Personal Development

This week’s #HappyActs: Celebrate the big day with a Happiness Wall!

By | Personal Development

The International Day of Happiness is this week, so have fun celebrating! Make the month of happiness last by sharing Happy Acts all month long! Choose your favorites, or make a commitment to complete every Happy Act – the choice is yours!

This week’s #HappyActs

Monday: Make Someone Laugh

Everyone has someone that thinks they’re funny. Make their day!

Tuesday: Celebrate the International Day of Happiness

Thank you to everyone who contributed to a record number of Happiness Walls! Our last count was 675. What a happy world!

Wednesday: Forgive Someone

This is a chance at double happiness, because this will brighten your day and the day of the person you forgive.

Thursday: Call or Spend Time with a Family Member

Strong family ties have been proven to increase life expectancy, so here’s to your health!

Friday: Hang Out with your Pet

Make this an extra-special day. Buy your pet a special treat or toy, or maybe take an extra-long walk!

Saturday: Support Local

Try out a new restaurant, or visit a local trade fair and check out the artisan offerings.

Sunday: Write Your Partner a List of Things You Love About Them

Does their laugh make you smile? Are they good in the kitchen? Do they have good handwriting? Whether big or small, everyone loves knowing they’re appreciated.

Did you know that free stuff can make you happy? We’re giving you a free 31 Ideas for #HappyActs Calendar, Digital Wall Kit and a Printable Happiness Wall! Download them today to begin celebrating the International Day of Happiness in March at

Get creative to discover new possibilities

By | Personal Development

One of the definitions of creativity is “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.” That’s something our world desperately needs! Thankfully, creative ability doesn’t belong to the select few.

Everyone—regardless of age, hair color, piercings (or lack thereof), style or personality type—possesses the potential to be creative. That’s why we see breakout authors like John Grisham, Toni Morrison, Robert Ludlum and Frank McCourt, who began writing seriously for the first time in their 30s, 40s or later. (We know a woman whose first book was published when she was 93!) Grandma Moses started painting at age 75—and continued creating art until she passed away at 101.

The desire and ability to create and innovate are part of our DNA. But busy schedules, conflicting messages about the value of creativity, and the tendency to compare our creations with others’ (Hello, inferiority complex!) have a way of snuffing out this inborn gift. We want to give you permission to be OK with imperfection and to enjoy the creative process as you play, explore, experiment and, yes, fail. Heck, post a picture online of your lopsided cake, misshapen pottery project, your rejection letter or the warbly video in which you missed a few notes, and join millions of others who have learned to laugh at and grow from so-called failure. In truth, our creative mistakes often lead to new ideas and better techniques—so they can’t really be called failures at all.

Happy Act: Schedule Some Fun!

Make an appointment with your creative, playful self. Set aside time on the calendar this week to do something you enjoy.


The Wisdom of Creativity

Creativity is essentially the act of putting fresh, new ideas into action. Although scientists and artists may dispute the “true” definition of creativity, Shelley Carson, Harvard psychologist and author of Your Creative Brain, explains that creativity must have two specific components: It must be or involve something novel or original, and it must be useful in that it either benefits you or someone else. That benefit could be something tangible, like crocheting a baby blanket to give to a new mom, or intangible, like the feeling of satisfaction that comes from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Or it could be the benefit of reinventing your career—or yourself. When creativity is viewed in that context, we can apply it to virtually any aspect of our lives.

Intertwined with the idea of creativity is the concept of flow. Researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi notes in his book Flow that our best experiences come not when we are relaxed, but when we are exceptionally focused. “The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

Martin Seligman explains in Flourish that we don’t necessarily have good (or bad) feelings while in this state, which scientists define as optimal consciousness. After a period of flow, however, we often feel happier, less stressed and generally more satisfied with life. Flow can lead to better creativity and productivity. It also has a happiness holdover effect that continues even after you return to less exciting or enjoyable tasks.

Happy Act: Do Something That Makes You Stretch

You never know what you’re capable of until you do something that takes you outside your comfort zone. To stretch your creative muscles, try a new challenge. Write in a different genre or format, try cooking a new recipe, work on solving a problem at work. Then, whatever your results are, pat yourself on the back for your efforts.

Five Ways to Get Started

Daydream. Find a quiet space and let your mind wander, question and invent without boundaries.

