8 Habits of Happiness

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”, my son and I anticipate the speaker’s reply.  Zachary is all too familiar with the question and empathized with the speaker’s mild annoyance, I was curious to see how a 13 year old who is already giving his first Ted Talk would respond, we were both surprised by the answer…”Happy!”

Winter break is here and as the year slows to a close, I wanted to share a cherished tradition with my son.  I love watching Ted Talks.  I knew he would not have the attention span for a 20 minute plus talk.  When a friend shared a 10 minute talk that was presented by someone still middle school aged, I knew this was the one.  Little did I know when I clicked on play that I was about to take a hard pivot.

I’m a planner.  Developing and executing on plans of impeccable design is my thing.  My ’2014 Plan’ for my business and personal development, along with accompanying tools of support, have been complete for a couple of weeks now.  At least I thought that to be true until I heard Logan LaPlante speak on his practice of the 8 habits his family gleaned from the work of psychiatrist Dr. Roger Walsh’s Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes.  I think of them as the 8 Habits of Happiness.  On the surface they may seem deceptively obvious, yet I believe the absence of these 8 Habits in the mainstream is in part the cause of many ‘problems’ of our times.  Obesity, depression, premature wear-and-tear on our bodies and resulting ailments. The list is long. Of course we all practice some of these habits to varying degrees.  What impacted me greatly from watching Logan’s talk was the question that it solicited, ‘Why haven’t I made these my #1 priority?’  This year I am throwing away my ’2014 Plan’ and opting instead to live hungry to integrate these 8 Habits into how my family lives life.  I look forward to our journey and the possibility for real transformation!

8 Habits of Happiness (adapted from Lifestyle and Mental Health, R. Walsh)

    •  Daily Exercise
    •  Balanced Nutrition & Diet
    •  Being in Nature (un-plugging from technology routinely)
    •  Valuing Relationships & Gratitude
    •  Recreation
    •  Relaxation & Stress Management
    •  Religious/Spiritual Involvement
    •  Contribution & Service

If you want to incorporate these 8 Habits into your life in 2014, I have developed a customizable week-by-week plan & scorecard tool.  Drop me a message and I will send it to you! -Shawna

Shawna Beese-Bjurstrom, RN, MBA lives in Spokane, WA with her family where she is an Executive/Business Coach.  She writes on issues such as healthcare strategy, operational excellence, communication, and leadership.  I invite you to  check out my blog!

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