This Year, Retrain Your Brain! Give Yourself the Happiness Advantage.

Why not start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen—as they happen? Then on New Year’s Eve, empty the jar and recall the year’s best moments.

This is an idea that has been floating around in one form or another for some time, and I love this idea for a specific reason. When you relive a positive event, your brain experiences the same good emotions as when the event actually occurred. And starting a habit of taking note of good things that happen retrains your brain over time to start noticing the good things when they are happening. While most of us are laser-focused on the negatives, we can refocus and start seeing the positives. And when you are seeing the positives, what more is possible for you? (Answer: A lot!)

As a family activity, encourage every member of the family to contribute at least one note per week. More if you like!

At work, do it companywide or by department, office or work group.

This new awareness will increase your happiness both at home and at work, and it will give you the happiness advantage.

The happiness advantage is what you get when you are happy. So instead of a mindset that tells you, “I’ll be happy when I lose weight, get a new job, get better at golf … ,” science has proven that it is when you are happy that you will lose weight, get a new job, get better at golf …

As an added bonus, when New Year’s comes in 2014, you can celebrate the year’s positives—with specific memories.



  1. This IS a super idea! In fact I recently discovered that anyone can train their brain to be more positive and happier in only 21 days. Shawn Achor explains how in his book titled: “The Happiness Advantage”.

    I can tell you from firsthand experience the Happiness Advantage really does work! After reading the book it showed me a repeatable process I could use to teach the Happiness Advantage to others. So I started teaching it to my college students, and over the past year I’ve seen it turn peoples’ life around and even benefit whole families who adopted it!

    In fact, I’m so convinced it’s that good that I started a movement to give away The Happiness Advantage book to strangers as a random act of kindness. Through private funding and the small donations from strangers, we will give away 365 books this year (for FREE) and hope to double that number next year. This is my way of spreading the Happiness Advantage, and helping others with a desire to improve their lives. Check out the movement’s website and let us know what you think:

    • Frank — Good for you for starting this project to give away Shawn’s book. I love the book and think it’s content can be helpful to every human being. Let us know how your project is going. Please check in and comment often. Best to you!

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