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Does A Happy Family Equal A Happy Life?

Life Hacks to Have a Happy Life: 12 ideas to improve family habits, achieve work life balance, and be happier.

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” Benjamin Franklin


Everybody wants a happy life. So stop. Take a deep breath. Are you one of multitudes of parents around the globe,who read this weekly column? Then you have most likely scuttled your child or children off to school and are feeling excitement at the prospect of getting back into a routine.

In many areas, including our new locale, children have been back to school for a few weeks.

However, there is something about Labor Day (in North America) that signals a time for fresh schedules and new beginnings. It signals the end of the lazy, hazy days of summer and a new found resolve to get into creating better habits.

Habits are what shape our reality. We either sit in a place of contentment with that reality or we look for ways to improve our life, overcome challenges, and achieve work life balance.

When we make it our goal to seek to be happier and inspire others, all things are possible. We can have a happy life.

Back to school time is a wonderful arena for the creation of new habits. We are conditioned to associate this time of year with new beginnings.

The average person spends a minimum of 13 years in school. Many of these are formative years. For those people who complete post-secondary, that is at least another three years in school.

We ascend into adulthood with the programming that September signals starting a new grade, having new teachers, and getting into new routines. Why break bother breaking the programming?

With this in mind, below are 12 ideas – life hacks – for a happy life that includes both the creation and embracing of new habits.

Some of these are mine and others come from my Organize Your Life Students.

I would love to hear which one of these you find helpful in attaining a happy life with your family. Please post on my blog or on my Facebook Fan Page.

  1. Give Yourself a Few Weeks – New schedules and new routines take time to adjust to. In our home we have all of our kids starting new schools. We moved 10 days before school started and are making many adjustments. Being patient with so many new schedules is imperative and so is remembering that all things are possible with the right attitude and a little time.
  2. Commit to Eating Together – Studies show that families who eat together five or more times per week have a lower rate of adolescent drug and alcohol abuse. Having meals together as often as possible creates grounding for everyone. In our house, we also do not allow mobile devices at the table.
  3. Schedule Individual Dates – Everyone in the house needs to feel special to live a happy life. If you are a single parent with multiple kids – or live in a busy household – it can be challenging. Whether it is a twenty-minute date to play Barbies or simply a trip to the skateboarding park, schedule in at least one date per month with individual children and your partner.
  4. Plan The Night Before – In our home Chris and I, and now Avery, sit down and pull out our planners the night before. We review the next day so we can stay organized. On Sundays we all sit down and go over the week. When you organize your life well, it helps to increase your personal power and the belief you can have it all too!
  5. Lunch Time Love Notes – If you have a teen – or a partner – a love text will suffice. For younger children, write a little post-it note and put it in their lunch.
  6. Leave Your Phone Off During the Commute – It is tempting to return calls or even check texts before pulling out of the driveway or on Bluetooth while driving. The Commute is an opportune time to really connect with your kids. Put your phone away if you can.
  7. Shut Down the Technology an Hour Before Bed – Studies show we have a tough time shutting down our brains when we try to go from a screen to falling asleep. Create a rule in the house that all screens are off an hour before bed. EVERYONE will sleep better.
  8. Create a Job Sheet – A busy house can be a chaotic house. We have a job sheet with a monetary value assigned to each task. For example – unloading the dishwasher – fifty cents. The children who are the most motivated do the most work…much like the real world! At the end of the week, our kids are allowed to spend a portion of what they have earned and the rest goes to tithing and savings.
  9. Sunday Night ‘5’ – In our home we have a rule that on Sunday nights each one of us has to purge, donate, recycle five items. This helps to keep clutter at a minimum.
  10. Relinquish Control – If you have younger children in the house, let them decide what activities to do. As parents, we can drive ourselves insane trying to program every aspect of our family’s lives. Give your kid the reigns and allow them to be the ‘boss’ for a half hour or an hour. Surrender your need to have to know and just go with it.
  11. Day Planners for All – Teach your children as soon as they are old enough to write, how to plan and schedule. An “organize your life planner” can be a tremendous asset for any person of any age – adult or child! Have them write in family birthdays, holidays and special events. An organized child becomes an organized adult.
  12. Exercise Together – This is an excellent time of year to find a family activity such as cycling, hiking or training for a ‘fun run.’ Being active together as a family creates long lasting memories and promotes healthy habits.

PS – during our summer hiatus, Chris and I re-located our entire family. It feels good to be back. I encourage you to connect with me on Facebook on .

Susan arms crossed black shirtSusan Sly is a balanced living expert and work life balance personal coach.  She is an author, speaker and self made millionaire.  She has appeared on ABC Family, the CBN, written for Dianne Magazine, Oxygen Australia and many more.

Susan dedicates time to philanthropy and projects that benefit women and girls all over the world.  She is married to her best friend, Chris, and together they have five beautiful children.


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