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7 Simple Ways to Be Happier in 2021


1. Think Smarter about Social Media & Phone Usage

If you watched the Social Dilemma in 2020, you already know some of the many dangers of social media. Here are a few tips to play it safe on your phone/social media in 2021:

2. Create Better Habits

Remember, "We are what we repeatedly do." Writers write, runners run, hard workers work hard.

One of the best books I read in 2020 was Atomic Habits by James Clear . In it, the author gives many actionable steps for his readers to form better habits and create a better and happier life for themselves. This is a must read for 2021, or you can find a quick summary here.

Last year, I set a goal for myself to pick up 1 new habit every month. Although I was not successful in every one, I learned a lot about myself and what I thought was important.

Here are 10 habit suggestions for 2021:

  • Drink water before bed and right when waking up
  • Eat/drink 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up
  • Take vitamins/supplements
  • Read a daily devotional (mine were The Daily Stoic and Uncommon Life by Tony Dungy)
  • Write/say 3 things you're grateful for
  • Meditate/Pray
  • Stretch
  • Exercise
  • Spend a quality moment with your pet or significant other
  • Do 1 act of kindness for someone - even if it's only thanking a friend for their friendship

If you are interested in tracking your habits, you can find The Ultimate Habit Tracker Guide here.

When tracking habits, don't expect perfection. Expect progress. If you miss one day, don't miss the next.

3. Move Your Body!

"Motion creates emotion."

In 2020, I heard someone say, "sitting at a desk is the new cancer." Although that does seem a bit dramatic, my entire company has since begun enjoying their standup desks much more. I'd highly suggest you consider getting one as well.

Anything you can do to move your body is helpful.

The most success I've had in my fitness journey is when I've followed these 3 simple rules for working out:

  • Never Miss a Monday - always workout on Mondays
  • Never Miss 3 Days in a Row - you will average ~3 workouts/week
  • Always Do Your Best - don't waste your own time

4. Use Food as a Tool

Just like a car can't be properly fueled by Coca-Cola(yet), your body can't properly operate on junk food.

Over 600k U.S. deaths every year are due to a poor diet. Thousands of other people are held back from doing the things they love for the same reason.

If you want to live your life to the fullest, find a healthy diet you can turn into a lifestyle.

If you're trying to lose weight, I've heard great things about the Slow Carb Diet. This diet gives you one day a week to literally eat however much of whatever you want...

For other diet needs, I'd highly suggest following @BFitKunkel or looking at her website here.

5. Be Grateful

"It is impossible to be unhappy and grateful at the same time."

This one is simple, but not easy.

Think of something you're grateful for. How do you feel?

Do this often. 

If you want to be happy in 2021, learn to be grateful.

6. Stopping Consuming, Start Contributing 

Not everyone needs to be an influencer in 2021. However, those who want to be happy should learn about purpose and fulfillment.

Before I go more into this, I want to clarify a few things...

  • Consuming is not bad. It is not selfish. Everyone that I know of (other than Jesus) needs and has needed to consume knowledge before they can speak it. We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. However, I believe that with knowledge comes the responsibility of sharing it for the greater good. After all, wouldn't burying a water truck in the middle of the desert with only the coordinates available to you seem a bit selfish? Let your inner light shine!
  • Contribution does not need to be direct. I see one of my grandmothers once every few weeks, if I'm lucky. However, by praying for me on a nightly basis, I feel she has done more for me than some people I spend every day with. Find your own way to contribute!
  • We have all been given different gifts. At surface level, some gifts may seem less than others, but they are not! LeBron James was meant to inspire the masses, Mother Teresa was meant to make people believe in something greater than themselves, Dr. Seuss was meant to bring joy to children, and maybe my only meaningful contribution will be writing an article that helps one person put 2020 in the past. If that is my only contribution, I am grateful to be fulfilling it.
What will you contribute in 2021?

    Here are a few great places to start learning more about how purpose, fulfillment and contribution effect happiness:

    7. Listen to Audiobooks and Podcasts

    Podcasts: Many of you probably began listening to podcasts in 2020. In 2021, I challenge you to add a few self-growth podcasts to your library. I would add The Tim Ferriss Show, Jocko Podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience and The ED MYLETT Show to this already great list.

    Audiobooks: For many of you already busy people, audiobooks can be a game changer. I was able to listen to 10 more books in 2020 than in previous years thanks to audiobooks. If you substitute just one of your 30 minute daily commutes into the office, you have the potential to read 12 more books in 2021!

    Your first book is free on Audible - now you literally have no excuse not to start!

    Bonus: If you are a Christian(or not), please consider reading this short book. Matthew Kelly redefined the way I look at the world's problems and the impact I can have as "just one person".

    Summary:

    Although 2020 was a tough year for many, I believe we all came out stronger.

    For some of us, it may be tough to pull ourselves out of quarantine.

    For others, let's lend a helping hand and lift those struggling out of this tough year!

    My hope is that something I've shared here can help one person make 2021 their best year yet so they can truly Never Peak!

    ~Written by Never Peak Founder, Gabe Malinski