Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your life, be grateful for what you do have. There are many people in this world who are homeless, terminally ill, or without family. Be happy that you have good health, have a roof over your head and have a loving family.

Learn to recognize your negative thinking patterns — then reroute them to a more positive or realistic mindset. Do this with the help of a simple daily log, or work with a therapist to learn cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT has been proven to help people change their automtatic negative thinking into a more positive, realistic thought process.

Define what’s most important to you, and let go of the rest. You can be trying really hard to do everything, when the truth is that no one can. When faced with something, ask whether it relates to what is most important in your life. If it isn’t, you don’t need it.

Do not get into a ‘comfort zone’ and get used to having problems. Do what you can to solve them and get rid of them. It will make you happier and help you change the way you live and think in the moment. When you problems arise it will help you get rid of them as well.

Try practicing mindfulness every single day. Being mindful is being completely present in the moment you are in, from your physical presence right down to your mindset at any given minute. Being mindful can help you identify what you already have and what you are looking forward to fulfilling in your life. It is also an excellent way to keep a handle on your emotions.

Take the time to pamper yourself. If you find that you are not able to find any other way to relax, take a day to make yourself feel pampered. Whether this is a day at the spa or just a long hot soak in a bubble bath, it will surely help you to release the stress of your hectic life.

Do not be afraid to acknowledge your fears and anxieties. Ignoring the problem only allows it to grow unchecked; pretending that it does not exist leaves you unable to adequately cope when and if it does become escalated. Admit that you have concerns, explore your reasons for feeling that way, then allow the negative thoughts to pass.

One of the keys to happiness is success. That is why it is important for you to achieve your goals in order to become happier. This could be work related or something from your personal life, whatever it is, work hard at it. Do not let any setbacks stop you from achieving your goal.

A great way to develop yourself is to try experimenting as much as you can. Don’t be one of those people who watches things happen; make things happen! Experimenting with different ideas allows you to come up with better ones! Once you have come up with these better ideas, you can apply them to achieve a higher quality in whatever you are doing.

Learn how to be proactive instead of reactive. The great leaders in the world, see a challenge ahead of them and prepare to meet it, or even beat it, well before it occurs. Most people don’t live this way. Most react to problems as they come up and then find themselves so buried in immediate needs that they can’t focus on the future. Learn to be proactive and you will free your time for personal development.

Learn to tap into what you have forgotten about yourself. Really take a deep look into your soul and your spirit. Just get a full understanding of who you are. You can’t make any personal changes if you don’t know what you are working with. Take this very seriously, and expect many different emotions to come up in the process.

As mentioned at the start of this article, using the SMART concept of specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound oriented goals, in addition to the tips and advice provided in this article, you will be able to be more effective and efficient in accomplishing your goals on a personal and career level.

Patrick Schwalb contributes articles concerning read more