New Year, New You? How to Achieve Your Resolutions.

Srikumar Rao TED Talk “Plug Into Your Hard-Wired Happiness”

2012 is here, and many people like to begin a new year with a list of resolutions: lose weight, quit smoking cigarettes, get a better job, find a great relationship. And every year, they fail at meeting these goals. The gym membership expires unused, the nicotine patches lay on the counter next to the new pack of cigarettes, and they’re left feeling even more miserable, because now they’ve failed to live up to the resolution they set for themselves.

But Srikumar Rao has a solution for you that will help you achieve your goals and resolutions through happiness. In his TED talk, “Plug Into Your Hard-Wired Happiness” he argues that happiness, not unhappiness is our innate nature. We live in a culture, however, that is completely results-oriented and focuses solely on the outcome, not the journey: “If I get that new job with the six-figure salary, then I’ll be happy.” And this is where we set ourselves up for unhappiness. This “If/Then” model of existing makes us miserable because we can’t control the outcome, only our actions are within our control. When we only focus on the goal and create a perfect image in our mind for what it’s going to look like when we achieve it, and then it doesn’t fit our expectations perfectly, we’re inevitably disappointed.

Dr. Rao argues that we have to focus on the journey, not the outcome. People often fail at their resolution to lose weight because they’re focused only on the final result: when they don’t lose 10 pounds after their first week at the gym, they get discouraged and give up. But if they focus on and enjoy the process: finding delicious new healthy recipes, getting a chance to experience lots of interesting classes at the gym, taking up running outside in the park and enjoying nature, the desired result (weight loss) often follows. And the person is happier because they enjoyed the journey of learning to live a healthier life, rather than just focusing on the end result.

Accessing this “hard-wired happiness” allows you to live out your dreams. Dr. Rao argues that when you begin living your inner passion, the universe rearranges itself for you, making it easier for you to live that passion. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle: find happiness by living in the moment, and this will bring you the things that you desire, which will bring you more happiness. So as you begin the new year, focus on the actions, not the results in your resolutions, and you’ll find yourself living a richer, happier life in 2012!


Here's to your "blood singing with gratitude" as you revel on your way to your resolutions!

Amanda + Stella