Your December Action Plan: 10 Ways to Live a Simple, Happy Life

UPDATED: December 1, 2017
PUBLISHED: December 1, 2017

Your Action Plan is a monthly to-do list of tips straight from SUCCESS magazine—10 things you can do right now to improve yourself and your life.

This month, make simplicity your No. 1 focus. Blow off some steam, take a risk for your own happiness and start preparing your next move.

1. Listen.

If you feel uninspired by your current career or life path, maybe it’s time to switch up your schedule. This week, take a new class, hit a networking event—try new things until something sparks. 

Read: How to Find the Thing That Gives You Joy

2. Find your strengths.

Strengths are different than skills. Take an online strengths finder test to see where you are, where you need to improve and what possibilities are available to you.

Read: The SUCCESS Guide to Simplifying Your Life 

3. Risk it.

Seeking happiness takes courage. Be willing to risk it all for that one thing that keeps you up at night. Failing is better than never trying.

Read: How Jennifer Hyman Is Disrupting the Way We Get Dressed

4. Define happiness.

Developed by studying the happiest countries in the world, happiness is found at the intersection of pleasure, pride and purpose. Visit to measure your happiness.

Read: What You Can Learn From the Happiest People in the World 

5. Prep then step.

Before starting your next project, draw up a concrete plan for the vision and direction. Prepare before you launch, but don’t prepare so much that you’re afraid to take the first step

Read: To Reach Your Next Big Goal, Follow the 10-80-10 Rule

6. Get real.

Finding time to be completely alone with your thoughts isn’t easy. Carve out just three minutes a day to make space for whatever thoughts arise.

Read: What Happened When I Took a Vow of Silence

7. Name your fears.

Change is scary, no matter how much we crave it. When you’re on the brink of a new endeavor, identify the specific emotions you’re feeling. It will help you understand and control them.

Read: How to Get Comfortable With Uncertainty

8. Don’t give in.

’Tis the season to stress out. Not you, not this year, though. When things don’t go as you planned them, adjust your perspective to one of gratitude for the time with loved ones.

Read: 4 Science-Backed Reasons Gratitude Brings You Happiness

9. Let loose.

Anxiety can build up and cripple you. Blow off some steam by checking out an anger room in your area or signing up for an obstacle course race.

Read: How Breaking Things Helped Me Deal With My Anxiety 

10. Show empathy.

If a member of your team struggles with prioritizing tasks, pair them with someone who can see the big picture. A successful team requires complementary parts.

Read: 3 Ways for Leaders to Be a Calming Force


This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.