5 Ways To Change Your Mind For A Happier New Year

Welcome to 2013! Traditionally the beginning of a new year is a time to start over, to make changes. Here’s a secret: Most of those changes involve changing your mind. True story. To be successful in eating better, exercising more, being more patient, you need to change the way you think. Being happy is no different.

Happiness does not come from outside, it comes from inside. The way you think is what makes you happy or unhappy. Changing your mind is the clearest path to peace and joy.

It will take practice; you will not be perfect. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. But try it anyway. And if you screw up, try again. Pick one of these at a time and when it gets easier, try another.

  1. Be compassionate. None of us is perfect, so when someone does something that irritates or enrages you, step back a moment. That person who cut you off in traffic or couldn’t find their money at the checkout line isn’t necessarily a jerk or an idiot, just someone who messed up. Have you ever screwed up and done something that pissed someone off? I guarantee that you have. Take a deep breath and let it go.
  2. Reframe.  Things are what they are, but you can change the way you look at them. Turn problems into challenges, disasters into opportunities for change. Think positively as much as you can, even if you have to fake it at first—eventually you won’t have to.
  3. Focus on what’s good. There’s always good somewhere. You have a job, even if it’s not your dream job. Find joy in small things like a cup of tea in the evening or a nap on a Sunday afternoon. Look for things to be happy about and you will find them.
  4. Practice gratitude. If you are able to read this, on a desktop computer, laptop or on a phone, you likely have a lot to be thankful for. Try not to take it for granted. So many people struggle just to survive. Make a point of listing one or two things you are grateful for every day.
  5. Forgive.  People will hurt you. They will disappoint you. You can hold a grudge and be mad forever, but that’s only poisonous to you. You forgive for yourself, so you can let go of the hurt and move forward. No, it’s not easy, but it’s important.

Greater peace and happiness are yours for the taking – you just have to change your mind.

Happy New Year!


Photo Credit: bernat… via photopin cc

About Megan Gordon

Megan Gordon is a professional writer, amateur photographer and intermittent dreamer. She writes and takes pictures on her wildly unpopular blog. As fame and fortune seem to be elusive, she is still trying to decide what she wants to be when she grows up. If you follow her on Twitter you might be there when she finally figures it out.


  1. Ridx says:

    I totally agree that you must not forget to take joy in small things. They are the ones which lift your mood up. Like I was having a bad day, I got an unexpected present and it made me really happy. :’) so there’s always something to look forward to.

    Happy New Year. Have a Blessed and Healthy one.

    I always like reading your posts. :)

  2. I especially love #4 – it puts everything into perspective!

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  3. Amiyrah says:

    Reframing is something that I plan to do quite a bit in 2013. When things go sour, this is the one aspect of life that we should turn to immediately. It helps us swallow the pill a bit easier.

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    • Megan says:

      It does. It’s not always easy, but I think it’s one of the more important changes you can make.

      I wish you much luck with it, and hope you don’t have to use it often. :)

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  4. MamaKaren says:

    During one of our rough periods, I was telling my daughter that we needed to end each day by identifying at least one good thing that happened during the day. Even the bleakest day has some sort of good thing.

    My example to her about how to find one good thing in the darkest day was to recall the night I got a flat tire on the highway while following her ambulance to the psych facility where she was going to be admitted. I said “It was good that I kept control of the car when my tire blew, so I didn’t get hurt or hurt anyone else or damage the car.”

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    • Megan says:

      Excellent example in a very difficult situation. It’s wonderful that you are teaching your daughter this, and even more wonderful that you are able to do it at the worst of times.

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