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Happiness Tip: How do you want to feel?

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Before you start to go deeply into your New Year’s Resolutions, ask yourself not what you want to achieve, but what, in your heart of hearts, you want to feel. Shooting for the feeling-state that you want more of (maybe you want more happiness, confidence, or fulfillment) will take you down a different path than setting your sights on a particular achievement. Emotions are more motivating—and far more fulfilling—than an achievement goal in the long run.

Maybe you want to lose weight this year, for example. If you make a resolution to “lose 20 pounds” and then join a weight loss program, how will that make you feel? At first, you might feel great, because you’ve just made a healthy decision for yourself. But if you don’t cheat on your diet, you’ll likely soon feel deprived. And if you do begin to cheat on your diet, you’ll likely feel anxious and guilty. Both of these feeling states are unmotivating and uncomfortable, which will make it easy for you to ditch your diet.

But what if you resolve to do things that make you feel healthy and strong this year by getting in specific habits that foster your health and strength? Feeling stronger and healthier are very motivating feeling states, which will make it much easier for you to keep your resolution.

So don’t make a resolution to grow your business by 25% if growing your business is likely to make you feel more stressed out and exhausted…unless you acknowledge that you are actually making a resolution to feel more stress in the coming year.


Want even more happiness? Learn to develop Happiness on Autopilot through Christine’s great course!

You can read more of Dr. Christine Carter’s work at her incredible website: ChristineCarter.com

About the Author

Christine Carter, Ph.D., draws on psychology, sociology, and neuroscience, and uses her own chaotic and often hilarious real-world adventures to demonstrate happiness do’s and don’ts in action.

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