child relaxing

A Simple Formula for Happiness

One of my readers made an insightful observation regarding one of my posts. He stated that what I was suggesting was simple, but not easy. At the time it didn’t click fully. The statement seemed too terse to have much depth of meaning. In time, I began to appreciate the importance of what he had said.

Today I want to provide a simple formula for living happily. In fact, I can say with some confidence, that achieving greater happiness is, for most of us, simple, although not necessarily easy. In the days and weeks to come, we will explore how to make each of these goals easier as well. Please share your ideas with us. We all want to know how to live a happier life, and together we can be more successful in reaching this ideal.

  1. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Lasting change takes time. Approach change with patience and persistence. When it comes to habit change, you should check out Leo Babauta at Zen Habits. Here‘s a link to a free book by Leo. He’s been working on perfecting the art of mastering habits for a long time now. His ideas are simple but profound and valid.
  2. Do The Right Thing. Most of the choices we encounter each day are clear as to which path is the right one and which is the wrong one. “Should I go for a walk and get a little exercise?” If you’re even asking this, you know what the right choice is. When considering this type of decision, don’t think, just do.
  3. Get a reasonable amount of exercise. You don’t need to be a fitness fanatic. In fact, that may not be the best idea for many of us, but find a balance. Go for walks. Do some simple, regular strength exercises. Get off the couch. Do anything that requires you to move.
  4. Reduce, and ultimately eliminate, processed foods, and eat a diverse selection of whole foods.
  5. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus.
  6. Work to build strong social ties with people who lift you up, and help you become happier. Drop those who will never become a positive influence in your life.
  7. Learn to practice gratitude.
  8. Reread item #1.

Picture your life if you practiced each of the items on this list. What would it look like?

As I said earlier, these things are simple, but not necessarily easy.[Tweet “A Simple Formula for Happiness”]

So for today I suggest writing down this list, or printing it out, and then start with incorporating step one into your life. Later work on two, and so on.

And don’t forget to have some fun today!



  1. You hit the nail on the head here. Taking care of your body and mind are essential to happiness. Whole foods do make a difference. I rarely eat processed foods and when I do, I can immediately tell the difference in how I feel. Refined sugars make me tired and off my game and when that happens, it’s really hard to do any of the other steps in this excellent list you’ve put together. Thanks for the great post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.