Be curious. It’s easy to think, “Been there, done that” in your daily routine. Rather than walking mindlessly through your day, take notice of the way things work (or don’t work) in your home or office. Ask, “Why do we do it this way?” “Why do I take this route to work?” “Is
there another way to do this?”

Learn something new. Take a class or find a YouTube video to help you master a new skill. Make a creativity playlist of your favorite instrumental music and allow your mind to wander … and create.

Give yourself time to get into flow. Getting into flow, that optimal state of consciousness, isn’t like flipping a light switch. It requires a bit of time and concentration. To get in the zone, find a quiet place to work or put on music that helps you block out distractions, so you can really focus on your creative task.

Have fun! Play a game, swing with your kids at the park, schedule time for a hobby you enjoy.

Excerpted from Live Happy: Ten Practices for Choosing Joy by Deborah K. Heisz and the editors of Live Happy magazine.

Move with purpose for a long, healthy life

By | Personal Development

People go to all kinds of extremes and expense to hold on to their youth. Yet there’s a simple, healthy habit that will not only keep your body looking fit but also trigger an internal makeover that could add years to your life. I’m talking about exercise.

With a sustainable exercise strategy that focuses on consistency, protecting your body and achieving balance, you can be strong and healthy at any age. You don’t need a fancy gym membership. You don’t have to spend hours a day working out. You simply need to commit to a realistic approach that will keep you looking and feeling your best.

Get moving—and stay in motion.

One of the best ways to achieve a stronger, healthier body is through purposeful movement. It’s an important tool in your fight against disease, mood disorders and early death. No matter your age, you should do your best to move with purpose every day. You need to make it a habit and then stick to it.

As you get older, you tend to become more sedentary. You need to fight this every step of the way. It’s not only seniors who fall into this pattern. Those in middle age find themselves in the same trap. The problem is, the less you move, the less you’re motivated to move. You become lethargic and lose energy. The less you move each day, the more your risk increases for falls, sprains and other injuries. Find ways to stay in motion during the day. Get up from your desk and take a walk outside. Do some gardening. Start your morning with some gentle stretching. Ditch the couch and go run some errands instead. Bike rides, yoga, hiking, dancing…whatever you enjoy. Just get moving.

Give your body what it needs

In your 20s, you were probably aiming for big biceps and flat abs. Don’t worry, you can still have both later in life! As you age, your physical needs change. You begin to lose muscle mass, flexibility and balance. Therefore, it’s important to expand your focus and incorporate strength training and other exercises that will combat these losses and help prevent injury.

The good news is there are plenty of options that will keep you fit and add variety to your routine so you don’t get bored and give it up. These are some of my personal favorites:


Retaining muscle mass will keep you stronger, stimulate bone growth, lower blood sugar, reduce lower back pain and combat stress. And yes, keep you toned and fit.

Weight training and dumbbell presses are effective, and using light weights will get the job done. If you don’t have access to equipment, try planks, knee extensions, squats or sit-backs. Many exercises can be modified and even performed sitting in a chair or leaning against a wall. Do what’s best for your body.


When your muscles and tendons are more flexible, you enjoy increased range of motion and much less risk of injury.

I highly recommend that you grab a yoga mat. Even a few minutes of yoga a day will do the trick. Yoga significantly improves your physical health and transforms your body into one that is firmer, leaner, stronger and more flexible.

You might also try Pilates (a system of low-impact exercises to develop strength, flexibility and balance), static stretching (where you hold a stretch for a designated amount of time) or myofascial release, a type of massage provided by a health professional to improve range of motion and increase flexibility after an injury.


Maintaining your balance becomes increasingly important as you age. Your bones become more brittle over time, so taking a fall later in life can cause significant damage. Aim to strengthen your core to feel more physically centered.

Yoga and tai chi do wonders for improving your balance, but they aren’t your only options. Simple exercises like balancing while standing on one foot or walking heel to toe (with your eyes opened or closed) can help you become steadier on your feet.

Everything in moderation

The best way to keep any good habit going long term is to keep things easy and sustainable. Staying strong and healthy doesn’t have to feel like a full-time job. The key is to implement small, manageable changes. Devoting even five minutes a day to movement and exercise is all it takes to get started. You’ll see results, and that’s when your motivation kicks in and you make that leap to do more on a regular basis.

When you take this approach to exercise, you can transform your body into one that is fit and strong. You’ll not only look younger, but you’ll feel younger and significantly increase your chances of living a longer and healthier life.

4 Exercises to Try


Planks can help tone your belly, reduce back pain, and improve your mood, balance, flexibility and posture.

