How can you live your best life and be happier in 2018? I’m sharing 10 tips from Baby Boomer Bliss’ most popular articles in 2017 to help you do just that!
Studies show that up to 80 percent of baby boomers plan to do some sort of paid work until age 70 to stay mentally sharp, keep engaged socially, and achieve financial security in retirement. That leaves a couple of decades after 50 to work.
Perhaps that’s why more and more boomers are contemplating an “encore career” to pursue their passions and create a fulfilling life they can enjoy.
Which job should you choose if this is your dream? To read my list of the happiest and unhappiest careers to narrow down your choices, check out the full article here.
Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures
In 2017, International Happiness Day and the first day of spring coincided. How often does that happen? But do we really need a special day to find some bliss? I say that any ordinary day will do.
In 2018, let’s pause and enjoy all of life’s simple treasures and treats we look forward to throughout the day. Yes, we all have them! You know, the moment you open up your drapes and sunlight fills your home. The aroma of coffee in the morning. Those delightful blueberries on your cereal. The hot shower in the morning that awakens and refreshes you.
If you’re a baby boomer still working, instead of grumbling about it, enjoy your favorite song on the radio as you drive to your job. Don’t just sit there, sing along! If you’re lucky enough to be retired, enjoy some creative leisure time.
Experience happiness from the simple act of giving. Take a moment and write, text, or call a friend. Give someone a big smile to brighten their day and perk up yours as well. Make it a point to do something nice for a stranger or give someone a sincere compliment today. When you get home, give a loved one a big hug. Make your dog’s day with a walk around the neighborhood, a treat, and an extra pat on its head. Relish each bite of dinner. Watch the sunset. Enjoy your favorite comedy and laugh loudly. At the end of the day, remember each blessing and thank God in prayer.
If a gloomy thought dares to enter your head this day, usher it right out and replace it with a happy, positive thought. No groans or gripes allowed. Mentally shout “next” in your head and move right along. Relish every day of simply being alive.
Break Through Barriers
Oh, the wonderful things that can happen when we break through our self-imposed barriers!
When I wanted to become a writer, I put a lot of barriers on myself. I was afraid that people would laugh at me because I didn’t have a college degree. That my submissions would sit in a huge pile and be ignored by literary agents and editors since I didn’t know anyone in the publishing business. That friends and family would roll their eyeballs if I dared to express my dreams of becoming a writer out loud. That I would become so discouraged by the countless rejections sure to come my way, I would give up and watch my precious dreams slowly fade away. Doesn’t everyone want to be a writer, but how many actually make it?
Instead of taking action, I was comfortable just dreaming about becoming an author one day. It was fun envisioning my novel on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and my first book signing. Until a woman at a writer’s conference asked me a simple but profound question. What are you waiting for?
With the woman’s words echoing in my head, I took the first step and began submitting my short story to magazines. Of course, I received the standard rejection letter which stung, but I continued on my journey, taking writing classes and submitting my work. The road wasn’t easy. Many of my fears came true during that time. I gathered enough rejection letters to wallpaper a room. Many times, I became discouraged and swore off writing. But I tenaciously pressed forward. Six long years passed before my first short story was published. Am I happy that I persevered and finally faced down all those nagging self-doubts and fears?
You bet! I’ve been writing professionally for over 25 years now. Over the years, I’ve been published in national magazines, authored three books (one of which was published by big time publisher McGraw Hill), landed an agent, won three journalism awards, and even had my dream come true with a book signing at Barnes and Noble.
What helped me accomplish my goals? I was honored to share my story in Marquita A. Herald’s book, Women Breaking Barriers. How did 13 other courageous women overcome their fears, persevere, and find the power to become the driver of their own lives and personal journeys? You’ll have to check out the book to find out! Each tale will give you hope and encourage you to reflect on who you are and what matters most to you in life. You can get your free copy by clicking here and subscribing to my blog.
The Urban Dictionary defines happy-go-lucky as a person who is cheerful about most things, has a positive view on life, and annoys the you-know-what out of their friends. Haha! Seriously, think of all the benefits of lightening up. You’ll be less stressed, have more fun, take more risks, step out of your comfort zone and because of your positive attitude have more friends and better relationships.
If you can become more of a happy-go-lucky person, I’d lay bets that you’ll find life more enjoyable and even more fulfilling. This popular article lists five ways to get you started on the path of that devil-may-care attitude.
Take a Trip
It’s no secret that I love to travel, so a new survey from AARP last year that listed baby boomers choices for top bucket list travel destinations caught my eye.
Of the 12,000 boomer participants, a whopping 99 percent said they planned to take one leisure trip last year. About half planned to travel domestically on multi-generational trips, weekend getaways, and holiday travel. Bucket lists inspired 43 percent of boomers to say they hoped to travel internationally as well.
