Sometimes we might experience situations that are so terrible, we think we can never be happy again. But happiness levels can and will change for the better, we just have to know how to do it.

Can setting goals lead us to happiness? Is that enough, or do we need other factors as well?

In this article, a group of professionals studied two sample groups of diverse ages to find out what affects happiness levels.

They observed 2 groups of people during 6 months:

They asked both groups to pursue personal goals.

They told the first group to pursue 4 goals related to autonomy(making their own choices), competence (feeling capable in life), and relatedness ( feeling a sense of connection with important others).

They told the second group to change a life circumstance in a positive way- change where they lived, what they owned, or what they looked like.

Their results showed that the first group, who had increased their feelings of autonomy, competence, or relatedness became happier and maintained that happiness over time.

They saw that when participants of the first group failed to achieve their goals, their happiness levels lowered. This means that success and failure in reaching our goals have an impact on our life satisfaction.

For those who had only changed a condition in their lives, there wasn’t a significant change in happiness.

For this increased happiness to last long, we should continue engaging in our goals, which means we need to put constant effort into our need-satisfying goals.

If we believe that it’s possible to change our happiness levels for the better, and that we can become a happier person, we will become happier.

Setting goals is easy, but maintaining them is the part that needs effort, and that helps us achieve long term happiness.

Having a positive attitude and believing we can be happier than we are now is an important factor in becoming a happier person.

When we adopt a fresh, positive activity, we bring more positive experiences into our lives, which boost our happiness.

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