Do you remember when you were a child and the most minor things made you happy? 

Any time my niece visits us, it’s always great to see her discovering happiness in the simplest things in life. She reminds me of how important it is to be happy and grateful in life. If you’re lacking positivity, joy, and contentment, the rest of your life will no doubt be affected as well.  

I think achieving happiness is the ultimate goal we should strive for in life. Here are my 11 tips for how to live a happier life: 

Focus on the positive 

To find long-term happiness, you need to retrain your brain from thinking in a negative mindset to thinking in a positive mindset. You may need to take a hard look at the people you’re spending the most time with — after all, people say you become the five people you hang out with the most. If you hang out with people who find joy in life and practice gratitude, chances are, you’ll start to feel happier too. We truly have so much to be thankful for and should always try to remember that. 

Celebrate the little victories 

If you are preoccupied with reaching your big goals, you may forget to celebrate the little victories that happen along the way. Did you work out today? Did you check everything off on your to-do list? Did you spend quality time with family or friends? Did you make a positive impact on someone’s life today? These are all things worthy of celebration.  

Find a work-life balance

While work is certainly important, it’s just as important to not neglect your personal life. Spending time with loved ones and putting in time for self-care each day is just as crucial to your personal happiness as your paycheck. Whether you enjoy working out, eating healthy, meditating, practicing yoga, or reading, you should always make time for the things that help you recharge. Having a career is great, but achieving a balanced life is the ultimate success. 

Accept imperfection 

Nobody is perfect — period! I know people who never started their business because they felt it had to be perfect before they launched it. Or, they don’t put on a bathing suit and play with their kids when they’re at the beach because they don’t feel like they look good enough. Don’t miss out on things in life because you feel like you need to be perfect. Learn to embrace your flaws and accept them as the things that make you, you. 

Do what you love 

If you hate your job or are miserable in your relationship, you won’t find true happiness in life. If you are unhappy, remove yourself from the situation or change how you think about it. Life is too short to wake up and do something that makes you miserable, and you have the agency to make changes. Once you find your passion and your purpose in life, you’ll see your life start to change. 

Spend money on experiences rather than things 

I’ve always enjoyed a trip or an experience with my family much more than a gift. A new purse can certainly make you feel temporary joy, but making meaningful memories creates a joy that lasts. Your kids will remember the things you do together much more than the clothes you bought them. 

Live in the present moment 

Enjoy what’s happening here and now instead of thinking about what’s to come. You have a beautiful life, and you don’t want to miss what’s happening right in front of you by being distracted by the future. 

Give back 

My friend Shannon shared some great knowledge with me the other day. She said the best piece of advice for someone starting something new in life — the first day of school, the first day of a new job — was to go make someone’s day. Spend your energy looking around to see whose day you can make rather than focusing on your own fears. Something as simple as complimenting a stranger will make their day and also lift you up. 

Be yourself 

There are many people who move through life trying to be something they’re not. Be authentic to yourself and watch your life get much easier. We’ve all had jobs where we’re trying to do something that wasn’t in our skillset, or tried to act a certain way just to fit in. When you’re not being true to yourself, it makes life really difficult. Stop comparing yourself to others — your journey is not their journey. 

Build meaningful relationships 

The older I get, the less interested I am in relationships that aren’t meaningful. My time outside of work is now dedicated to the people who mean the most to me. Once you start doing this and start prioritizing the relationships that fill up your cup, you’ll find it a lot easier to be happy. 

Stop worrying about things you can’t control 

Maybe it’s an illness in your family, or something at work that you have zero control over that’s plaguing you. If you redirect your energy toward the things you can control, your life will seem much calmer. 

It’s time to prioritize your own happiness!

Deedra Determan, Founder

Deedra Determan started her career working in television for one of the top media companies in the country and later became a marketing consultant in the television industry.

Determan went on to launch a niche website for moms in her local market with over 100,000 moms visiting the website each month using the power of Facebook. After one year from launching, Determan sold the website to Oklahoma Media Company, Griffin Communications. Determan went on to launch a digital marketing agency, D2 Branding that was recently recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur360.

Determan is the host of the Do It My Way Podcast Show, empowering women business owners and CEO’s to do business on their terms with no regrets, hesitation or fear. Determan coaches these women on how to create a personal brand so they can live a life of financial freedom, working when they want to work and making the money they want to make!