The habits of happiness

habits of happiness

Gary Lembit

Client insights and analytics

Gary Lembit, Senior Manager Client Insights and Analytics at Perpetual, reveals the secrets of people living happy and successful lives – and the answers may surprise you. 

The pursuit of happiness and success – walk into any bookstore and the shelves will be lined with self-help books promising to get you there.

People looking for guidance on their new year’s resolutions are likely to be swiping their credit cards as you read this. But what if the secrets to a happy and successful life are as simple as spending more time outdoors and in conversation with family and friends? 

These are the findings from Perpetual’s Lifetime Project, where we asked 2,400 Australians about their habits, hopes and dreams. We found a relatively small group of Australians (only 6%) who told us they were happy with life, not troubled by negative feelings, have some success with their plans and have their money working for them. 

What makes these people different? We had a close look at their habits to see what we could learn. 

Walk the talk

When asked what they particularly enjoyed and looked forward to, some 60% said it was being outdoors. The other lifestyle habits that happy people are more likely to stick to are: 

  • Planning ahead
  • Being reliable 
  • Staying in touch with friends 
  • Spending time with family and friends.

They also laugh a lot. And when they laugh others can actually hear them because they spend less time on social media, preferring personal contact. 

Live in the moment

“Life is preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.” Albert Einstein 

We asked whether people would choose to live in their past, present or future. Two-thirds of happy people preferred to live in the present, whereas other Australians were more evenly split, with a third preferring to live in the past. A big part of living in the moment involves taking care of your health. And, as we saw in the Summer 2017 issue of The Private Practice Magazine, physical health becomes more of a challenge as people age. 

So what are the healthy habits of happy and successful Australians? Well, they tend to: 

  • Get plenty of sleep 
  • Spend time outdoors 
  • Eat well 

Habits you can bank on 

These happy and successful Australians also have good habits when it comes to managing their money. Maybe that’s why travel and retirement rate so highly in their plans for the future. 
Here are three of their simple financial secrets: 

  • Getting value for what they buy 
  • Having a financial plan 
  • Keeping an eye on and regularly adding to their savings and investments

Being reliable types, they find sticking to these simple habits makes all the difference in seeing their plans come to fruition. 

Putting it into practice 

Sounds pretty straightforward really but, as we know, habits can be hard to stick to. If the least you do this year is spend more time walking and talking with friends and family, you might find the laughs get louder. 

But don’t have so much fun that you forget about your financial habits. We know they’re not as appealing as a stroll with friends, but a sound financial plan may mean you spend more time walking through the streets of Paris. 

Wouldn’t that be something to smile about? 

The Private Practice Magazine

This article featured in our
Winter 2017 Edition

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