What’s Your Resolution for the New Year Success or Happiness?

One way of approaching your New Year’s resolutions is to simplify and boil it down to two choices: Success or Happiness? In this article, we’ll show you why this approach makes a lot of sense and is a great method to use in planning out your goals.

Success or happiness: Pick one

Trying to serve two masters doesn’t always work out. For example, some people pursue success, thinking that success will bring them happiness – and then it doesn’t. Have you ever noticed how many celebrities commit suicide? That should be a major clue right there.

For this reason, a better approach may be choosing one or the other.

1. Choosing success

If you choose success, without the expectation that it will also bring happiness, you prevent setting yourself up for disappointment should you succeed, yet not feel a general sense of happiness in your life. That’s not to say that success won’t bring happiness – for many people it does.

But being realistic, success usually comes at a price. Typical costs associated with success include sacrifice, obligation, responsibility and hours of hard work. Many people who achieve a level of success often feel the cold, hard slap of reality when they realize they’ve taken on more than they bargained for. You don’t always succeed and then it’s party time hanging out on the yacht and enjoying your wealth. Quite the opposite. You usually have the obligation to keep working hard to maintain your success. If you slack off, everything you’ve worked for can come tumbling down before you know it.

Another price that comes with success for some people is having to be away from their loved ones and family, which can be extremely hard for all concerned parties.

For some people, success can also be an elusive target. They can become addicted to achievement. Once they achieve one thing, they’re onto the next. For these people, there’s no stopping and smelling the roses, but instead, life is an endless series of hills to climb and peaks to reach.

Therefore, if you are choosing success as your New Year’s resolution, then your goals should align with helping you become successful. These goals may temporarily put happiness aside in favor of the necessary sacrifices to help you achieve success.

2. Choosing happiness

If you choose happiness, your happiness isn’t dependent on success or failure. When you can truly assess what’s important to your happiness, you may find it can be pretty simple.

Having “enough” may be all it takes for some people to feel happy. A roof over your head. Food on the table. A loving family. Time to spend with those you care about and love. Perhaps it’s time to spend doing things you really love to do, like being outdoors or hiking, creating art, exercising or fishing. These kind of “happiness markers” are especially powerful because they aren’t dependent on outside influences.

Happiness can be iffy when it is tied to success. Success is often dependent on external forces beyond one’s control.

Another choice people make to choose happiness is to switch careers from one that is forcing them to do something they are unhappy doing, to one that makes them feel more fulfilled – even if it pays less. Or they may change careers to have more free time. After all, time is the most precious commodity in life.

Sometimes people work “too hard” for things, that aren’t really as important as they’ve made then in their minds. Once they take a step back and look at the essentials of life, they often realize that they have been a slave to these things, working to keep and maintain them, while not truly feeling happy or fulfilled by having them. For example, some people work excessively hard to support a house that is more than they actually need – they’re mostly working to support a house.

Letting go of these “things” and simplifying life can be extremely liberating for some people and bring more joy into their lives.

Therefore, if you choose happiness as your New Year’s resolution, then your goals should resolve around what ultimately makes you happy, whatever will make the most difference in your life. Then, whether you succeed, fail or fall somewhere in the middle – that’s a separate issue – and you can still feel happy. Your goal is to have what you need to survive while finding ways to find joy in your own life and spread happiness to others.