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Making Lasting Positive Change

Creating Happiness

by | Feb 6, 2015 | Educational Articles, Video

It is understood that to create lasting change it takes a minimum of 66-99 days of consistent practice.  This includes creating happiness! Physiologically we are talking about creating new neuro-networks in your brain – new ways of thinking and being.

When an athlete strives to perfect a body movement to improve his performance, such as adjusting their grip to improve a golf swing, or altering the position of their hand as it enters the water in your swimming stroke – they are striving to make this new movement intuitive.  They learn the correction from their coach, and then practice it carefully, and methodically, again and again, until it is a part of them.

Creating happiness in your life is much like how an athlete trains.  Athletes look to coaches to gain the wisdom and experience of the coach’s personal experience and all the lessons they have learned from the hundreds of athlete’s they have trained with and coached prior.  In life, and in business, many people are wise enough to seek a coach/therapist, to help them learn how to make the changes they seek – such as living in happiness, as an intuitive and natural part of their lives.

As a therapist/coach, I use a number of tools and techniques that have proven to be helpful for clients and patients over the years.

A TED TALK by happiness researcher Harvard Professor Shawn Achor, humorously unpacks one of the tools I have used over the years and found very successful.  You can view the video at the bottom of this page.

Here is a slightly modified homework assignment mentioned in the video that I have shared with clients/patients over the years.

For the next 66 DAYS, schedule (and I do mean enter these times into your daily schedule/planner!)

Commit to the following Five activities and do each with:


These are the 3  Components Necessary to Build Neurogratitude
New ways of creating happiness!

1.      INTENTIONALLY Journal 3-5 NEW things you are grateful for in your life – in your personal or business life.  Then journal/write three short paragraphs about one of the gratitudes you listed.

     Give yourself a pat on the back each and every time you do this step. (This is the GRATITUDE part!)

2.      INTENTIONALLY Meditate – do a short 2-minute meditation 3/per day. Set a timer, (or download 2 minutes of white noise on your phone or iPod), sit in a quiet place, and simply focus on one thought.  I suggest focusing on the temperature change that occurs in your nostrils as you breathe in.  (If you focus and notice carefully you can feel that the air is colder on your inhale than it is on your exhale.)

As your attention drifts or other thoughts drop into your head, just acknowledge them and return your attention to the temperature change.  Somedays this will happen allot, somedays very little.  Both experiences are good.

    Give yourself a pat on the back each and every time you do this step. (This is the GRATITUDE part!)

3.      INTENTIONALLY Do Something Good for Your Body – Yes I know, exercise might be one thing you may have tried and found it difficult.  Even if you don’t hit the gym, simply schedule two minutes once a day to ‘plank’ and jumping jacks, or do some other short exercise (That both targets your core strength and gets your heart rate up).  Or make an INTENTIONAL choice to have a salad instead of the burger, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

    Give yourself a pat on the back each and every time you do this step. (This is the GRATITUDE part!)

4.      AN INTENTIONAL act of kindness every day.  I suggest writing one brief email per day to someone in your life (again personal or professional) thanking them for who they are, what they have done, or how they make a difference to you. As an alternative make it a point to buy a homeless person a coffee or even lunch.

    Give yourself a pat on the back each and every time you do this step. (This is the GRATITUDE part!)

5.      INTENTIONALLY Read to yourself out-loud or someone else, the things your wrote in Step One, just before you go to sleep every night.

Give yourself a pat on the back each and every day you complete these steps.

There is solid science as to how and why this tool works. If you commit to, and do these five simple tasks for 66 days I can assure you that you will experience a positive change in your life.  Couple this tool with insightful coaching/therapy and you will find that you are able to overcome depression and begin to live a much more fulfilling and happy life.

Dr. Shawn Achor presents an engaging presentation on why and how we have the power to be happy.

This is a classic!

Enjoy it and please share!

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