As we come to the end of another year, we thinking about the New Year and the goals we want to accomplish. New Year's resolutions have gotten a bad rap because most people lose focus after the first few months of the year. They are, however, important because we should have constant growth in our lives.
Each of us has different goals and dreams, and "happiness" will hold a different meaning for us. We all long for a happy and free life that we can live on our terms. We long to wake up each day and spend our time on the things that are important us -- that make us happy.
Life is hard and throws a lot at us at times. There are circumstances that make us feel stuck and trying to find an escape. Despite what's happened or where you are right now, you can live a happy life on your terms. Happiness starts in your mind and then in the choices you make. Here are five choices that can lead you to whatever a happy life means to you.
1. Finding or Creating Work that Fulfills You
Forty plus hours is a long time to spend in work that doesn't fulfill you -- or worse -- work that you hate. Those feelings and emotions will affect other areas of your life. We live in the Information Age. Never has there been a time with so much access to knowledge and opportunity to create income. You can use the Internet and social media to find your dream job or start a business you're passionate about. Use what's available to us to today to find or create work that fulfills and brings purpose to your life.
2. Ending a Toxic Relationship or Moving Forward in a Good One
Just like our work, our relationships also have a tremendous effect on our life. They can bring us joy or frustrate us into depression. Relationships are hard because love is involved, and love is rarely rational. It can also be more than romantic relationships; any that are toxic can rob us of happiness. We have to make a choice to purge negativity from our lives in any form. If you have good relationships, make the choice to do the work it takes to grow together.
3. Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone
It's not easy to do things that scare us or that we're not used to. Growing up, we were taught to follow the rules and do what society considers normal. When we stay within our comfort zone, we miss a huge opportunity for growth and adventure. To grow as a person, you have to try new things and figure out if they're right for your life. Step outside of your comfort zone daily and get a blueprint for the kind of life that makes you happy.
4. Getting Committed to a Healthy Lifestyle
Your health is important to living a long and happy life. Making healthy choices helps you have the energy you need to push forward and make big changes in your life. What you eat affects how you feel and the attitude that you have towards yourself and the world. Make healthy choices and will it will be a big contributor to your happiness.
5. Never Giving into Complacency
Each of us has a lot to be grateful for in life--despite of any hard situations. While we should have an attitude of gratitude, we should never confuse that with complacency. You can be grateful for what you have in your life while still wanting and striving for more. You have big dreams and goals in your mind and heart for a reason. Never let complacency convince you to settle for less than you deserve.
For 12 years, I lived a life of existing. Today, I'm writing to you from a café in Madrid, Spain. I just spoke at a conference here. I was in Marrakech, Morocco last week. I write, speak, and coach dreamers, and live a happy life. I got here by starting with these fives choices.
You can have an amazing year and accomplish every "resolution" you set for yourself. You can live a happy life, but more than that, you deserve to spend each day living life on your terms. Make choices every day that lead to the kind of life you want to live.
What choices are you making that will lead to what happiness means to you?
Photo: Flickr/ IamNotUnique
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more