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Want to be happier? Begin by being good to yourself. That may sound self-evident, but too many people skip this step and try to make themselves happy by chasing ever-higher goalsor holding themselves to ever-greater standards of perfection.

11 simple ways to make yourself happy every day

Ironically, being good to yourself instead will bring you closer to achieving those lofty ambitions, says Daylle Deanna Schwartzspeaker, columnist, and author of 15 books, including "The Effortless Entrepreneur. In fact, the happiest people go out of their way to treat themselves right and they do something nice for themselves each day. They set appropriate boundaries and take care of themselves by saying no to things when they need to.

Not only is being kind to yourself good for your career, it's good for your relationships too, she adds.

The one reason only you can make yourself happy

Schwartz invites visitors to her site to a day pledge to "do my best to do something loving for myself, however big or small. Keeping that commitment will bring real benefits, she says. That is, listen to how you talk to yourself, and the internal tone of voice you use. Mine tends to resemble my mother's in a lecturing mode.

People get into trouble because they try so hard to be perfect and then they beat themselves up when they're not. Loving yourself means accepting that you're stuck inside your own imperfect skin. Schwartz recommends this exercise to start forgiving yourself: "Look in the mirror and say, 'I love you and I forgive you.

For starters, that means accepting the body that you have today. Self-acceptance also means accepting your income and success level as they are, she says. Instead, she recommends asking yourself a simple question: "Am I happy with what I'm doing? This may be easier said than done, but avoid tying yourself to clients, business partners, investors, or employees who make you unhappy.

It's obviously harder to take the same approach with family members, but Schwartz says there's no reason to put up with people saying or doing things that are unkind. But be careful--don't let caring for your health turn into a reason to beat yourself up if you slip. So I bought some and I ate them.

Only you can make yourself happy quotes

I don't beat myself up when I have a treat. Grab something, even if it's just a salad. Neuroscience tells us that letting your blood sugar sink sends stress als to your brain. So if you truly can't stop and grab a meal, make sure you have healthy snacks at your desk. Don't forget that when you're feeling stressed, overworked, or upset, simple breathing exercises can up your happiness quotient dramatically, Schwartz says.

For years, Schwartz never made her bed, simply throwing the covers over it. Now she makes it every day for a simple reason: "Walking into my bedroom when my bed is made makes me smile.

Take the same approach with your workspace, she advises. Make it as orderly as you can.

Neatening up your workspace and getting rid of stuff you don't need will make you feel calmer and more in control, she says. But don't limit yourself to just decluttering. Take it seriously.

1. commit to doing one nice thing for yourself every day.

That's very unhealthy and unloving," Schwartz says. Try to work in a place where you have access to natural light, she advises.

If that's not possible, invest in full-spectrum light bulbs. Either way, make sure to get outside for a walk as often as you can.

Does this sound like you? If you're bringing a bag of coffee to someone else, you pick out a luxury brand in a nice package, but if you're buying it for yourself, you pick the store brand or another inexpensive option. That's fine if you're one of these people to whom all coffees taste alike.

But if you prefer the more expensive brand, you should go for it, Schwartz says. Top Stories. Top Videos.

Here are 11 acts of kindness happy people perform for themselves--and so should you:. Like this post? up here for Minda's weeklyand you'll never miss her columns.

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