Archive | October 2013

The 24-Hour Happiness Makeover


I think happiness is what makes you pretty. Period. Happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and they reflect happiness. Drew Barrymore

When we’re feeling miserable, it’s human instinct to find the fastest source of happiness in the shortest amount of time. Some people turn to drugs and alcohol for this reason. But there are other healthy options available that you should be aware of. Whenever I’m down, I give myself time for a 24-hour makeover to revitalise my happiness.

This week Happiness Weekly shares a 24-hour makeover plan that could have you feeling happier than doing nothing but sitting in the slump of a depression. If nothing else, it’ll distract you long enough to feel OK again! Your day will be broken down into various parts and activities, try to follow it as closely as you can.

Take the day off work
The best way to make the 24-hour happiness makeover most effective is to take the day off work to complete it. Whether it’s a planned annual leave day or an urgent sick day, make sure you take the time for yourself and ensure your happiness is shining as bright as can be.

Watch the sunrise/sunset
If you live in Sydney (Australia), one thing you must do is catch the 5.30am Manly Ferry (wharf 4) from Circular Quay to Manly and watch the sunrise on Manly Beach. It’s well worth getting out of bed for! The energy around you as you watch the sunrise is magic as fitness freaks pass you by, meanwhile you can relax, concentrate on your breathing and the beauty of a new day beginning. If you’re not in Sydney, any beach where you can see a magnificent sunrise is recommended … if you’re on the west coast, make some time in the afternoon to catch the sunset over the water.

Go for a 7-10km walk
There are three essentials for this walk: water, happy and motivating music and sunshine! Now find a flat path that enables you to be in the sun for half to two-thirds of the time and walk as fast as you can – really stretch it out – for seven to ten kilometres. Why seven to ten kilometres? Because this is enough time to awaken your endorphins, raise your heartbeat and it will clear your mind. Spare some time to race home and have a quick shower before you start the next part of the day.

Take yourself out to brunch
Choose a nice café or restaurant and go and enjoy some brunch on your own. While you do some people watching, pick out the features in those surrounding you that you like. Nice eyes, nice dress, nice suit … whatever it may be. Make sure you choose something healthy on the menu, the idea is to feel as good as possible. Don’t eat too much because feeling bloated will just weigh you down. Perhaps go for eggs or fruit salad and yoghurt. Once your food arrives, go on your phone and pick out something you would like to do this evening – options may be: theatre, going to the movies, watching a stand-up comedian, seeing a concert, going salsa dancing etc. Make it something you really want to do, but generally you can’t find someone to accompany you.

Hit the beauty salon and/or hairdresser
If you’re a lady, you’ll know that nothing makes you feel better than a good overhaul. Have your eyebrows shaped, get a pedicure and manicure, get a spray tan … and once you’re finished in the beautician, head to a hairdresser and have your hair done! Splurge as much as you can afford to make yourself feel as good as possible. If you’re a man, you can keep it simple but do something to a similar effect: have a shave and get your hair done. If you can afford it, and have time, throw in a massage on top of this – there’s no rush!

Relax for two hours
You’ll probably be a little tired from the early start, particularly if you’re not a great morning person – and not everyone is – head home and relax for a couple of hours. Spend your first hour lying down and/or meditating. Make sure you set your alarm in case you fall asleep. If you do fall asleep, let yourself. During the second hour watch YouTube interviews with models, actors, actresses, motivational speakers and other people who inspire you to feel good about yourself. If you can’t think of someone or can’t find a good interview, watching a movie that makes you feel happy may also help.

Listen to music as you get ready to go out
Now turn on some music that you really enjoyed about five to ten years ago. Be shameless. For example, I would choose Spice Girls. Why? Because their music makes me feel happy and it’s all about positivity. Crank it up nice and loud and start getting ready to go out! Take your time, make yourself look as good as you possibly can, if you make a mistake or you can’t do something exactly, give yourself a break – tonight, good is good enough!

Now head out!
Get ready to party with your brightest smile – don’t let anything hold you back. You look fantastic, you’ve had a day off, you should be feeling quite good. Grab something light to eat and enjoy whatever entertainment you chose! Tonight is all about you! If you want something while you’re out, get it.

Bonus tip
If you find yourself with spare time throughout the day, it may be worth contacting a photographer and seeing if you can get a few last minute photos, now that you are feeling a little more vibrant.