Lie facedown with legs extended and elbows bent and directly under shoulders; clasp your hands. Feet should be hip-width apart, and elbows should be shoulder-width apart. Contract your abs, then tuck your toes to lift your body. You should be in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for as long as you can.

Knee extensions

Knee extensions strengthen muscles in the front of your thigh and shin and can restore mobility and strength to a painful knee.

Sit in a chair with the balls of your feet and toes resting on the floor. Extend your right leg in front of you until your knee is straight. With right leg in this position, flex your foot so that your toes point toward your head. Hold in this position for three seconds. Take three to five seconds to lower leg back to starting position. Alternate legs.


Squats strengthen your quads, glutes and hamstrings, and many trainers believe help to reduce knee injuries.

Stand as tall as you can with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause. Now slowly push yourself back to the starting position.


Sit-backs stabilize your lower back and help with your postural stability. They can increase flexibility and range of motion.

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your arms folded across your chest. Slowly sit back as far as comfortable while maintaining a flat back, then return to the starting position. Make sure your feet stay in contact with the floor.

Read more: The Healing Power of Yoga

Listen to our podcast: Health and Happiness With Dr. Partha Nandi

Dr. Partha Nandi is the creator and host of the internationally syndicated, award-winning medical lifestyle television show Ask. Dr. Nandi and author of the book Ask Dr. Nandi: 5 Steps to Becoming Your Own #HealthHero for Longevity, Well-Being, and a Joyful Life.

This week’s #HappyActs: Flowers, songs and something new

By | Personal Development

The International Day of Happiness might not be until March 20, but Live Happy wants to make the world a happier place for the whole month of March! Pick and choose your favorites, or make a commitment to complete every Happy Act – the choice is yours!

This week’s #Happy Acts

Monday: Plant a Flower

Put that green thumb to work!

Tuesday: Donate Your Time

This is a great opportunity to start volunteering for a cause close to your heart.

Wednesday: Host a Happiness Dinner

Make sure everyone knows only positive vibes are allowed at tonight’s family dinner.

Thursday: Pick Up Trash

This might not be the most fun day for you, but you’ll definitely be making someone else happy!

Friday: Focus on the Person You’re With

We can all agree this is something we should always do, but today especially, put that phone away!

Saturday: Sing Your Happy Song

Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be in public. But nothing lifts your spirit quicker than a happy song!

Sunday: Try Something New

A new restaurant, a new author or a new hobby. The possibilities are endless!

Did you know that free stuff can make you happy? We’re giving you a free 31 Ideas for #HappyActs Calendar, Digital Wall Kit and a Printable Happiness Wall! Download them today to begin celebrating the International Day of Happiness in March at

How to fulfill your purpose in life

By | Personal Development

One key element of a flourishing life is a sense of purpose, which allows us to find our passions, pursue important goals and ultimately live lives of authentic happiness. Most of us go about our daily lives without actively thinking about what purpose we are trying to accomplish. However, there are steps we can take to develop a more deliberate awareness of our goals and live lives that are filled of meaning.

1. Define your goals

First, be clear about your purpose and intentions: Who do you want to be? How do you want to live? What do you want to do? How are you going to do it? Then explore the roads that lead to your goals and the obstacles in your way. Often, these obstacles will become opportunities for growth and change.

Purpose is about intention—having goals that help build the framework for your plans and fulfillment in life. Those goals can be large or small in scope. If you want to eat more healthfully, you’ll be motivated to buy more fruits and vegetables. If you want to have a positive effect on the environment, learn more about the issues and join like-minded people so you can get your cause on the next ballot.

2. Look at the big picture, then fill in the details.

From the time you are small, those around you—from your parents to the society at large—influence you, tell you what is important and how they expect you to live. While these influences can be helpful, it is crucial to find your own meaning and purpose. The easiest way to begin is to look at the big picture and then work out the small details.

Recently, I began working with a client I will call Kelly. Kelly was raised by a single mother who barely scraped by financially. If it weren’t for the help of close friends and community organizations, Kelly felt she would not be the successful businesswoman she has become. In a big-picture sense, Kelly decided her purpose in life should involve giving back to others. She began to think about ways she could give back. The most obvious was to write a check, but that did not feel like it would fulfill her true intention. After some reflection together, we came up with a plan to give back in three categories: money, hands and heart. The money was the checks she would write to deserving organizations. Her hands would dish out food at a local shelter on Saturdays. Her heart came into play when she aligned with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and mentored a young girl. Her tactical goals led to the fulfillment of her overarching purpose in life.

