Do your parents, significant others, friends, or even colleagues have tons of quotes and positive sayings around the house? Mine do. Everywhere I went in my childhood home, there was always some form of inspiration. From the guest bathroom to my mom's home office, there was never a moment where I didn’t see something positive.
As I get older, I now realize that besides the interior decorating aesthetic, there was a purpose to having all these posters, plaques, and sayings. My parents were curating a positive environment for our family so that we would always be surrounded by uplifting messages priming our minds to seek out the positives.
And it worked… Growing up I was an extremely happy kid. I had everything I thought I could ever need, but when I shipped off to college something changed. Maybe it was all the money I saw at USC or maybe it was my environment. Not only did I have to intentionally work to continue evolving my happiness, but I wanted to make sure I helped my friends be happier so that we could have the best college experience possible.
Here’s the thing. Just because we want to be happier doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to happen. As a matter of fact, increasing our happiness takes work. For some of us it takes more work than others, but no matter who we are if we want to be happier, we have to put in the effort.
Part of living a happier life requires us to not only surround ourselves with great people but also to surround ourselves with healthy environments. For the sake of this article, a healthy environment is a place that sets us up for success and increases our chances of taking action to live a happier lifestyle.
Let’s break down a typical day for an average person.
According to NPR, the average American commutes 26.9 minutes each way for a total of 53.8 minutes per day. Let’s round up to one hour for math purposes. An average workday is 8 hours. A good night of sleep is 8 hours.
Therefore, a total of 17 hours is consumed by work, sleep, and our commute, leaving only 7 hours each day for us to do whatever we want.
Now that we know the number, we can set ourselves up for success by curating healthy environments where we spend the most time.
It’s important to note that we all have certain areas of our lives where we spend the majority of our time. Some people may work more. Some may sleep less. Some may work from home. Whatever your situation is, think about the amount of time you spend and where you spend it.
If you spend 8 hours at work each day, whether you like your job or not, you can create a healthy environment there.
Put sticky notes by your computer with quotes, phrases, or affirmations.
Put thank you notes from people so you can remember WHY you do what you do.
Place pictures of your family, vacations or your happy place in eyesight.
If you commute via your car, you can set your commute up for positivity and productivity.
Put a smiley face on your dashboard so you always start your commute with a smile.
Listen to a podcast a day and learn one new thing.
View your commute as the pregame of a big sports event. Get your juices flowing as you head into a big game which can be commonly referred to as the office, meeting, pitch, etc. :)
Since we spend 8 hours on average sleeping, we need to make sure our bedroom is primed.
Place your gratitude journal next to your night lamp.
Put a sign directly across from your bed with your mantra.
Read before you go to bed instead of being on social media.
Have a great pillow that you are excited to rest your head on at night.
Set your alarm to have a custom message so your first thought when you wake up is positive.
By doing these little things, you are creating healthy environments that will help you take the necessary actions to begin living a happier life.
Elevate in Action:
Choose one area where you want to create a healthier environment and design it in a way that will help you take action.
About the Author
Jake Kelfer is a lifestyle entrepreneur and life elevator. He is the bestselling author of Elevate Beyond and Elevate Your Network, a high-energy motivational speaker on a mission to inspire millions of people to achieve personal success and happiness. He is the founder of the Professional Basketball Combine which helps NBA draft prospects turn their dreams of playing pro basketball into their reality. He and his work have been featured on Forbes, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NBC Sports, USA Today, Bleacher Report and many other major media outlets. You can elevate with Jake at his website or on social @jakekelfer!