When your name is the Secret Society of Happy People, you get asked more times than you can count: “What’s the secret to happiness?” Well, a nearly 80-year Harvard study finally tells us. If you had to name one key to happiness it would be: Quality Relationships.
The study pointed out it wasn’t about the number of relationships you have, it’s about the quality of them. Meaning, do you feel the people you have relationships with have your back? Do you think they have your best interest at heart? And, since it’s a relationship, you also need to have the same feelings towards the other person.
My challenge is make 2018 The Year Of People
What does that mean? It means spending more face-to-face time with people so you can strengthen current relationships and create new ones.
Here are 5 Ways to kick off Your Year Of People:
No Device Food Time
When eating, with your family or friends, put the devices down, and consider turning off the TV, while you’re eating so you can focus on talking to each other.
Schedule Meet-Ups with Online Friends
If you have online social media friends that you’d like to know better, schedule a meet-up. If that’s not geographically practical then make a phone call so that virtual relationship starts to become more personal.
Reduce Time with Toxic People
If you have relationships with toxic people, the people who don’t fit the criteria of good relationships as described above, start reducing the amount of time that you give them. Time is our most valuable resource. You only get any second once—so how you use it is important.
Make One (or More) New Relationship Friend(s)
Make at least one new friend this year that you’d like to have a relationship with. Friendships are a little like dating – you may meet up with someone a few times before realizing that person isn’t a relationship friend. They may be a social acquaintance, like someone you share a common interest with, like watching your favorite sports team, but not a quality relationship. If you’re weeding out a lot of toxic relationships, you may need to make more new friends.
Be More Social
Spend more time being social than on social media. Don’t take your relationships with your family and friends for granted. Schedule to spend quality time with the people in your relationship circle. Social media makes it easy to feel like we’re keeping in touch with our friends when in reality we just know the sound bite. Although pictures can say more than words, there’s nothing like hearing the excitement in someone’s voice when they are telling you about their fabulous vacation.
One of the things that surprised me on my #HappinessUnites Tour is how many people are rarely on their social media accounts. For those of us using our social media accounts a lot, it’s surprising that some people only check in weekly or monthly. It’s more surprising to learn that some people don’t even have social media accounts.
I’ve also met several Society members on the #HappinessUnites Tour that I’ve had social medial relationships with for years. Our one meeting has made our relationships more authentic, heart-felt and real because we’ve had that face time.
Your goal for 2018 – The Year Of People is to invest your time and emotional energy in the people who matter the most to you. The people you can call at 3 in the morning if your heart is broken. The people that you want to celebrate your successes with. The people that know when you just need to sit in silence – but not be alone.
Even mostly happy people can end the year a little happier by enhancing your people time in 2018.