How to Feel Happy in 2010

I thought I would share a few things on this New Year’s Day that have helped me enjoy life to the fullest this past year. I believe personal enrichment is the key to happiness. When you learn, you feel good!

Reading is probably the easiest, least expensive way to learn something new. Make a resolution to visit your local library at least every two weeks. Check out books from sections you normally wouldn’t. Maybe it’s just me, but when I walk out of a library with a stack of books I feel like I’m walking away with the deal of the century. I feel like this reduces my crave to shop too, so a visit to the library may potentially save you money! Our local library holds a yearly adult reading contest. Last year I won a brand new book just for reading! It starts up again this year in just 3 more days. I can’t wait!

If you haven’t already, sign up with an online reading service such as Google Reader and then subscribe to several blogs from different genres- be it dogs, cooking, news, art history, whatever! It’s like having several newspapers or magazines delivered to your inbox every day.

Join an online club! This year I’ve joined Daring Bakers and I can’t tell you how much it has enriched my life, it’s been immense. All skill levels can join- it’s all about learning and the forums are very helpful. I think I look forward to my Daring Bakers challenge each month more than I do my paycheck!

Take up photography. I always said I would never be one of those moms that took countless pictures of her kids yet here I am. . . But really- I’m not obsessing, I’m documenting! Besides, I have to take hundreds of pictures before I get that one. Taking photos is a form of journaling in my opinion and journaling is said to be very healthy for us. Take pictures of things that make you smile and look at them often. Invest in a camera that takes little effort to create good images.

Get into gardening! Someone once told me the secret to life was creating new life whether it be offspring of your own or something from the plant world. Last year I got into growing poppies and took countless photos like the one above of my poppies at dusk.  We also grow our own vegetables which is very rewarding. Even in Minnesota, gardening is practically a year-round affair if you count all the planning and research, ordering of seeds, starting of seeds, etc. We start planning in January and sometimes have crops into November, so really there isn’t much time off.

Personal enrichment combined with minimal TV and limited fast food is sure to bring you a happy, healthy New Year. My New Year’s wish is that everyone give it a try. The result would be a happier, healthier, less stressed-out and depressed world. Let’s start a new trend for 2010! Down with laziness and up with personal enrichment!