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Staying Happy in Everyday Life: Look Forward to the Little Things

Updated on July 9, 2020
Lisha C profile image

Lisha loves to describe her own experiences with the hope that they might help or resonate with others.

Happiness is contagious.
Happiness is contagious. | Source

What Makes Me Happy?

I often stop to think about what it is that is making me happy in the current moment. I realized that most of the time, it is because I am looking forward to something. Life instantly becomes much better when there is something to look forward to. And the best thing is that it is not only the actual event which is enjoyable; the entire time leading up to it becomes exciting.

A Short-Term Purpose

Looking forward to things helps to divide our time into portions. This is a useful outlook as it gives us almost a target or a time frame. If there is something enjoyable coming up, we hardly think of anything which follows. Our enthusiasm shifts to the particular event; it's like marking the days off on the calendar.

It is very hard to work continuously; we all need frequent breaks from our routine lives in order to recharge. Our daily lives may be monotonous, and at times, even exhausting. Having something to look forward to makes it much easier to deal with and also gives us a bit of motivation. There will always be thoughts like, "The sooner I get through this, the sooner I can do that."

We all have things for which we wait in anticipation. When we are feeling low, it helps to remember these things, however insignificant they may seem.

The Joy of Looking Forward to Things

As a child, finding something to look forward to was quite simple. Things as small as waiting to watch a favorite cartoon or to eat a favorite candy gave so much joy. I can remember the days at school when I was so excited to get back home, just because I knew that my favorite ice-cream was sitting in the freezer. As we got through our school years, there was a standard list of things that we longed for—the occasional holiday, birthday parties, fun school events, the end of our exams and, ultimately, the vacation or break at the end of each year.

As adults, since we have more significant problems, it sometimes feels like we need bigger things to keep us happy. Things like trips and events usually get us excited; when there is an upcoming trip or event, we can sometimes hardly think of anything else. In the case of a trip, the excitement starts with researching possible places and choosing the perfect destination. There is then a lot of planning and preparation required—booking the tickets, preparing the itinerary, finding the best hotels, listing out the tourist spots, shopping, and so on. All this keeps us busy; any spare time goes into preparing for the trip. As we count down the days, our excitement increases. It helps to brighten our mundane lives and makes the days seem to pass by faster.

Be Happy.
Be Happy. | Source

Look at the Smaller Things

As thrilling as these big trips or events are, we can't plan such things too often. We usually need to find happiness in the simpler things in our lives. There are probably numerous things that we are waiting for, whether we are aware of it or not.

One of the common things that most of us wait for every week is Friday. It is something that helps get us through the week—waiting to kick back and relax after many a hectic day. And if there are some specific fun plans for the weekend, even better.

There are many examples like this in our everyday lives for which we wait.

We wait to:

  • finish work for the day.
  • meet loved ones.
  • watch a new episode of a favorite show.
  • watch a movie.
  • visit, or order food from a favorite restaurant.
  • read a book.
  • write an article.
  • tend to a garden.
  • go home to a pet.
  • receive a salary.
  • catch up with friends.
  • workout or go for a run.
  • go shopping, or receive a package or delivery.
  • try a new recipe.

Make It a Big Deal

Find the small things in life that make you happy and try to genuinely acknowledge these things. It may seem like making a big deal out of very ordinary things, but honestly, if it could make you happier, there is no harm in doing this. You could even combine a few of these small things in order to make them even better.

For instance, instead of watching a much-awaited movie alone at home, call over a few of your friends or family and enjoy it together. You could get some delicious snacks or try cooking something together beforehand.

Or, if you prefer to watch movies alone, do so in a way that will bring you maximum satisfaction. If you have the option of watching it on a bigger screen, use it; don't strain your eyes unnecessarily by squinting at your phone. Treat yourself to your favorite dish or enjoy a glass of your favorite drink while you watch the movie.

"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you'll look back and realise they were big things."

— Kurt Vonnegut
Find the little things that make you happy.
Find the little things that make you happy. | Source

Make It a Routine

When we think of the word 'routine', we usually picture our boring, monotonous schedules. However, we can also make a routine of the activities which we enjoy.