Which places topped boomers’ bucket lists for travel? Hawaii topped the list for a dream domestic destination followed by Alaska, California, Arizona, and Nevada. The top international destinations were Australia, followed by Italy, the United Kingdom/Ireland, France, and the Caribbean. Are any of these places on your bucket list? No time like the present!
Interestingly, boomers enjoy dreaming about their trip almost as much as experiencing the trip itself. Part of the fun is planning!
Stay Positive Despite Adversities
is it possible to be happy when persistent, scary, and frustrating problems keep rising to the surface and smacking us in the face?
Adversity can make us feel stressed, upset, disappointed, powerless, angry, and depressed. Even when some or even most other aspects of our lives are going well, we tend to focus on things that are going wrong.
What can we do to change that? This popular article listed three simple ways.
Get Rid of Clutter
Whether we’ve become empty nesters or are following the latest trend of decluttering, many of us baby boomers are downsizing.
Two years ago, we moved. As I was filling up trash bags and putting aside things to donate and sell, I felt incredibly FREE. Why hadn’t I done this sooner?
Conquering clutter can clear the way for a more productive life. Without physical obstructions like piles of unopened mail, old clothes, and Tupperware without lids in the way, you’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish in your life.
Want some tips on how to get started? You can read my full article here.
Aim for Long-Term Happiness instead of Instant Gratification
Instant self-gratification rules the world today. Think about ATM machines that provide instant cash, fast food supplying instant meals, the Internet with its access to instant information and entertainment – all of which has turned us into impatient beings that can’t tolerate waiting for anything.
According to a CNN article, there are two types of well-being. One relies on self-involved instant pleasure and requires continuous action to constantly feed positive emotions. This type of satisfaction typically leaves as fast as it comes. For example, buying an expensive pair of shoes creates a temporary high but to keep that euphoric feeling we must keep shopping for the next quick fix. If something threatens our ability to seek out this kind of personal happiness – for example, all our credit cards are maxed out – our entire source of well-being is threatened.
The second type of well-being is a kind of happiness that comes, not from consuming products, but from working toward something larger than ourselves that gives true meaning to life.This type of well-being can bring long-term happiness.
That’s not to say that we should never reward ourselves with a bowl of ice cream or a great pair of shoes as a special treat every once in a while. We don’t have to wait to enjoy the present or our lives.
However, we’ll all be happier if we develop some self-control and avoid the habit of wanting everything right this second. Constantly giving into momentary desires can actually make us feel depressed in the long run. Advertisers have become experts at convincing us that instant gratification is the key to happiness. Don’t buy it. Shoot for long-term satisfaction and fulfillment instead.
Embrace Hygge like the Norwegians
Despite frigid arctic temperatures and months of darkness, the happiest people on the planet apparently live in Nordic countries, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report
Norway jumped up three spots to claim the title of “world’s happiest country” for the first time. Denmark, the previous winner for three years in a row dropped to second. These countries were followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. In case you’re wondering, the U.S. came in 14th place, dropping down one spot from last year.
Could the reason Norwegians are so darn happy have to do with the Danish term hygge? If you want to learn what this word means and how we can adapt some into our lives to feel more joyful, check out my blog.
Retire in a Happy State
My childhood friend was visiting me last year when she asked, “Where do you want to retire?”
Interestingly, we both reside in places known to be popular for retirees. My friend is from Asheville, North Carolina. She enjoys mountain biking in the scenic Great Smoky Mountains, the robust arts community, and the live music scene that ranges from bluegrass to classical. Asheville consistently receives great rankings as a great place to retire for those reasons as well as its typically mild weather (with the exception of this winter!). In fact, recently US News & World Report named Asheville one of “10 Best Places to Retire.” My friend is currently retired and active in her volunteer work. Although she likes living in Asheville, she is considering whether that’s the spot she wants to settle in for good.
Me – I’m from the Palm Springs, California area, which has long been one of the most famous retirement communities. Snowbirds love this place with over 300 days of sunshine a year. Golfing, casinos, hiking, and cycling are popular activities. Places to shop and dine abound. In addition, a fairly strong economy and low unemployment rate make the Palm Springs area a popular destination for baby boomers and retirees.
But do I want to retire here? Not especially. Some people love the heat, but I’m not a fan of the long, hot summers with temperatures that exceed 115 degrees. However, I have time to consider my options. Like many boomers, retirement is nowhere in sight for me at the time being. But of course, a girl can dream, right?
So, what are the the best and worst states to retire? The results from a Bankrate.com’s survey last year were interesting. Traditional retirement spots like Florida and California didn’t make the top 10 while other states, not usually considered as premier places to retire, like South Dakota and Wyoming, made the top five.
Click here if you’d like to check out the ten best and worst places to retire according to the survey and why.
There you go! Hope these 10 tips help you find your bliss in 2018! How do you plan to live your happiest life in 2018? I’d love to hear! Please share in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article and would like to join my tribe of baby boomers to be the first to receive my latest blogs, be sure and subscribe.
Wishing you all the VERY best in 2018!