What Would It Take To Make Your Life Happier?

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I’ve got my fingers, toes and belly button crossed you haven’t said money. Because COME ON GUYS, LET’S DO THIS.

If you’re on the poverty line then alright, you can back away – more money would make your life easier and therefore a bit happier.

But in general we’re a bit obsessed aren’t we? Like, how often have you heard someone say (when I say someone, it could totally be you) ‘I don’t understand why (insert celebrity name) is so moany on Twitter. Like, what has she even got to worry about? She has so much money.’

I’m definitely happier now than I was as an unemployed graduate with no income coming in, but that’s because I felt so lost, so completely let down by the world, so crushed by my own ambitions and not just because my bank account looked a bit harrowing.

We need a basic level of money to be able to afford to support ourselves – put a roof over our heads, eat decent meals, pay for heating, pay for WIFI (it’s of vital importance, alright?) but after that? Why are we so focused on getting more and more, oh and then a bit more? And maybe some more?

Why can’t we just accept happiness with what we have – just welcome it into our lives in the moment? Appreciate the little wins, the little successes, the little completed goals.

The people behind Post-It notes recently commissioned a survey to find out exactly what we think will make us happier.

You might think it’d be nice things like quality time with pals and family, maybe it’d be more holidays lazing on a beach, maybe more time in bed (I’d like all of these please) but you know what came out on top because OBVIOUSLY – money.

Over a third of us think more money will make us happier and the ideal salary for us Brits? £80,8040. Seriously. Like I wouldn’t even know what to do with that money, I’d be just rolling around in fresh salmon and champagne and Charlotte Tilbury make-up and private pilates classes. I’d probably also be a bit of a dick.

The research found that our ideal life would involve working 27 hours 20 minutes a week and having two children, which, if you count Rudey and my cuddly toy as children, is totally my life right now. And I stand by it, working less hours, bringing myself on par with places like France where you’re not allowed to work more than 35 hours a week, has made me much more chilled, much less angsty and much happier.

The part of the research that made my heart hurt a little bit was the finding that we’d like to live within 10 miles of close family and friends. So yeah, it’s not hurting because OMG THAT’S HORRIBLE WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO LIVE CLOSE TO NICE PEOPLE, it’s hurting because 50 or 100 miles is kind of a lot more than 10 miles. My lack of nearby close friends and family is probably one of the only areas of my life that I feel like could be improved. But I felt that way even in London – that this difficulty in being able to just ‘pop’ round someone else’s house made my life a bit less loved and sparkly. Like my Sim’s social bar was in the red zone and you seriously needed to just call up all your neighbours for a chat on the phone just so the damn Sim wouldn’t refuse to leave the house because it was ‘depressed’. Bloody thing.

Aside from all the research into what we believe will make us happier, Post-It have launched a campaign with Katie Piper – the nation’s favourite aspirational role model. Because she is isn’t she? She’s the sort of girl you want to be able to say something mean about and you just can’t, FFS.

It’s called Make It Happen and is basically about believing in making your dreams happen – spurred on by the fact 16 per cent of us apparently don’t believe we’ll ever even coming close to achieving our dreams. Come on guys, bury the self-doubt away in the pit of your brain along with your teenage crushes (Aaron Carter was cute then, alright?) and that memory of that time your Nan showed you her boob (true story).

Katie Piper said: ‘It’s great to have a life plan but we need to ensure that we don’t get disheartened if things don’t go to plan.’ So much yes to this. Just, so much.

I sometimes get insanely flustered by the fact I was supposed to be getting married at 26 and having a baby at 27, which just FYI is like next year. And I know I’m not the only one, I know we all put this insane pressure on ourselves to stick to plans we made when we were like 16. SIXTEEN. Like we were in any place to make mature decisions about our adult lives.

Katie also said: ‘You should never give up on your dreams. Just be prepared to modify them, and continue to keep them at the forefront of your mind as life throws up different paths and challenges. A combination of positive thinking and plenty of support from friends and family can really help you get that bit closer to your goals.’

‘Be brave. Set some small, achievable goals to aim for, and go for them. Don’t give up. Anything is possible.’

So yeah, here’s another attempt from me to be happier, smilier and brighter every single day. I’m writing down my little life goal because once you’ve written it down EVERYTHING becomes more set in stone. Like when you write a to-do list, or a blog post idea on a Post-It (me, every single damn day). I’m going to keep this little note above my desk, next to the flowers and the candles in the hope of it inspiring me to keep focusing on MY goals and MY happiness when I’m feeling a bit eurgh.

P.S. I REALLY like the colour of this coral Post-It note. It’d make the perfect summer nail varnish shade. OK, P.S. over.

This is a sponsored post

Katie Piper Post-it Wall 2

 

  • Charlotte

    wow this post is really applicable to me, my plans didn’t work out and was seriously stressing, it’s only now that I’m learning not to and that the main thing is to be happy! so thanks for writing this post 🙂

  • Loved this post, Hannah. I seriously need to work less hours, haha. Keep it up xx

  • Grace

    I loved reading this post. I – seemingly like everyone else out there according to those statistics – feel like my life would be so much easier if I earned more but you’ve made a good point in saying, is it ever enough for us? I’m trying harder to appreciate life’s little things and the little victories. I like the idea of things like gratitude journals where you write down 3 little things from your day that you’re grateful for, or jars where you write down things that have made you happy on a scrap of paper and put it in the jar to look back on later in the year.

  • nueyork

    I loved this post especially because I believe every single reader will relate to it on some level!

    nueyork.blogspot.com

  • When you talked about everyone frantically trying to make their life goals work from when they were 16…it struck me so strongly.