3. Consult your morals and values.

If you want to live with purpose, you need to understand and explore what you value most. If you value teaching children, you can focus on that area. If you value creating beauty, you can grow a beautiful garden or express yourself through art or music. If you value helping others, we can find a way to make that happen.

4. Use strengths and build up weaknesses.

Often we need the weaker parts of ourselves in order to accomplish what we desire. If you feel stuck in an unsatisfying job because you are averse to risk-taking, work on building up your courage. If you struggle with time management and don’t have time to add volunteer responsibilities you’re interested in, work on your organizational skills and start small with just an hour every other week.

We all want to live a life of purpose. The key is to figure out what in life creates meaning for you, and then create goals and behaviors that support your intentions.

A longer version of this article was first published in the October 2017 issue of Live Happy magazine.

This week’s #HappyActs: Breakfast, games and more!

By | Personal Development

The International Day of Happiness might not be until March 20, but Live Happy wants to make the world a happier place for the whole month of March! Pick and choose your favorites, or make a commitment to complete every Happy Act – the choice is yours!

This week’s #Happy Acts

Monday: Create a List of Goals

Goal-setting is a great way to keep you motivated!

Tuesday: Leave a Happy Note

Has it been awhile since you left a note in your child’s lunch pack? Today’s the day to start it up again! No kids? Let a coworker know you’re thinking about them!

Wednesday: Bring Breakfast

Donuts. Danishes. Breakfast tacos. Bacon and eggs. Biscuits. The possibilities are endless!

Thursday: Take a Break

Even if it’s just for a few minutes, take some time for yourself!

Friday: Learn Something New

Google is definitely your best friend today!

Saturday: Create an Experience

We all get stuck in routines. Break out of the routine today and shake things up with something special.

Sunday: Play a Board Game

Monopoly, anyone?

Did you know that free stuff can make you happy? We’re giving you a free 31 Ideas for #HappyActs Calendar, Digital Wall Kit and a Printable Happiness Wall! Download them today to begin celebrating the International Day of Happiness in March at

It’s time to start celebrating #HappyActs

By | Personal Development

The International Day of Happiness might not be until March 20, but Live Happy wants to make the world a happier place for the whole month of March! Pick and choose your favorites, or make a commitment to complete every Happy Act – the choice is yours!

This week’s #Happy Acts

Thursday: Shake Your Booty

Grab a couple of friends and boogie or strike a pose on your own

Friday: Thank Someone

Surely someone in your life is deserving of thanks. A family member? Your mail carrier? Your favorite coworker? Everyone likes to hear they’re appreciated, so make someone’s day!

Saturday: Treat Yo’ Self

Be a little selfish today. Get dessert. Go to the spa. Play a round on your favorite golf course. Or, go bigger and plan a vacation! Whatever you want. It’s your day.

Sunday: Forgive Someone

We know this one is easier said than done. Make an effort to rid yourself of some negativity and we guarantee you and the person you forgive will both feel better.

Did you know that free stuff can make you happy? We’re giving you a free 31 Ideas for #HappyActs Calendar, Digital Wall Kit and a Printable Happiness Wall! Download them today to begin celebrating the International Day of Happiness in March at

Revamp Your New Year’s Resolutions

By | Personal Development

If you recently set some exciting goals for the new year, good for you! You are among the 45 percent of Americans who took the plunge to write down your goals, and research shows that simply writing down your goals makes you 42 percent more likely to achieve them.

However, as a rational optimist, I need to level with you: research also shows that only 8 percent of individuals who set resolutions actually achieve them. I don’t say this to discourage you, but rather to call you to the mat. 

If you’re struggling to keep your resolutions or have already given up and want to recommit, read on for five strategies to help you make positive, sustainable change in your life.

Narrow your focus

While you might be tempted to tackle 20 new habits all at once, research shows that homing in on just one habit is far more effective. Practice that habit for 21 days in a row until it becomes ingrained; then you can pick up another habit to try.

Understand your motivation

Rather than just pursuing a goal because you feel like you ought to do something, take a moment to connect why you want to do something. To help you do so, check out the Live Intentionally app that helps you prioritize your schedule around your intentions for the day.

Remember that practice makes perfect

Falling off the horse is part of the process; getting back on the horse is where change happens. Cognitive brain training programs like Happify can help reinforce positive thinking and give you new skills to help accomplish your goals.

