As we approach the end of 2012 I’ve been reflecting on my year of continual research into the scientific studies being reported on throughout the world on positive psychology and well-being.

One of my concerns about positive psychology and the well-being movement is the potential for people to get the impression that the very idea of wanting to live a more happy, flourishing and prosperous life is being over-analysed and over-complicated.

The Value of Happiness & Well-Being Research

In the defence of the research that can at times appear to be looking for ways to validate the bleeding obvious, the reality is that what the research is showing us, is that for years, a high number of people have been thinking, acquiring and acting on ‘things’ that they believed would make them happy, when in fact often, it is what causes reduced happiness and a reduced sense of well-being.

As I reflect on the growing amount of research studies and their findings in the worlds of positive psychology and well-being, there is one key concept, especially as we are about to start the new year of 2013 that I recommend you focus on.

While I’ve written and posted blogs on this previously, Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research outlined in her book “The How of Happiness” that confirms it is our proactive and intentional actions that will help us live more happy, flourishing and prosperous lives, is where I will be focusing much of my attention again throughout 2013, and I recommend you consider this as well.

Intentional Resolutions

As you plan for 2013 and you set or reconfirm your life goals, make sure that you’re focused on ‘doing’ things that will positively influence your sense of well-being. Usually, but not always, this is about planning shared experiences with those you love… your family and friends.

It’s also about focusing on the aspects of your work-life that increase your sense of well-being. That doesn’t mean ignoring the often essential bits of your work that you may find laborious, mundane or not that inspiring. Remind yourself on a daily or at least weekly basis of what you’re grateful for about the work role you have.

And while we’re on the topic of gratefulness, which I blogged about yesterday as well, (must be the Christmas Spirit) remember to at least weekly stop and reflect on what you’re grateful for in your personal life – what you’ve acquired, experienced and on those whom you love.

What will be your planned, proactive list of intentional actions in 2013 that you will commit to now to help you and those around you make 2013 a happy, flourishing and prosperous new year?