Until I received this month’s email and calendar from Action for Happiness, I had never heard of social fitness but I just love the idea of making a conscious habit of strengthening our relationships for our own well-being (and the well-being of those around us.)
And you know I’m going to be all over any system that gives you clear steps for building a habit a little bit at a time while helping you to notice (and celebrate) your efforts.
So, if you want to give yourself a happiness boost by strengthening your relationships, give some (or all) of these tips a whirl.
Remember: you don’t have to take on everything at once and you don’t have to overwhelm yourself. (You don’t have to sacrifice self-kindness in order to reach out to other people!)
Just like with your physical fitness, or any other type of practice for your well-being, every effort to increase your social fitness counts.
Every tip you try is an opportunity to add a little bit of happiness, a little bit of fun, or a little more connection to your life.
If your wellness plan for this year is physical or practice-based, you have probably already outlined the steps and systems that will take you towards your goals. Those kind of plans tend to have tangible steps that you can measure in some way – minutes of meditation, cardio, or yoga or reps of one exercise or another.
But if your goals are more intangible, you will have to choose a different approach to measuring your progress.
For example, if you have decided that you want to feel happier this year, you might find it a challenge to create a plan and it might be difficult to measure your progress.
These calendars and their supporting materials give you tangible actions to take that have been proven to increase people’s feelings of well-being and happiness. And they don’t throw them at you all at once (which can cause me A LOT of unhappiness), instead the tasks are ‘scheduled’ for specific days.
If you are a person (like me) who can get overwhelmed by a long list of future ideas, having them organized into a calendar like this can make the project of feeling happier feel a little more in reach.
So, if you are seeking happiness this year, you can follow their daily advice. Doing (or not doing) these daily tasks will help you measure your efforts and you can check in with yourself every so often to assess whether you feel generally happier overall.
Another note: Please don’t think that I am suggesting that you MUST do everything on both calendars. That’s a sure way to feel overwhelmed. Pick one or mix-and-match. Do what you can with the resources you have and then see if their advice helps you to reach your goal.
Here’s a link to a PDF of the calendar above that includes clickable links to articles about the task of the day. The Greater Good Science Center produces a new calendar each month.
Here’s a link to the Action for Happiness website where you can download a copy of the ‘Friendly February’ calendar. A new calendar is available every month.