyday. Life is truly what you make it - you don't have to figure out how to change the world in 2014 - start small: just SMILE.