If you’re wondering how to be happier in 2021, we have a little advice for you. Throw away your list of New Year’s resolutions that you usually write at the end of the year and do things that will make the world a better place.
Research shows that New Year’s resolutions are just as popular as they are difficult to achieve. Most of us have trouble reaching our goals. The most common resolutions are losing weight, earning more money, traveling, or changing our lifestyle.
Does it make sense to create a list of New Year’s resolutions every year?
Creating occasional lists of New Year’s resolutions is not entirely pointless. It turns out that every opportunity that synthesizes reflections on your life is ultimately a good thing.
It doesn’t have to be New Year’s. Anytime we reflect on our lives can be good when it comes to making a truly reflective change.
What to do to change yourself and your life for the better and be happier in 2021?
If you want to make a New Year’s resolution that will truly make you happy, think about how you can contribute to making the world a better place. Research shows that this is not only good for the world, but also for you. Richard Ryan, an international expert in motivational research and former psychology professor at the University of Rochester, says this.
Ryan has one more tip: what has been shown to be the most beneficial and perhaps most necessary thing during the COVID-19 pandemic are goals that involve helping others who need it.
According to Ryan, who is also a professor at the Institute of Psychology and Education at the Australian Catholic University, acts of voluntary help to others contribute to fulfilling all three basic psychological needs identified in research: the need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
Autonomy in this context means that you can engage in activities where you feel a genuine will and find personal value. Competence is a sense of effectiveness and fulfillment. Relatedness means working with others and feeling connected to them.
Expert advice is based on decades of research. Ryan is a co-founder of Self-Determination Theory, a broad framework for the study of human motivation and personality along with Edward Deci (also an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Rochester). The theory has become one of the most commonly accepted frameworks for human motivation in modern behavioral science. The starting point is the belief that all people have a natural or internal tendency to behave effectively and kindly.