Action for Happiness

I want to lose weight.

I want to manage my money better.

I want to start a new hobby.

I want to get a better job.

I want to floss more. (Okay, maybe that’s just me…)

These are some of the common things you’ll hear friends say when you ask them what their New Year’s resolutions are for 2015.

At the core of so many New Year’s resolutions is the simple idea that if we can attain these things, we will be happier. Don’t we all just want to be happier? So that’s what I chose for my resolution this year.

This year, my New Year’s resolution is to be happier.

Did you know that despite technological advances, and massive economic growth, surveys in Britain and the U.S. show that people are no happier than they were in the 1950s?

Action for Happiness

The Action for Happiness Campaign is a movement based out of the United Kingdom, aiming to create a happier society for everyone.

The campaign uses the acronym “GREAT DREAM” to outline the 10 Keys to Happier Living developed from the latest advances in the science of well-being. Here is a summary of the 10 Keys to Happier Living from the Action for Happiness Campaign.

Great Dream - Happiness Poster

It then outlines various simple actions within those ten keys that have been scientifically proven to have a positive impact on one’s happiness levels. For example, the first key is Giving, and research has shown that doing things for others not only gives them joy, but also makes the giver happier and healthier as well.

One action suggested for the key of Giving is to volunteer your time, energy and skills. The campaign’s website outlines why volunteering will increase people’s happiness, where to start, and then gives a number of resources and places for people to volunteer in the UK.

 10 Rules of Social Marketing

Action for Happiness has done a GREAT job of incorporating many of the The 10 Rules of Social Marketing  into their campaign. Here is a quick breakdown:

Fantastic! 😀 Good 🙂 Hmmm… 
Be action oriented Make the behavioural change public Target a specific audience
Recognize the Influences Don’t rush the campaign process
Have a positive net-impact Provide reminders and continuous encouragement
Keep it positive and fun Target the quick-wins

The campaign has done a fantastic job of balancing the informational aspect of the campaign, with the focus of changing behaviours. The campaign is inherently positive, and they’ve been able to keep it light and fun with “happiness facts” throughout the website,  quotes from inspirational figures all over the world, and beautifully designed posters for each of their keys (see below).

Trying Out Poster

The campaign asks everyone to take the Action for Happiness pledge: “I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me.” Moving forward, there’s the opportunity to incorporate more pledges into the campaign for each of the 10 Keys of Happiness. Additionally, adding more personalized reminders and encouragement through emails may encourage greater commitment, since all members must sign up via email to make their first pledge.

The nature of the campaign is that everyone is an audience member, which makes targeting a specific audience a difficult task. Not all rules can be easily applied to every campaign, and for this reason, this rule is in a category of it’s own.

We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love

– Mother Theresa

A fitting quote for the Action for Happiness campaign, and one that can also be applied to Social Marketing in general. A large number of people taking on small things with great love will be what makes the difference.

May your 2015 be filled with happiness!

Bio-Alex (1)

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