I’M Susan Scanlan

Aspiring Happy Camper

 

Let me be your guide to: Happy Endeavors

A Year's Quest

A year of happiness challenges broken down into monthly themes. See how five friends fared.

Developing Positive Habits

To make a behavior a permanent habit, you must practice it for 30 days in a row.

healthy meal

A Happy Recipe

Choose a theme that interests you. Read about different ways you can increase your happiness, according to scientific research.  Decide which suggestions you want to try.

runner finishing race

Set Goals

Turn a couple of the suggestions that you liked into actionable goals. Do this by starting each goal with a verb.

rock climber

Check Progress

Use a calendar to check off the goals that you completed each day. Include a face that shows how you feel about your day. A smiley, straight mouth or frown will work.

girls playing soccer

Review Goals

At the end of the month, add up all of your checks for a goal. Divide it by the total number of days in the month. Decide which goals you want to contiue working on and which you have mastered.

Why be happy?

Healthwise, here is what happy people are experiencing:

  • Lower blood pressure and heart rates
  • Stronger immune responses
  • Lower stress
  • Longer lives
  • Less aches and pains
  • Better ability to combat diseases and disabilities

Goals are integral to happiness

Goals have been shown to motivate.  By setting them, you will come up with strategies that will help you achieve. If the achievement is challenging, you will have a feeling of satisfaction when you accomplish the goal. If the the goal isn’t challenging, the feeling will not be the same.

“This one step – choosing a goal and sticking to it – changes everything.”   Scott Reed, Author

Get Started by Energizing

Look at you daily routine. Check out the dropdown menu. Determine what slows you down. Perhaps your diet isn’t the greatest or you sit all day at a desk. Identify a couple areas where you need improvement. Now you are ready to make a couple of monthly goals.

1. What are you drinking?
  • Water – Good! How much?
  • Alcohol – Not so good – How much?
  • Soda – No nutritional value.
  • Coffee – Good as long as sugar isn’t added.
  • Tea – Might stain your teeth, but OK.
2. What are you eating?

  • Fruits and veggies
    According to the CDC, a daily intake of 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of veggies is recommended.
  • Gut friendly foods
    We are talking about foods that the  “good” bacteria in your gut likes to snack on. They include high fiber foods like legumes, berries, and whole grains. Yogurt and kefir are also beneficial because they contain pre and probiotics.
  • Added sugars
    Keep it down!
    Guidelines for Women – 24g/day or less
    Guidelines for Men – 36g/day or less
  • Added salt
    FDA daily recommendation is 2300g or less/day.
  • Processed foods
    These are foods that have been altered from their natural state. The most processed foods are frozen and pre-made meals. It issue with processed foods is that they have added sugar and salt.
3. How much do you move around?

Sitting

Do you sit for long periods of time either at work or at leisure – say watching movies? There are a couple of reasons why this isn’t so good.

First of all, it increases inflammation. To combat this, get up every 10-15 minutes and do something. Even if it is just to get a cup of coffee, this will get your muscles moving.

Secondly, chairs with backs weaken out backs and abdominal muscles. So try spending some time sitting upright without the help of the chair back.

Exercise

The American Heart Associaation would like you to get 150 minutes/week of moderate activity OR 75 minutes/week of vigorous activity. Moderate activity is defined as brisk walking such that you can carry on a conversation. Vigorous activity is defined as jogging or running where you can only say a few words before you feel the need to stop and take a breath.

4. How much sleep do you get?

The World Health Organization and National Sleep Foundation recommend 8 hours of sleep per night for adults. They would also like you to wake up naturally, without an alarm. Perhaps you meet these standards on the weekends or on vacation? Not good enough. Less that 6-7 hours sleep causes the following:

  • Decreased immune responses
  • Doubled the risk for cancer
  • Higher probability to develop Alzheimer’s
  • Increased risk of hardening of coronary arteries
  • Increased risk of depression

Read more

Testimonials

“She always accepts the situation as it is and tries to make the best of it. Most of the time this includes trying something new.”

Kevin

“I can’t belive that they made a SNL character based on my Aunt Sue. They didn’t even change the name.”

Austin

“Susan is always encouraging me to take on new challenges. On game day, she is a cheerleader with her cowbell.”

Caryn

“At first she seems normal, but then if you let her do her thing, she can entertain herself and others in a quirky fun way.”

Mary Meghan

About Me

I try to look at the bright side of life, but frankly am a realistic person. Sometimes a positive outcome may not be possible, but a goodish one will suffice.

I don’t dwell on the past, but look forward to how I can make the future better. That’s why this project is perfect for me. There are so many things I can do to make the rest of my life a happy one. I am willing to explore different behaviours and habits to try. I invite you to come along on my journey.