In my previous post, we discussed creating a life program. So did you take that first step toward changing your life?
If you did, congratulations! How do you feel about the way you’ve described yourself when you are completely happy? Motivated to get to that place, I hope, because your new life program will take you there!
So here is the second step in creating your program:
Now that you have defined happiness for yourself, you need to create a road map, as I call it, that will give you a realistic and effective plan to reach that happiness.
One point that’s important to remember as you begin this step is that your life program is not meant to stress you out. I know life is busy, especially for single people, and your program should be a vehicle toward happiness, not a weight you bear on your shoulders, so keep this in mind as we go through these steps.
Begin by making a list of the five biggest obstacles to you being the happy person you’ve described. But the key is to identify the things in your life that you can control. “Being divorced” is not something you can necessarily change unless you reconcile with your spouse so, although it is something you might want to change, it is a problem that needs to be broken down into smaller parts.
“Being angry about my divorce” would be something more within your control, or “always fighting with my ex-spouse” is another example. But take time to really reflect on these things that are causing you to be unhappy and write them down.
Now you may find that by the end of this exercise, you have made a list that consumes an entire sheet of paper. This is fine, but then you need to pick the five most important obstacles you want to work on. Narrow the list down to the five points you feel are most important to address, because otherwise you will be overwhelmed and risk becoming discouraged.
Simplicity is the key.
Here is an example of what your list might look like:
Obstacles to happiness:
1. I fight with my ex-spouse and I feel terrible afterward.
2. My child is angry with me and won’t talk to me.
3. I have a deep resentment toward one of my co-workers.
4. I want to have a better relationship with God, but I don’t really practice my faith.
5. I’ve dated, but know I’m not ready for a relationship yet and I find that depressing.
These are all things that will certainly get in the way of you being a happy individual, but are quite often never really identified or addressed. They simply become burdens to bear, and many people do not no how to deal with them or get past them.
I encourage you to take time to make your list thoughtfully, and of course while in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament if at all possible. And then we will tackle step three. Count on my continued prayers for you!