Monday, January 3, 2011

My New Year’s Resolution: Happiness

Six years ago, at a New Year’s Eve party right before my last year as an undergrad, a group of friends went around the room sharing their resolutions for the coming year. Of course, there were all the usual goals, like working out and focusing more on relationships, plus those specifically relevant for soon-to-be grads, like launching a job search or getting better grades. When it was my turn, I at first didn’t know what to say, since I don’t typically make specific resolutions at the start of each year. Instead, I simply stated the goal that had carried me through college and has since carried me through right into 2011 – to be happy.

Though setting specific goals for the future is of course important, keeping happiness front and center as a focal point has helped me achieve these very goals, and has allowed me to keep my perspective when things get tough. Focusing on being happy has always pushed me to make the best decisions possible, whether in terms of career, health, relationships…you name it.



When I decided to get fit and lose weight a couple years ago, it was because I knew I’d be happier and healthier once I did. When I decided to leave my childhood hometown and come to DC to start a new life, it was because I knew I’d ultimately be unhappy if I didn’t push myself beyond my comfort zone. And when I chose to leave Capitol Hill last month instead of applying for another job there, it was because I knew I’d grown unhappy with my situation and that my staying would have been entirely motivated by other factors.

Now more than ever, this year brings me a fresh start, new opportunities and a new phase in my life. I plan to focus on doing well in grad school, continuing my work in the wedding industry and being a loving partner in my marriage. And at the heart of all of these is that same basic goal I carry with me in all that I do – to be, and stay, happy.

Do you like to make resolutions at the start of each year? What are your goals for 2011?

(Photo Credit: Damien Smith Photography)

14 comments:

  1. wonderfully put! I never make any resolutions because I can never keep them....life just gets in the way...but I like yours!! <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have such a great positive attitude, very inspiring! I didn't really make any resolutions...but plan to continue doing the same thing I've been doing with my work-outs and eating plan.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such a wonderful resolution! I also skip the New Year's Resolutions in lieu of focusing on the big picture. This year, I'm focusing on "getting where I want to be" which is a lot like striving to be happy. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think the happiness resolution is awesome. It's good you are focused on what is important. I listed details of things I want to work on ... but forgot to really outline the reason why. And its for happiness :)

    Thanks for the reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this! Although it may seem like it, happiness is never out of reach.

    I wish you and your husband much happiness in the coming year!!!

    I am simply going to try to spend as much time as possible with family.

    ReplyDelete
  6. happiness is a great thing to strive for :) i think i need to be more organized this year :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think I've just found my new new-years resolution! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is a great resolution that I think should be required by everyone! Mine is to just improve all aspects of my life in some way, whether it's try to eat a bit healthier or be more organized, just improve overall.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love this, Heather! My yearly resolution? "To be better than I was the year before". That includes saving more, eating more healthfully, being more patient, loving, kind, being an attentive and present friend, daughter, wife, etc. Just working on being and doing "better". :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Happiness is definitely something I strive for every year. I agree-it's super important! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. An important resolution this year and every year!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think this is the best resolution I've heard! It's a new year and new beginning for everyone and I think we should always have a set goal or a new outlook for the new year and this is a great one.

    I felt the same way at my full time job I recently left as well. I had been there for 5 years and it felt like it was time to move on to bigger and better things.

    Thank you for a great outlook for this year! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. The best resolution without a doubt!

    I dont tend to make any resolutions either although at the start of 2009 it was to start losing weight which I did then last year I think it was also to be happy!

    This year I wish the same with the hope of more travel and maybe a move to a bigger place.

    ReplyDelete