West Florida Hospital - December 19, 2017

Money? Nope. Fame? Nah. Good looks? Nuh-uh. None of these things paves the road to finding happiness. What does? Science says you'll have to look inside.

Turns out that personal development is one of the keys to glad feelings, researchers have determined. According to Marist Poll, a national public opinion poll operated by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, “being a better person and weight loss share the top spot as the most popular New Year’s resolution for 2018.” So focus on self-improvement daily, whether it's taking better care of your health, doing things that give you confidence, or journaling to understand yourself better.

Joyful Goal Getting

Yep, we all have a fundamental psychological need to make our own choices, feel a sense of accomplishment, and connect deeply with others. Which is why personal development is ground zero for finding happiness within. And a study of newly graduated college students helped prove it. Those who spent their first 2 years out of school pursuing materialistic goals (think wealth, looks, and fame) were far less happy than students who achieved more intrinsic personal goals, like getting involved in their communities, nurturing close friendships, and working on inner growth.

Inner Happiness Reigns

In fact, the materialistic students' goals actually contributed slightly to their unhappiness. So don't go there! Instead, formulate your own personal development goals, and use these tips to help you achieve them:

  • Believe. Yes, you can do it! In fact, the college student study confirmed that the more committed someone is to attaining a goal, the more likely he or she will succeed.
  • Love. Your life, that is. It's a gift!
  • Laugh. With others.