Are you unhappy at work or at home? Are you lacking work-life balance? Or is it something more? According to a recent Inc.com article, the secret to happiness is much closer than we tend to think. Jessica Stillman explains that people are made happier by successfully achieving smaller goals rather than by failing to achieve larger ones.
Indeed, research at Harvard and Stanford confirms this conclusion: “Not only did the research suggest that small, concrete actions can boost happiness more than lofty, nebulous ones, it also shows that people can be taught this fact to help them maximize their well being.”
So if you are seeking more happiness in your life, or simply more happiness in the workplace, then consider how to best apply this research to your life.
Happiness in the Workplace Tips
1. Think Small
Sometimes, the smallest things can have the biggest impact in life. Even on a really, truly crummy day at work, paying for someone else’s latte at the corner coffee shop can boost your mood significantly: “Simply reminding yourself that small acts of kindness have big impacts on yourself and others can help you recalibrate your thinking to aim for more concrete and effective goals, which in turn make you happier.” In essence, Stillman re-emphasizes the importance of making and achieving smaller goals to a happier life.
2. Think Immediate
One deterrent to happiness is the inability to achieve a desired outcome right away. Lessons in patience are certainly useful and important, but if you are desperate for some happiness in the workplace pretty soon, then setting and fulfilling more short-term goals is a good way to start.
3. Think Baby Steps
For bigger, longer-term goals, work on breaking down one large goal into many smaller, more concrete goals. Rather than having a mammoth goal hanging over your head that continues to cause stress and frustration, just keep breaking things down into much more manageable chunks. Succeeding at these small steps will encourage happiness in the workplace. And when you complete steps towards the goal, it is likely to be easier to leave that project at the office and maintain work-life balance rather than having a big stressful project worrying you constantly.