How to Get Happy Now With Your “Bliss List”

Author of our new book, The Bliss List, life coach J.P. Hansen, guides you through the six simple steps to make your own customized happiness manifesto!

From The Bliss List (Reader's Digest Association Books) and

Bliss Board1) Identify your passions. Hansen calls them the six spokes of bliss—spiritual, relational, financial, emotional, physical, and intellectual­ goals. Write these goal types across the top of a piece of paper and then compile your Top 15 Bliss List underneath them.

2) Keep it simple. No shocking revelations? Don’t sweat it. “There were no real zingers on my list. I didn’t discover that I wanted to fly a plane or live in the forest,” Norah Guignon, a subject who followed The Bliss List plan with her husband Chris,  says. “But I did realize money wasn’t as important as I’d thought.”

3) Narrow your list. Concentrate on the top seven goals—you’ll see better results than if you try to pay equal attention to all 15.

4) You can change it. Don’t be afraid to tweak your list as your goals evolve or are accomplished. “My first Bliss List was 90 percent career-oriented,” Norah explains. “Then I read Chris’s, which had a really healthy balance of life, family, and career goals, and I decided to redo mine!”

5) Acknowledge your achievements. Appreciate your successes as you go. “When I looked at my list, I realized that much of what I wanted, I already had. It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have, and this exercise made me feel accomplished,” Norah says.

6) Ask the question. For each future decision, ask yourself: Is this supporting my Bliss List goals? “Communicating what I want out of life gives me confidence to decline offers that sound good but won’t move me toward where I want to go,” says Norah. “Now, I carefully consider every decision instead of going on autopilot and making the same choices I always made in the past.”

Here’s how to make your own Bliss board:

• Pick a surface. Buy a corkboard or poster board from
an office supply store.

• Add inspiration. Attach pictures and quotes that motivate you. Hansen has “Desire, believe, and be grateful” on his and recommends adding the phrase “Or something better!” across the bottom of yours to keep dreams lofty.

• Display. Keep your board where you can see it.

For more about the book, The Bliss List, visit readersdigeststore.com.

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