  • If you enjoy cooking or baking, make it a point every weekend to try a new recipe, or to perfect an old one.
  • Plan a weekly/monthly meet-up with friends to enjoy and share your joys and troubles.
  • Make a list of movies that you would love to watch and then frequently make your way through this list. You could even have a regular movie night with friends or family.
  • If you like to exercise, join a gym or class where you can enjoy your workout, or try not to miss going for your daily long run.

Whatever it is and however small it may seem, try to make it an activity that you eagerly await as you get through your hectic day. We can very easily turn simple things into wonderful memories.

Share your happiness with your loved ones.
Share your happiness with your loved ones. | Source

Enjoy the Moment

When the time comes, forget all else and enjoy the moment to the fullest. Be happy doing whatever it is that you love. Don't waste time and spoil the experience by worrying about the future.

We might feel a bit dejected when it is over, but this just means that it is time to look forward to the next thing. If there is no such thing in the near future, it's time to start planning!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Lisha C


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    • Lisha C profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisha C 

      11 months ago

      I am delighted to hear that this article made you happy, Rachel. Thank you for all your lovely comments. Always appreciate the little things and stay happy!

    • profile image

      Rachel Alba 

      11 months ago

      I love this article. it's encouraging and makes me happy just to read it. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I will be thinking about them often.

      Blessings to you.

    • Lisha C profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisha C 

      12 months ago

      Mental satisfaction is definitely important for us to enjoy our lives. Thank you for commenting, Rajan, I appreciate it.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      12 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      These are very useful tips and suggestions to stay happy. Having things that one enjoys to look forward to certainly provides a lot of mental satisfaction and happiness.

    • Lisha C profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisha C 

      12 months ago

      Glad you thought so, Liliane. Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image


      12 months ago

      This is a good reminder. Clear, simple and to the point.

    • Lisha C profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisha C 

      12 months ago

      I'm so happy that this article helped you, Anny. I feel like my purpose with this article has already been served! Thank you for commenting.

    • Lisha C profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisha C 

      12 months ago

      It is indeed a great way to live life happily. Thank you for your comment, Linda.

    • Anny W profile image

      Anny Taylor 

      12 months ago

      Thank you for writing this! I could really use an article like this right now!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      12 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I like your advice very much, Lisha. Looking forward to something can make life enjoyable.

    • Lisha C profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisha C 

      12 months ago

      I'm glad that you have learnt to concentrate on your inner self and have found this joy in your life, Mary. You should continue to live this way and enjoy life to the fullest. I appreciate your comments.

    • Lisha C profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisha C 

      12 months ago

      I am delighted that you found this article helpful, Miebakagh. Thank you for commenting and letting me know, I appreciate it.

    • Lisha C profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisha C 

      12 months ago

      Yes, Liza, everyone needs the occasional reminder to appreciate even the little things. It's great that you are following some of these things in your life. Thanks for your comments.

    • Lisha C profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisha C 

      12 months ago

      Thanks for your kind comments, Pamela. I'm glad you liked the article. We really do need to be grateful for even the simple things in our lives.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      12 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Lisha, I like the points you brought up here. Celebrate the little moments. They are worth it. Ever since I placed my focus, not on the external things but my inner self, I experience more profound joy.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      12 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      lisha, this is vital. i found it helpful in many ways. thanks.

    • lizmalay profile image


      12 months ago from USA

      Great tips on how to find happiness. I think everyone needs this right now. Actually, I was practicing some of the activities or tips you have given :) Thanks for sharing.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      12 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Lisha, I really like your suggestions for being happy. I have thought living with gratitude is the healthiest and best way to live for a long time. I think your article really is uplifting with excellent ways to live and be happy.

    • Lisha C profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisha C 

      12 months ago

      Thanks for your comment, Liz.

      I'm happy that you feel this way. 'Count your blessings' very aptly describes what I was trying to express.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      This is a very positive and upbeat article. It puts me in mind of the advice to 'count your blessings'.


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