    Two girlfriends of mine have been through severe depression. They were both dealing with bumps in the road. Things that hadn’t quite worked out, they didn’t feel they were kicking life goals. Tragically, one of them killed herself last year.

    Life is not a race and the only person you CAN be better than is yourself as you are right in this moment. Stop competing with others or measuring yourself against standards that aren’t your own. Pursue your goals and understand that they will change over time. Your life will always be perfect if you choose to see it that way.

  • Really thought provoking post! I can admit that I often think money will make me happier too, bit really I should focus on the less materialistic aspects of life!
    Hannah x
    Hanniemc.co.uk

  • Love this post! The post-it note is such a good idea, it’s a shame my desk is such as mess!
    You should watch the film Hector’s search for happiness.

    xx

  • Laura

    wow! So relevant to how I feel constantly. I emigrated from the UK and I truly would be happier with my family and old friends around..it’s no fun having to start over 🙁 it’s so nice to read that we all think and worry over the same things and I’m not the only one in the world wishing for the extra pennies!

  • I absolutely adore this post and this whole idea is great. I’m currently doing a module on happiness at uni and tons of research shows that as long as you have money to reach basic needs, more money does not make you happier. It is in fact having lots of variety in your life which will help your happiness levels peak more often! x

    What Rachael Wrote

    • hannahgale9

      YES. I totally agree with the basic needs thing – that’s all you need money for. Variety, I like that, I’m going to try and shake things up a bit! x

  • amy

    I’m trying to think what would make me happier but I have no idea. I am poor (8K) so I do need to make more money but not loads more. Would love to be out of debt (still money related). Make great art I’m proud of (I’m a filmmaker). Not work my pointless job on a shop till would be good too. I think just making my life feel it has purpose, I feel my life has been stagnant for the past year so I’m trying to make changes now. Saying that it feels so much harder to take action in life when you have to work full time. I’ll have a few hrs in the morning and afternoon for myself but progression is slow.

  • Wow, its like this post is speaking straight to me!
    I have recently finished Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project and it has really helped me rethink my happiness and state of mind.
    If you haven’t already I recommend you read it NOW WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY!

    Rosie
    x

    http://www.anenglishrosie.blogspot.co.uk

  • Since I have started reading this blog my attitude towards happiness has changed so much. Its ok to want nice things and to want to go on amazing holidays. We need that else we would have no ambition. But I’ve realised I am beyond happy with what I’ve already got and I don’t care if its not as good as other peoples. I am happy, and that is enough.
    xxx

  • Loved this post!

    It’s so true. Yes it is important to have goals and aspirations but it’s also important to live in the now and also put your life into perspective of what you do have rather than what you don’t!

    More people need to adopt this way of thinking because life really isn’t that bad!

    Rachel.
    http://www.1trickpony.co.uk

  • Amy

    Absolutely love this! So so true. It’s always good to remind yourselfthat life is actually pretty awesome and is what you make of it. Great post 🙂

  • Loved this post!
    Lately I have been feeling kind of down and have been finding it hard to turn things around (did not mean to rhyme there :P). But I think this post helped inspire me a little. I think what would make me happier is to just see friends and family more… which is hard when I am literally halfway around the world. So there is my dilemma haha.

  • I love this post. It could not hit the nail on the head more! I don’t believe more money can effect happiness so long as you have enough! And continuously striving for more as your main goal can only be depressing especially as when you reach the target amount you will most likely want more.

    Good luck with your life goal 😀 x

  • Great post Hannah, very inspirational!

    http://www.mintnotion.com

  • Love this, you have the best attitude 🙂 http://kirsty.ws/

  • Lovely post Hannah! I definitely need to take some inspiration from this and just reach for my goals and be a happier person overall
    Reinventing Neesha ♥

  • I’m not gonna lie, I do think more money would make me happier. I have enough to pay my bills, do the food shopping and keep Elsa in nappies, milk and clothes but after that I’m pretty much out. If I had a teeny tiny little bit more I’d be in a much better place. I don’t need 80k though because that’s ridiculous and a bit greedy.

    The thing is, however cheesy it sounds, I have Elsa and I don’t really need anything else. As long as she is happy and healthy then I couldn’t really want for much else. Yes, I am one of those mothers.

  • This post has got me reflecting on goals?! I probably should think of some.
    I also need to go out and buy post-it notes now x

  • I loveeeee your blog. I have been an avid reader the last few weeks :)xx

  • Lynn

    The reason ppl want money is because it does bring all those associated things. If you have a good salary, you can buy a cosy home and travel, for example.

    Research actually supports the 30 hour a week thing too. Apparently, productivity declines after 30 hrs of work, and the 40 hr work week was only created because employers discovered that was the absolute maximum they could squeeze out of employees before they would fall in a heap on the floor. Unfortunately, ti seems like there are very few 30 hour a week jobs around, aside from self employment. And self employment is absolutely not for everyone. It requires a certain marketing ability, and many introverts simply cannot do that.

  • Ciara

    FYI in France you are allowed to work over 35hours/week, there isnt a law that prohibits your from doing so. But, you will always be paid a salary for a 35hr week (Mon-Fri), unless you’re like super crazy and work a Saturday then you either get double time or extra holiday time. Frenchies NEVER work on Sunday which is defo awesome so I guess in comparison to the UK working in France is nicer.
    However, if you are like well educated and stuff, your expected to pull a 50 hour week and not moan about it which is defo cool if you like love your job (me this year) but is awfully depressing and soul crushing if you can’t stand the people you work with or the project your working on (me last year!).
    Having a job you like is defo an important factor for being happy, that and sleeping, <3 sleeping. Being far away from family & friends doesnt bother me so much, it just makes the time spent together more precious!

  • em

    really interesting read!

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