Many of my readers have asked me how to design a happy life. I have decided to write this post to answer your question. The biggest secret of happiness is:
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Tony Robbins
Your Life Goals Must Be Specific
This is one of the biggest secrets at all. Only then you can create a happy life because you know where to start from and what to improve. A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Why? Because you measure your progress.
Suppose that you are living in an abusive relationship and your goal is to be more assertive any time you have an argument with your partner. The more times you become confident, the happier you can become – stronger and satisfied with your strength. After some time, your partner may treat you better, seeing that you can stand up for yourself.
How To Set Precise Happy Life Goals
To be sure that you can become more assertive and better treated, answer the following questions:
Who Is involved?
The answer may be simple – you and your partner. However, sometimes there may be more people involved, e.g. your children, watching your fight and being the victims, your parents (not wanting you to leave the abusive partner, seeing nothing wrong with him)or even your neighbours (if your arguments are loud at night).
When you know exactly who is involved, then it is easier to plan your goal. Maybe you also need to be more assertive towards your parents or adult children? Then you have more than one goal to work on because your relationship with your parents is different than this with your boyfriend or husband.
What Do I want To Accomplish?
It is not enough to say that you want to be more assertive. What does it mean in particular? Saying “no” to abusive treatment, being able to ask for respect or just being firm? Each of these skills can be a separate goal, and you need to choose which on which to work.
Where ? Identify a Location
Does the name calling, shouting happen only inside your house or flat? Or maybe he also demeans you during family dinners or when you are with friends, in public places, in his car? Each of these situations requires a different approach. Sometimes your safety will be substantial (e.g. in the car) will be more important than your point of view, but you can discuss the issue later, after coming back home.
When ? Establish a Time Frame.
You need to choose the right time to practise your assertiveness skills. Going to bed is not the best idea, as well as discussion just before dinner. In the first case, you can make unnecessary noise at night and will not sleep properly, while the second scenario generally will not help you to reach an agreement.
Decide precisely when you are going to practise assertiveness. Take into account the difficulty of your goal – sometimes it is more challenging, e.g. depending on the topic which is the issue of the argument (how sensitive you are about it).
Why: Specific Benefits of Accomplishing the Goal.
This might be the last but not least question. You need to know the reasons why you want to act more assertively (e.g. firmly disagree with name calling). If you don’t know your “why”, then it will be hard to stay motivated when obstacles appear. You can be easily discouraged then.
Sometimes you need to set a fundamental goal to live the happy life. If your abusive partner does not change his behaviour even if you set some borders, consider help from outside (mediator, counsellor) or even think of ending a relationship, taking into account all the pros and cons of your decision.
So now set one goal which will help you to have a happy life answering the questions listed above in writing. It may be gaining more respect from your partner (by being more assertive) or even changing your life completely – by ending the relationship. Good luck