Better Habits Can Make You Happy in the New Year

Forget about New Year's resolutions—cultivating good habits in your life is the way to happiness, says New York Times bestselling author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin.

So instead of starting 2016 with a bunch of declarative statements about the things you will and will not do this year, maybe start to think about your habits and how they can make you happy. In Rubin's book Better Than Before, she provides analytical and scientific framework on habit formation and how it can affect change in our lives. Readers can even figure out their own habit tendency. Are you an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner or Rebel? Take Rubin's Four Tendencies Quiz and find out the best way to create good habits in your life.

Even if words like "meditation" and "mindfulness" make you cringe, don't completely rule them out as these habits can lead to happiness, says ABC news anchor Dan Harris. In his book 10% Happier, Harris tells a compelling, but funny account of his experience creating habits of meditation and mindfulness after he suffered an on-air panic attack. Harris believes that meditation helped him quiet the voice in his head that made him second-guess everything.

Whether through learning about your habits or just giving meditation a try, adding just a little happiness is always a great start to the new year. Interested in more happiness? Check out The Happiness Project, also by Gretchen Rubin.

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