The New Year celebrations seem a distant memory but hopefully you remembered to set time aside over the holiday period to consider important changes for 2016.
So, what’s going to be different in your life this year?
Whether it’s creating good habits or breaking bad ones, I’ve read somewhere that it takes 32 days to create or change a habit. Regardless of the time period, it takes effort, commitment and organisation to make change happen. If you are in employment or run your own business, it’s worth reading some cracking tips from Andy Bounds in his latest blog.
Why should we change our habits? Well, we all want to do things better, feel more fulfilled and be happier, don’t we? Of course, what constitutes happiness is personal to each individual.
Offering a closer look at the link between wealth and well being, a recent study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK highlighted that life satisfaction, sense of worth and happiness increased with household wealth.
The study showed the size of assets such as bank accounts, shares and children’s savings, which together comprise net household financial wealth, are most strongly related to personal well being.
A recent article in The Telegraph states that several billionaires seem to disagree with the ONS findings.
Matt Haig, the author of a memoir on his battle with depression, ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’, believes “We live in an age which equates financial success with a kind of salvation, but there is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that sudden or extreme financial success offers little immunity to depression. We assume that because poverty can exacerbate emotional and mental problems that it’s opposite, wealth, will lead to emotional and mental well being, but this is not always the case. I think we would have a lot healthier society if we could break the false correlation between wealth and happiness, and if we valued the latter a bit more than the former.”
The ONS study showed that physical possessions such as cars, art and antiques tended to increase life satisfaction among the wealthiest 20%, but otherwise had little effect.
Higher household income tended to improve life satisfaction and happiness, but did not reduce anxiety or boost self esteem.
Here at Blue Sky, we know effective financial planning reduces anxieties and allows people to be excited about the future. It’s not just about the money of course. Financial planning, done properly, is the gateway to greater all round fulfilment.
The key is doing something about it. Now’s the time to create those good habits.
Can you guess what your happiness index is? Try out the Oxford Happiness Survey