Use the power of accountability

Consider setting goals with a group or sharing your personal goals with close friends to increase your level of accountability. Social support is important to long-term success and happiness, so tap into one of your most powerful success accelerants by finding friends who share similar goals with you. Apps like MyFitnessPal have built-in tools to share goal progress and to encourage your friends.

Keep track of your progress

While some people love to track habits with pen and paper, there are also a number of amazing apps that can help you see your progress over time. In advance of writing this blog, I decided to test out as many apps aimed at habit change as I could. What I learned through this process was that selecting an app to help me build positive habits was equally as hard as doing the habits themselves. There are about 100 apps on the market, ranging from free to $5 per month, and most look incredibly similar. So how do you know which apps are best? Let me save you some time and energy by sharing a few of my favorites by their core values. If you are looking for a goal tracker that is

• Simple — check out Productive or Balanced
• Fun — check out Habitica or Habitify
• Informative — check out Way of Life
• Good, but expensive — check out Strides or Habitloop

While no app can’t make you achieve your goals, if you are like me, you need all the help you can get. Positive sustainable change begins with mindset and ends with action. Let’s make this the year that we beat the odds and truly stick to our goals and resolutions!

Celebrate a World of #HappyActs

By | Events, Personal Development

The United Nations established March 20 as the International Day of Happiness. To honor this day, Live Happy encourages people from around the world to host their own happiness walls in schools, offices, businesses, parks and other public spaces where passersby can write how they will share happiness with others.

Creating your own happiness wall is simple and easy to do. Look at past Happiness Walls to get inspiration for yours!

Go to today and tell us where you’ll be hosting your happiness wall. You will automatically be entered for a chance to win an exclusive backstage tour at Get Real 2018 in Las Vegas for you and a guest. The best part? Your tour guides will be Nerium Founder & CEO Jeff Olson and Nerium President Deborah Heisz! That’s not it — there will be special prizes awarded at Get Real 2018 to the wackiest, coolest and most eco-friendly walls, so you won’t want to miss out on all the fun.

We need your help to break our record for the most walls ever! Join the movement by adding your Happiness Wall to the Live Happy map and be sure to select that you are associated with Nerium when you register.

Let’s change the world one happiness wall at a time!

Expert tips to find meaning and connection on the job

By | Personal Development

In Marie Kondo’s best-seller, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”, she asks us to place our hands on each thing we own and then ask ourselves, “Does this spark joy?”

From our T-shirts to our teacups, from our books to our pocketbooks — if the item sparks joy, keep it and store it in a place that’s accessible. If it doesn’t, Marie advises we get rid of it.

Now, imagine if we asked ourselves this same question — does this spark joy? — when it comes to our jobs. For some of us, work and joy in the same sentence may seem like an oxymoron, but it doesn’t have to be. Ask yourself these questions: Where do you gain meaning? What at your work leads you to do your best? Where do you find the most joy?

As executive coaches, we believe your job can spark joy for you. When we asked people we were coaching or have coached what brought them joy at work, these were the top five responses:

Be it solving a customer’s problem, coaching an employee or collaborating with a teammate. “There’s nothing better than helping someone to reach their full potential and then watching them shine!”

What can you do?

Lend a helping hand. Don’t ask, “Can I help?” Instead ask, “How can I help?” Offer your guidance not only for work that needs to be accomplished but also for career advice.

Whether it’s giving positive feedback to colleagues or receiving it. “The icing on the cake would be that my work is appreciated and valued by others.”

What can you do?

Recognize co-workers for a job well done — it not only brings them joy and boosts their productivity but also makes you feel good.

Making friends with people at work: “Colleagues who have become friends” and “people who care about your well-being and your work.”

What can you do?

Connect with people you enjoy. Seek out people who fill you up rather than those who drain your energy.

Making a difference by “delivering on a commitment that meets or surpasses the customer’s expectation,” and “creating something bigger than myself.”

What can you do?

Recraft your job. Recrafting means any change—large or small—you can make that allows you to use your strengths even more.

“Joy is being on a team that has a common mission and everyone is giving of themselves to accomplish the same goal.”

What can you do?

Look for opportunities to collaborate with others, even if you work remotely or solo.

And remember, if no joy can be found in your current job, it’s time to put on your explorer’s hat and see what else is out there. Life is too short not to find joy at work.

From the September 2016 issue of Live Happy magazine.