Note: It’s important to note that this blog is based on quick-fix activities rather than a long-term sustainable solution to your happiness. It should certainly give you the burst you need! Have fun! 🙂





How to get on with your boss


A good boss makes his men realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could. Charles Erwin Wilson

Sometimes getting on with your manager or boss is the key to success – not just how well you do the job. This week, in celebration of Boss’s Day, Happiness Weekly provides some tips and tricks to get on with your manager and go just that tiny bit further.

Here are some tips for getting on with your manager:

1. Be accountable
Do what you say you will do, when you say you will. Particularly when you’re in an entry level position, if you can prove you are reliable from showing up on time, to sending an email you promised to send, to completing big projects before the deadline – your manager will notice and ultimately it will build trust.

2. Take responsibility
There’s rarely a moment in business where it’s more appropriate to give excuses than take responsibility for things not happening or not being delivered on time – even if it was completely out of your control! Instead of giving reasons, give solutions “I’m so sorry I’m late – please continue – I’ll catch up and get the notes for what I missed afterwards”. You can explain your reasons after the meeting if you’re asked. It may be worth preparing to disclose your solution to prevent it from happening again.

3. Learn to manage people
Everyone needs to be a bit hyper-sensitive of people’s feelings in the business world, part of this is making requests rather than complaining about things or people. The distinction is simple – a complaint is dead-end, where as a request looks for a positive solution. If you’re having issues with an entire team you could say “I would really like some help in how I could work better with *insert team or department here*”. Avoid creating waves, drama and gossip where ever you can.

4. Be solutions-focussed
Sometimes it’s easier to skip the request and go straight to the solution before talking to your manager. Take your proposed solution to your manager so when you explain your issue you can propose a solution. Your manager has more experience so may have an even better solution to suggest, but you can learn and grow from this. Oh yes, and whatever solution your manager wants you to take – it is always best you follow this, whether you agree or not. Always respect your manager’s requests.

5. Be self-motivated
You are responsible for knowing where you want to go and how to get there – be a go-getter! If you share this motivation with your manager, they will most likely support you to get there. Don’t wait for opportunities, ask for what you want. Apply for promotions. Follow your interests and speak to multiple mentors. Interested in becoming a manager? Ask if you can manage an intern or lead a team project. Anticipate your supervisor’s needs and fill them. Identify company problems and find solutions. Speak up in meetings when no one else will. Put in extra hours when no one else can.

6. Be the person you want in your team
Be a positive influence and motivate your team members. Show that you are capable of doing more. Your manager won’t want to be dealing with your interpersonal difficulties, try to stay focussed and make their life as easy as possible.

7. Be a professional friend
You can be a friend to someone and still be professional. Ask your manager how their weekend was, take interest in their interests and join in celebrating their triumphs with them. Put your manager’s needs at the centre of your universe. Ask what you can do to help.

8. Focus on your manager’s strengths
Every manager has good points and bad. When you’re thinking negatively about your manager, your focus will be on their worst traits, whereas if you compliment them and focus on the positive, provide positive recognition, your boss will feel valued and you’ll be more accepted.

9. Identify what they value
Take time to discover what your manager values in an employee. Understand their work style and try to fit in with it. Make sure your actions align with your manager’s business preferences – whether they like to receive email requests for meetings or if they would prefer you approach them, whether they like frequent communication or they prefer you to work autonomously. Identify what your manager likes or dislikes about the proposals you submit.

10. Show that you’re learning
Show that you’re not only learning, but that you’re learning from your manager and that you want to learn. Regularly ask for feedback and be receptive to it. Demonstrate that you have taken any criticism on board and you are taking steps to adjust to it. Listen more than you speak and develop an effective relationship as best you can.

11. Value your boss’s time
When you schedule a meeting, take any clarifying questions you may have with you – regarding any aspect of your work. If you don’t have any, don’t take up more time than necessary. Shout your manager an occasional coffee for the meeting. Making the most of your meetings enables your manager to accomplish work without regular interruptions.

12. Be forward thinking
If one of your proposals isn’t accepted, realise it is because your manager is more aware of resources, time, goals and vision for the organisation. Don’t take it personally and avoid giving an emotional reaction.

What do you do to get on well with your boss?

Awareness days this week

This week is a huge week for awareness days. We have:


SockItToSuicideSock it to suicide

This day encourages people to wear bright coloured socks or stockings in their workplace, school or just around the community to raise suicide awareness for the White Wreath Association.

The organisation is trying to raise $20 million to lay the foundations to create White Wreath’s Safehaven Centres for those who are experiencing suicidal tendencies.

More information about these centres can be found here.


week-without-violenceWeek without violence

The YWCA Week Without Violence campaign is happening on 14 October – 20 October and raises money for domestic violence in Canada and America. According to the American Medical Association, more than 20% of women in the United States have experienced intimate-partner violence, stalking or both. The organisation focuses on eliminating racism and empowering women.

