Happiness. It’s such an ambiguous concept. Many have claimed to know the key to happiness or asserted they found an unlocked door and stepped through. A lot of self-guide books, online publications, magazines, articles, whatever it is, you name it, have compiled various lists of sure-fire things to do to make you happy. These lists always include charity, giving back, exercising, spending time with family/friends, etc. But they also include abstruse things such as: avoid regrets; live in the moment and the like. These things won’t make you happy because regret comes hand in hand with living. And sometimes all you need to do is remember the past so you wouldn’t repeat it. So what will actually make us happy? Nobody really knows, but these are 11 unconventional ways to turn your life around.

1-Document the moments you most feel happy

If we remember to write down the moments we most felt happy, it will be easier for us to pinpoint what actually makes us happy. We will get to figure out what was common between all these moments. Write down whom you were with, what you were wearing, where you were, what the conversation was about, what happened that day, how you were feeling and why you were feeling it. And then recreate and repeat.

2-Recognize what you have for what it is

This includes tragedy, heartache and loneliness. Don’t just recognize the positive things in your life. You should admit the negatives as well because the more you are in sync with what makes you sad, the more you will be able to change it.

3-Stop comparing your life to others’

Stop looking at the lives of people around you and think that this is how you should live yours. Happiness is not the same to everyone and not everyone will be happy the same way. If you keep comparing your life to others, you will never have the time to figure out what happy looks for you.

4-Plan your day

Upon starting a new day, take 10 minutes to know what you want to accomplish today. Start small and set realistic expectations for yourself so you wouldn’t get disappointed.

5-But be open for spontaneity

Planning your day gives it structure, but it’s also necessary to leave some things to chance. If you found your day plan changing, consider the possibility that it might be changing to the better.

6-Choose the best unhappiness

There are situations in life when you know you won’t win and no good outcome will come of it. You have to choose your own particular unhappiness carefully when that happens. Just because there is no good outcome, doesn’t mean you don’t get to pick the best of the worst.

7-Be honest

Try your best not to lie, even a small lie. There is no such thing as a small lie or a white lie. Lying takes its toll on people because, it makes you feel like you have something to hide or it’s not okay to feel like that or be this way. Whatever you do, whatever you say, own it! If you don’t want to tell the truth, then simply say that you’d rather not answer. Be a person who is unafraid to present a candid version of themselves to the world.

8-Travel often

It doesn’t have to be to the destination of your dreams or to places that you can barely afford. It doesn’t even have to be outside the country. Just take the time to discover the country you are already in. And if you can’t experience new places, then find one place where you feel at peace and go there as often as you could.

9-Time off

Once a week, schedule some alone time. And if you can’t unchain yourself from all your commitments, then make it once a month. You need to rewind and be able to ponder your life in peace without any background noise.

10-Finishing Your Tasks

To-do lists and itineraries are underrated. It feels rewarding when you check off the day’s tasks one after the other. The key however, is to avoid wishful thinking. Set convincing expectations for yourself and don’t try to fit everything in one day.

11-Stop obsessing over being happy

This obsession will only drive you insane. Happiness doesn’t have to be in the next step or the one that follows it. Happiness is right here within you, but you have to reach out for it by taking small steps everyday.

Alas, nobody should ever declare to have found the key to happiness because one key won’t fit all.