January.

Time to get fit, wealthy, and happy.

Gyms at the multicultural centers are packed to the gills. Millions of brains are sizzling with attempts at positive thoughts and success affirmations. The pens are working faster than ever writing down goals and action plans. Heh, the more creative folks are busy crafting and gluing their vision boards.

I doubt there is another month in the year that carries so much hope with it!

If you think I am about to bash them all, think again. When it comes to January, I am a pro:  pro-health, pro-goal-setting, pro-vision boards.

Yet according to U.S. News, by Friday this week, almost 50% of us will have stopped working towards our goals. By the end of February it will be close to 80%, and by the end of August over 90% of us will have quit our goals. Main reasons? Too many goals, too many changes, too many points in the action-plan – it all equals to too much stress.

But what if you had time, motivation, and energy only for a 1-point action plan? What should that one activity be that will make you fitter, wealthier, and happier? Even if you drop everything else?

Is there a short-cut??

According to studies, there is. And it’s not in diets and exercise regimens, second jobs and investment portfolios, and not even in vision boards and affirmations.

It’s something simpler, something that has been a central part of our lives for a long time, until quite recently – until the age of the internet.

The one thing that the infinite pool of knowledge and forums and platforms on the internet cannot give you is … a social network.  

The real one – with real faces and books, with real connections and real people.

Researchers at the London School of Economics, as well as at the American Psychological  Association agree that when it comes to happiness, you can sum it up in 3 words:

OTHER PEOPLE MATTER

The very thing we seek from social media is the very thing it is trying to replace: connection with others, or the sense of inclusion, or feeling of belonging. Yet someone pressing a like button on your picture does not a connection make. It might get you excited for 2 minutes, but like fast food, these connections provide instant gratifications, and in the end, will leave you feeling heavier and hungover.

Thus, if you were to take one action every day towards your happiness, it is this. CONNECT with another person. Make it your daily goal.

Choose one person you know, and reach out to that person.

Call.

Visit.

Text.

Send a snail mail, and the joy will land on the other person’s life when he/she most needs it.

Beware of that tiny whiny voice in your head that says, “But that person has not called ME!” It’s but a sign that you have chosen the right person and the time has come because the ones who don’t reach out need your touch the most.

What do you say? Easy.

You are in my thoughts, hope all is well. That’s it. No intricate mind games here, no lengthy sales scripts, no ulterior motives – just a touch of the life of another.

It’s your relationships that have the power to increase your level of happiness. And when you are happy, you will make savvier financial decisions, you will make healthier food choices, and according to Psychology Today, happy people achieve more of their overall goals!

So remember, when you get connected, you are giving a gift of connection to others, and that’s a miracle of happiness, which will bring your goals closer to you.

Give, and you shall receive!