For more information click here.


NationalNutritionWeekNational nutrition week

National Nutrition Week raises awareness and supports the community to look at how food and lifestyle choices impact on health. In a world where 366 million people have diabetes this is a very important day.

The food and lifestyle choices we make impact on both our health, and the health of our planet. With childhood obesity rates now around 25% and with Australians identified as being among the highest producers of waste globally, we need to address these issues urgently. Nutrition Australia raises awareness and supports the community to look at these challenges during National Nutrition Week. This year’s theme is Project Dinner Time – Cook, Eat, Enjoy.

For more information about this day click here.


BosssDayBoss’s Day

Boss’s Day, also known as National Boss Day or Bosses Day, is a time for many workers to appreciate their employers. It is annually observed in the United States on October 16, or the nearest working day.

Some people give their bosses cards, gift certificates, or flowers on Boss’s Day. This observance is becoming increasingly popular in various workplaces. It has received both praise and controversy. What a great idea!

For more information about Boss’s Day click here.

How to regain your dignity


Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. Aristotle

Taylor Swift said it in her song ironically titled “Better than Revenge”: No amount of vintage dresses gives you dignity. Well, damn, there goes that plan! So how does one regain their dignity when they feel they’re at a rock-bottom low? Well, kids, it’s time to clear your closet of those vintage dresses, this week Happiness Weekly and Relationship Free look at how you can regain your dignity.

Read the full article here.

How to find your dream job

i love my job

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Marianne Williamson

Are you one of those people who hasn’t been able to settle into a permanent role? Each year you find yourself looking for something new? Office politics is just too difficult to handle? I’d love to be handing you a manual right now telling you how to deal with office politics, but unfortunately there’s no formula – some people are great at staying out of harms away, while others seem to attract it like moths to a flame.

That endless job-searching treadmill can actually get exhausting, especially when you’re qualified and experienced but still working in junior roles because you don’t stick it out for whatever reason. Let’s start thinking long-term, beyond just being employed because we all know being unemployed is more depressing than the job hopping treadmill itself! This week Happiness Weekly helps you find your dream job – or at least narrow down what your dream job may be.

Step 1 – Take a Myers Briggs personality test
Even if it’s just for your own personal interest, a Myers Briggs personality test may be what you need to figure out a little bit more about yourself. Are you Introverted or Extroverted? Are you Sensing or iNtuitive? Thinking or Feeling? Judging or Perceiving? The first time I did this test was 11 years ago, and I recently did it again to see if I was in the right place for me – and surprisingly I got the same result – turns out I’m the same person, which means I probably work the same, react the same to the same kinds of conflicts and I want the same things in life. It also helps me in working with other people – if you can figure out their personality types, they can become easier to work with.

Step 2 – Know your passion
As you may have figured out, my passion is helping people, but the idea of counselling people directly and studying for five years to hear eight hours of problems every day makes me cringe. But knowing my passion has helped me know what sort of organisations I may like to work for – ideally they would be not for profit organisations with an emphasis on mental health and wellbeing in their work.

Step 3 – Look at your history
Look back over your job history and know where you want to work. For example, working for an organisation with a caring culture was more important to me than working somewhere with a cut-throat corporate culture. Work/Life balance is a lot more important to me than the mega-bucks. Looking over your job history and working out what has worked for you in the past and what motivates you is really important in assisting you with your job search.

Step 4 – Combine past and passion
Now here’s the key: combining your passion with your experience and qualifications. Once you have worked out the type of organisation you want to work for, and you know your experience and qualifications – you just need to go out there and marry the two up! I know that is a lot easier said than done, but if you can find a job that is looking for the two combined, you could find yourself working in your dream job!

Step 5 – Do your own search
Don’t rely on job boards, you’ll be competing with thousands of people. Start your own proactive search. Contact people directly. March out there with confidence and motivation to make the difference you can in your field. Apply through standard job boards such as Seek, MyCareer and CareerOne but also network as much as you can. Approach companies directly with your ideas and your resume and see what they may be able to offer you.

Step 6 – Apply for the job
You may not always land an interview when applying for your dream job, but you could still apply and work towards it in the meantime. You need to buy a ticket to win the lotto. Be in it to win it! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. The worst that will happen is you don’t get the job, but then you’re no worse off than you were to begin with. Keep applying and be persistent.

Good luck on your quest to landing your dream job!

More motivational quotes:

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” Pope John XXIII

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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