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Why I Am Not Happy? How To Create A Happier Life In 6 Simple Steps

Colleen Walsh Jednak is an expert in happiness, holistic health, and creating blueprints for a balanced life. She is the founder of Strong Mamas, LLC

 
Executive Contributor Colleen Walsh Jednak

Happiness is a universal pursuit. Why are so many people unhappy during a time when you can have nearly anything that you imagine with the click of a button? Loneliness, debt, clutter, anxiety, and disconnectedness are building walls around so many and keeping them from living the life of their dreams. On paper, we have everything, and yet…

 

Happy woman

As a holistic life coach and a certified happiness coach, I see the traps that people build for themselves every day. So many of us are stuck in ruts that seem impossible to overcome while our lives look perfect to the outside world.

 

In life coaching, we assess where the client is in their journey. We do not look into the rearview mirror as that can be a distraction from the goal. The big question we ask ourselves is what do we really want? Not what other people want. Not what will please or impress the neighbors. What do we

want? What will fire up our authentic souls to let us soar with passion through our lives?

 

6 simple steps on how to create a happier life

 

1. Our finances

If you do not have a budget, you should take out a piece of paper or an Excel spreadsheet. Don’t worry if you are not a math person. This is going to be very straightforward. Income/Expenses. Be diligent in noting everything. If you have more income than expenses, you are in good shape. If not, start looking at where you can make changes that reflect the money that you have and your values. Do not spend money on things that are not important to you! Do not buy things to impress other people. Be relentless in this exercise. When your budget is finished, you will feel more peaceful. You will have a financial blueprint for your happy life. Reach out to financial professionals to help you if necessary. Debt is stressful and will prevent you from pursuing the life of your dreams, so this is important.


2. Our home

It doesn’t matter if you live in a shared apartment or a large house. The questions and goals are the same. Can you afford it? Is it safe and clean? Does it reflect who you are and your values? 

 

If you already live in a home that you can afford, then you move forward to the next step. If you do not live in a home that feels safe and affordable, then look at that closely. What options are available to you? Can you live with a friend or relative for a short period of time while you save enough for a place of your own? Can you move to a smaller apartment or less expensive town? There are always possibilities.

 

Assuming that you are safe and financially sound in your current home, walk through your space. If someone were to come to visit, would they see your personality reflected? Your hobbies? Family? Favorite colors? Do not decorate your home to please others but as an outward reflection of yourself. There should be at least one corner that is unique to you. If you still have clothes that you will never wear because they are out of style or they no longer fit, sell or donate them. Go through every drawer, every closet, every shelf and nook. If the objects reflect your energy and are useful, they stay. If not, donate, sell, or throw them away. In the end, you will see that less clutter translates quickly to less stress. Less to clean. Less to distract you. More to be who you truly are! The goal is an authentic representation of you!

 

This can take a little time so schedule it into your calendar once you have made your list of what needs to be done. This way the process can be truly cathartic and not overwhelming. I have had clients who finally lost that last 10 pounds once they succeeded in cleaning out the closets that were keeping them stuck in the past.

 

3. Work

Whether you volunteer, have a career, or are between jobs, we all have goals in this arena. How do you want to spend your time? What are you good at that could help others? What skills do you have that could help support yourself and your family? How much money do you need to make? What types of people do you work well with? What types of environments do you thrive in? There are situations that will suit each different kind of person. What is the one that you can see yourself thriving in? Do you need to learn a skill or gain experience to get that role that would really help you to jump out of bed in the morning? Ask the questions to your boss or network. Go for a walk. Imagine what that next role would look like, feel like, how it would inspire you. Now, remember that you are the project manager of your life. Schedule it…make a timeline of the necessary steps. Maybe you want to start your own side gig or go back to school. Write it all down and start, one baby step at a time. You will be so thrilled that you did! Don’t get to the end of your life and wish that you had tried. Start now! Get excited about it! You are the author of your life so write the very best script and then execute it!

 

4. Social

For some people, this is an easy aspect of their life. For others, it is much more challenging. If you are an introvert, you certainly do not have to become an extrovert. Social is about what you do with your time when you don’t have to be doing anything. If you are single, do you wish you were in a relationship? Regardless of dating/marital status, are there hobbies or sports that you are interested in? Maybe pottery? Painting? Kayaking? This is your list. If you are not happy, close your eyes and imagine yourself happy. What are you doing in that scene in your mind? How can you introduce those people or those activities into your life in the next six weeks? Baby steps will get you there! Just begin.

 

5. Family

Again, this is an easy category for some folks and quite challenging for others. If family is easy for you, write that down on your gratitude list and keep going. If it is challenging, take time to figure out what you wish was different. Light a candle, drink herbal tea, and relax while you are going through this process. Maybe the issue is with someone who has died or is not reachable for whatever reason. You can still write them a letter to express your pain. This letter is NEVER getting mailed so truly be as expressive as you need to be. Do not mail the letter. Really. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but it is not. The point of the letter is to let the hurt and resentments out of you. An emotional detox of sorts. Now, forgive them in your mind. Forgive yourself for whatever your role was too. This may take a few attempts. Go for a walk in nature. Listen to soothing music. Visualize the pain leaving your body, leaving space for more energy, for positive light, for happiness. It takes time, so be gentle with yourself.

 

If your family dynamic is a happy one already, do feel free to express your gratitude and love for those people who make your life a better place to live. You will never regret loving out loud with these people who adore you.

 

6. Fitness and health

Your body is where you live so it is very important to take care of it! Start with your health over your appearance. Have you had a recent physical with a physician? If not, start with scheduling an appointment. Look at your nutrition. If you want to have more energy for your life and to feel better, stay away from sugar and processed foods and try to consume ingredients that are as natural as possible. If it was once alive as a plant or an animal, start there. Your body can turn these food items into fuel for the life you want to live. And exercise? That is not a bad or scary word! It doesn’t have to even hurt! Walk. If you haven’t moved your body in a long time, start with five minutes of walking per day. Add one extra minute to your daily walk each week until you are walking 30 minutes a day. Most cardiologists agree that even this very simple approach to movement will add quality years to your life.


Now, visualize the body and energy that you would like to have. What other changes would you make? Perhaps you have wanted to quit smoking for a long time, or color your hair, or try Pilates. These are all possible! Your body is your vehicle to love, to dance, to live, and to learn. If there are changes you want to make, write them down and then schedule those baby steps in to your calendar.

 

And that is it! Not as bad as you thought, right? If you speak with anyone who knows me, they will tell you that I wake up happy and stay pretty optimistic throughout the day. When I face challenges, I go through this process myself, examining each area of my life, cleaning out my closets, balancing our budget, and going for a walk. I face my life as fearlessly as I can so if there is something big that I need to do, I can break it down into small bites and dive in. And every single day starts with a gratitude list. Cumulative gratitude makes us more resilient when things don’t go our way. We cannot control the outside world, but we absolutely can design and pursue a healthy body, safe home, solid financial foundation, happy social life, balanced family, and fulfilling career. Baby steps. It all starts with baby steps.

 

You can be happy. You can start now.

 

Read more from Colleen Walsh Jednak

 

Colleen Walsh Jednak, Life Coach, Happiness Coach, Writer/Speaker, Lifestyle Coach

Colleen Walsh Jednak is an expert in happiness, holistic health, and creating blueprints for a balanced life. She is the founder of Strong Mamas, LLC and has been helping mothers of all ages decrease their feelings of stress while improving their physical and emotional health. Her mission is Health, Hope, and Happiness.

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