By Rob Smith

It is the first Monday of the new year, and this day is usually full of opportunity and excitement for the year ahead. However, with Slack crashing and an announcement of stricter lockdown measures in the UK, perhaps this year is not off to the best start!

This is the time of year when most people are setting goals for the weeks or months ahead. Perhaps you are thinking of starting a new hobbie, maybe you are planning on getting fitter, or perhaps you want to do less of something. Wanting to grow and develop as a human is great, and quite fundamental to our happiness, but also if you have decided to start this year by just chilling out a bit, and going with the flow, then that is great also.

Got me thinking though...

Goal setting, and working towards that goal, is incredibly important for our happiness, but if we are always looking to the future does that leave us forever unfulfilled? How do we balance that out?

Well, practising gratitude is a pretty great way to appreciate where we are, and what we have, so perhaps gratidude combined with working towards a goal, is, in fact, the key to happiness?

Have I just cracked it?

I better quickly check with a few people who might have a more informed opinion on this than me before I start celebrating.

Hmmm, I will ask our two mindfulness coaches, Berni and Jonny, and.....my Dad.

One sec.

Ok so I have just sent them over a quick whatsapp to them all saying 'Hey (name), quick question for you, is Goal Setting + Gratitude the key to happiness?'

Hope to get this cracked, and then life is sorted!

Hmm no reply from them yet. It's 17.01 at time of writing, and this is called The Monday Mob, so I really need them to get back to me so I can figure out the key to happiness and let everyone know, on Monday.

Ok great, got my first reply! From Dad!

Yes Dad I knew you would have some valuable insights on this. 

Let's see what he wrote...

Cheers Dad, well that was useful. At the very least I can rule out my equation from being correct. 

Hopefully, I will get some more help from the others...

Jonny is typing...

still typing....

Ok, now we are talking! Some proper help. Ok Jonny these all sound good and important, but I am looking for the key to happiness, distilled into a short recipe. Oh he's typing again...

Oh wow. Jonny. This is exactly what I was after. Thank you. Can I call you Daddy?

So I guess goal setting is still important...setting goals relates to 'do what matters', (providing you have thought about why you are setting that as your goal in the first place.) 

'Open up' - I guess refers to human connection, loving, being loved, all of that. Nice.

And 'present', well yes that counteracts the forward-thinking goal setting very nicely. 

Jonny, thank you. I finally have solved the key to ha......oh wait, Berni is typing!

Will she agree with Jonny?

Will Berni say the complete opposite, that would be awkward. Let's have a look...

Ok fantastic Berni. This is great, and similar to what Jonny wrote in his explanation. I am going to assume the CAPITALS are the key ingredients, or perhaps you are just addressing what I wrote, but either way:

Key to Happiness = PURPOSE, MASTERY, APPRECIATION

Now, I'm no mathematician, but I kind of remember distilling down equations in algebra. 

I will take, 'Purpose' to equal 'Do What Matters'

'APPRECIATION of the moment' is very similar to 'be present'

and the two additional components we have are 'MASTERY of goals' and 'open up'

so, I think, I can now give you all the key to happiness!

Happiness =

1. Have a Purpose & act on it +

2. Be Present +

3. Master your goals +

4. Open Up

There you go guys, happiness CRACKED!

Enjoy your Monday evening, and if I ever hear my Dad's answer, I'll let you know!

Author MobFit

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