(Guest post by Kira M. Newman)

Year of Happy

It seems like every day we come across another article in the media telling us the “top tips” or latest “secret” to happiness.

But as happiness researchers will tell you, it’s not that simple. Personality is very stable and behavior change takes a lot of effort. Happiness is hard work, and reading about the “secret” to it doesn’t guarantee you’ll become a guru in a day.

But there are science-backed ways to get happier. Since the late 90s, the field of positive psychology has been turning its attention to happiness and well-being, conducting experiments, taking surveys, and finding truth in age-old wisdom.

Starting January 1, many of those insights will be available to you in The Year of Happy, a free online course. Each week, you’ll get an email with links to readings and videos that should take less than 2 hours – a great way to spend your Sunday afternoon, or to enjoy over your nightly tea. It’s a fun, simple, low-commitment way to get happier in 2015.

The Year of Happy includes happiness habits to practice and a friendly, open community on Facebook to continue the discussion. Each month of 2015 has a theme, such as:

  • Engagement: This month will give you lots of fun and interesting ideas about how to get more into the “flow” of life.
  • Optimism: Learn to challenge your knee-jerk pessimism and you’ll be more successful, more resilient to stress, and more confident.
  • Goals: Learn how to choose the right goals so you give structure, meaning, and a sense of growth to your life.
  • Coping: Learn how to prepare for the worst so you don’t have to fear it so much.
  • Meaning: Discover how to find purpose and meaning amidst the rush, challenges, and minutiae of life.

All the content is already available around the web, but this course gives it structure and organization so you have some guidance on how to proceed in your happiness education.

What New Year’s resolution is more important than being happier? The Year of Happy should help nudge you in the right direction. Sign up here!

Author Bio: Kira M. Newman is a digital journalist who has written for outlets including the Huffington Post and Tech.co. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and the CaféHappy meetup.