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How to be Happier in 7 Simple Steps

how to be happier

Look at this kid, who wouldn't want to be more like him.

Has a problem ever come up in your everyday life that leaves you wondering how you got there?

Does reminiscing about the recent past leave you thinking, “How did this happen?” or “Where did I go wrong?”

I remember working at a company right after college thinking the very same thing on what seemed like a daily basis. I was constantly thinking about the unnecessary office chaos and my tenure. Wondering how I got there and why I was there so long, knowing I could do better.

But analyzing and focusing on the past wasn’t going to help me. Besides, I knew how I got there. I didn’t just snap into consciousness in the middle of a work day there. I gladly accepted the position with the understanding that is was not my career and I would not be there long.

Five years later I was still there. I didn’t stay for the additional week of vacation I was awarded on my half a decade anniversary. I was still there because I relinquished control of my life. I just let things happen.

I let myself stay that long.

At that point I was unhappy with my life in general but most of it was impacted by my career, and I use the word loosely.

Because I wasn’t motivated and happy at work, where I spent much of my day, I was lethargic for the rest of the day. Being mentally exhausted meant my other goals were thrown to the side.

One day I got really sick and tired of being sick and tired, and realized that I still wanted more from life and that I deserved it. Just because my life wasn’t where I wanted it to be didn’t mean that it couldn’t be.

How to be Happier

1.  Identify exactly what makes you unhappy

Determine the source of your unhappiness. Is it work, your love life, home… whatever it is, figure it out.

Make a list of these things and be as specific as possible. Identifying the exact details is the difference between needing a small tweak or a complete overhaul.

Keep this list handy as it will be an outline of the actions you will need to take.  

In my case, since I was so familiar with what made me unhappy I knew where to start

2. Create solutions

What can you do to fix or feel better about your issue until you can implement a permanent solution?

With my example, for the time being I focused on the benefits of the job. Hey, I didn’t mention that 3rd week of vacation for nothing. There were also other non-financial incentives, like flexibility, that really worked for me at that point in my life.

In addition to that I had to polish some of my skills. The jobs that I was seeking required a higher level of technical knowledge compared to what I exercised at my current position. So I worked on that.

3. Start now

Once you’ve identified the problems and generated practical solutions, begin using them. You might want change to happen quickly but it cannot come any sooner unless you start now.

It won’t happen overnight but you’ll be closer than you were before.

4. Don’t let anything stand in your way 

Commit to yourself and your goals. Make up a schedule if you have to. Place it on the top of your priority list.

You might come across some setbacks but you have to keep going. This change is important and should happen for you. You’re worth it.

5. Be your own cheerleader

To get things done you have to motivate yourself. You don’t have to make up cheers or songs, just simply remind yourself why it needs to be done and how it will benefit you.

You’re in complete control of your life, act like it. Be positive and tell yourself you can keep moving forward because you can.

6. Rally some support

Share this with people close to you. Talk with those who can be beneficial in helping you on this journey.

It can be a friend, family member or even discussing it in passing with a colleague can help you come up with an alternate solution. This can also be helpful in the sense of accountability when they ask about your progress.

7. Embrace the adventure 

Sometimes it’s smooth sailing and at times its rough waters. Once you grab a hold of the sails you’ll be able to navigate thru anything.

Even the most challenging times can seem more bearable when you acknowledge that you have the power to turn things around.

Regardless of what you’re dealing with you have the power to change your life. Once you pinpoint what is making you so unhappy, you can move towards a resolution and a happier existence.

Just follow through with your solutions. Keep on moving down the list until everything is crossed off. Once you finish the first one you’ll start to feel better, so imagine when the list is complete… you’ll feel like a new person, with a different life!

You can do anything. Making changes like this will only prove that. I mean what’s bigger changing your life, right?

And if the tides get rough, as they tend to do from time to time, remember life is an adventure and you still have control. You can turn anything around.


What would you like the change first? What would make you happy right now?



About Lea

Lea is a certified life coach, foodie and lifehack expert. Don’t end up like the millions of people who gave up on their dreams, get unstuck and to the next level. Take the eye-opening Live Your Dreams course now to get moving!

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  • What a great piece of advice. I think that first step is most important of all. You have to identify what’s making you unhappy first. That will determine your next steps. If you can learn to change what’s making you unhappy into something that makes you happy, you’ll have a lot figured out.

    • Lea

      Exactly Steve. Knowing what you don’t want helps to identify what you do. It’s prep work that people don’t even realize, which is why they probably think happiness is out of reach. They don’t know how to sort it out.

  • Hi Lea
    That’s a thought provoking post.What you underwent about your job is what a lot of folks experience in their lives.The fact ,however,is that we ourselves are responsible for everythig in our life.And once we know this very,very clearly is the time we stop looking for excuses and scapegoats outside us.
    Commitment plays a huge role,and the will to change of course.I like it when you say we need to view challenges like adventures.That is exactly what we do not do.Complaining and whining is a lot more difficult,but an attractive option normally.
    I read somewhere “make your confidence greater than your effort”
    I think that quote says a lot.
    Thanks for sharing a great insight

    • Lea

      Hi Mona!! Thanks! You’re absolutely right, we’re the ones in control and they only ones who can do something about it.

      Thanks for sharing that quote. It’s really powerful.

  • Lori Gosselin

    Hi Lea! The thing I am working on now, which has been coming to me for some time now, is learning to meditate. I’ll actually be writing about it next week, I think. It’s making a big difference in my life. It’s “me” time, zen time, happy time. I had tried for some time to get up earlier to do it but I’m not really a morning person.

    I love your list of things to do to be happier. Sometimes you have to work at it, to get to better places in life.


    • Lea

      Hi Lori! I’m so not a morning person either. I like to meditate at the end of the day. It helps me relax and unwind from the day. I’ll surely be looking for that post!

      Thanks! Happiness is definitely a journey. We all have to take action to get where we want to be, even if it’s just a mental state.