Research suggests that “Happiness” is a learned skill and as such, we are all capable of achieving it. Regardless of age, sex/gender, financial or relationship status, there are things we can do to increase our happiness and to release those feel good endorphins that relieve stress and anxiety.

Identifying what makes you happy, as opposed to someone else, is the first step. “Happiness” can be subjective and different for each individual but there is a general consensus that overall happiness can be achieved when the majority of elements in each of the key areas listed below are met.

Use the checklist below as a guide to identify areas in your life where you would like to develop further happiness.

To start, tick or highlight the points that you are happy with and place an “X” against those that you would like to improve on.

Health and Wellbeing:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Practise regular stress management.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eliminate unhealthy habits.
  • Minimise caffeine and alcohol.
  • Have quality sleep.


  • Socialise at least once per week.
  • Maintain relationships and be open to new ones.
  • Volunteer your time or donate to charity.
  • Be happy for other people’s fortunes.
  • Be passionate and compassionate.
  • Be open to giving and receiving love.

Utilise your strengths and talents:

  • Participate in life. Find an activity that you love and incorporate it into your daily/weekly routine.
  • Have several interests to pursue.
  • Do something that you enjoy daily.
  • Use your strengths and talents daily.

Self Esteem:

  • Avoid comparing yourself or your life to others.
  • Don’t compare your success to somebody else’s.
  • Be true to yourself.
  • Find meaning and purpose in your life. What is it that makes your heart flutter?
  • Boost your self-love, find the things you like about yourself and focus on them.
  • Practise gratitude.

Mental and Emotional Health:

  • Deal with major issues in your life. Seek the help of a Counsellor or specialist if needed.
  • Improve your self-talk, always talk in the present tense and in a positive way.
  • Practise forgiveness and acceptance.
  • Help others.
  • Happiness comes from within so take responsibility for your own happiness.
  • Be optimistic.
  • Practise self-worth and establish healthy boundaries. Learn to say “no”.
  • Accept that some things are out of your control. Only invest time and energy in things that you can control.
  • Live in the present and practise mindfulness.

Enjoy Life:

  • Create enthusiasm by finding something to look forward to everyday.
  • Smile more, complain less.
  • Express your creativity.
  • Be open to new ideas, adventures, learning and exploring.
  • Do what you have to do but also schedule in some time for fun.
  • Reward yourself and celebrate your successes.
  • Use your sense of humour.
  • Work towards a harmonious work/life balance by taking regular breaks.


Look at your list and the points that you placed an “X” against.  These are the areas of your life that you would like to improve on to increase your overall happiness.   Well done!  You have just taken the first step.

Now you need to set some goals to improve your life in these areas.  Remember to keep them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) so as to set yourself up for success.  Start with small achievable goals that you can work into your daily routine and then expand from there.  Identify strategies that you can use to fit these goals.  eg: If you would like to exercise more regularly, what type of exercise fits into your lifestyle?  If you have young kids that might be a daily walk.  If you do not have kids but work long hours and have a disposable income then a trip to the gym 3 times per week might work for you.  Just do what works for you, not your friend or neighbour as that state of happiness you are chasing is achieved by you reaching your goals, not theirs.

If you need help implementing strategies and setting goals, then please contact me to make an appointment.  Good luck, you have got this.

Kim X