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Get Your Happy On: Try Your Own Happiness Project
There's no doubt about it, some days, life just piles it on. Work. Money troubles. Parenting. Divorce. Caring for elderly parents. Losing weight. Cat puke on the rug. The list goes on and on.

We share our lives with partners, siblings, friends, children, even our pets—all of whom can be a source of such joy—and of such stress. 

We spend our lives accumulating “stuff” and carrying around plenty of baggage. We work so hard trying to be all the “enoughs” — “good” enough, “thin” enough, “rich” enough, “politically correct” enough, “beautiful” enough. 

Then one day, it hits you harder than a 290-pound Huskers offensive lineman — but am I happy

It’s a question worth answering.

Happiness is Scientific
Whether or not you are happy is critical to your health and well-being, and to that of the people around you. 

The importance of happiness has been recognized throughout the ages by great thinkers and ordinary people alike. Aristotle put it this way, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” 

The happiness “movement” as Gretchen Rubin, creator of “The Happiness Project” and author of several books on happiness, calls it, isn’t just “airy-fairy” stuff. A growing body of scientific research supports the importance of finding your own happiness and of doing things that make you happy. 
Happiness is not a one-time emotion,
it’s a long-term pattern of action. Your action.
Studies show that as we become happier, we become better people. Happy people are more compassionate, more creative, more energetic, more financially successful, more emotionally and physically healthy. Not only that, but according to a 2008 study published in the British Medical Journal, your personal happiness has a ripple effect. Your happiness can boost the moods not only of the people you encounter, but of people you don’t even know—through 3 degrees of separation!

People who are happy are not immune to “bad times,” but they are better able to cope with them when they hit. Happy people are resourceful, positive, and resilient. 

But happiness isn’t something that just “happens” to you. Nor is it a never-ending feeling that you have constantly. Both historical and modern-day theories of happiness recognize that happiness is not a one-time emotion, it’s a long-term pattern of action. Your action.

As Gretchen Rubin and Aristotle both recognize, when it comes to happiness, it’s up to you to take action to make yourself happy.

So, want to be happy?

Try starting your own “Happiness Project”.
Embarking on your own “Happiness Project” doesn’t mean you have to quit your job as an attorney and Supreme Court law clerk like Rubin did (we could’ve told her happiness is working at a family law firm in Nebraska instead), but what it does mean is that you have to figure out what makes you happy. 

Then, you have to do something every day to make yourself happy.  

Nothing huge. Nothing dramatic. Nothing expensive. Just a little something everyday that makes you feel pleased, content, nurtured.

As Angela Dunne discovered, it can be as simple as looking at pictures that make you smile. 
Creating your own “Happiness Project” doesn’t mean you will never have bad days. As Angela points out in her blog post about her own happiness project, “A Year of Happy,” there really is no magic to it. You simply have to take charge of your own happiness. 

So take a little time for yourself and create new, intentional habits of doing those things that make you happy. Find out what makes you uniquely you. Discover what makes you smile and makes your heart sing. Then do those things. Every. Day.

And while you are gleefully spinning around doing your new little “happy dance,” you just may find that you have touched others, and they are dancing with you.
Parents & Pets
Willie, Oliver, and Mac
We want you to know us. In each issue we will highlight a parenting or pet moment. For our inaugural issue, please meet Angela Dunne’s favorite felines (from left to right) Willie, Oliver, and Mac. Angela combined her love of literature and cats and named each of them after a Shakespeare character. Her cats can often be found in the way on the jigsaw puzzle she is attempting to put together, meowing near the cat treats, or lazing in one of the may cat beds around her home. Angela explains why she prefers her cats some days over her daughters and generally over all other people: “My cats do not talk back, are always up for a cuddle, and are as independent as I am.”
A Year of Happy
I went through my divorce in 2011. It was not a happy year. My former spouse and I reached the amicable decision to divorce together and there were no surprises, nor was there any mistreatment of each other. So as far as divorcing went, I actually had some of the best of circumstances. Notwithstanding, it was a year filled up to the brim with uncertainty, sadness, worry and grief as every part of my life changed.

About this time last year, I decided I would never in my life have a repeat of the year I had just “survived.” I was determined to take my happiness into my own hands and I declared that 2012 would be my Year of Happy. I pulled out a fresh sheet of paper and started writing all of the things I could think of that make me happy. Keep Reading
Coach's Corner
with Susan Ann Koenig
What is yours to accept at this time?

To take the road less traveled does not mean it has to be hard every step of the way. No matter which route we take, we can begin to allow life to be a little bit easier. Not everything has to be a struggle. Read More
Who is Koenig|Dunne?
For over 35 years, the Koenig|Dunne team has been helping people pick up the pieces of their life to make a new start. Bringing a family business back from the brink of financial ruin. Sheltering a child from the conflict of a custody battle. We do this work because its work we know matters.

Whether an amicable collaboration or lengthy litigation lies ahead, we’re the team who will empower you on your path to a better future, from start to finish. That’s a promise. We promise you – we will see you, hear you, and stand by you. Learn More
Guidance when you want it. Strength because you need it.
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