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Want to Be Happier? Try These 9 Small Changes

Happiness is harder to quantify than salary or benefits, but you can't truly claim to have a successful career and life without it. Fortunately, it seems that it's the little things that really count when it comes to becoming a happier person.

Over at Inc, author and business blogger Geoffrey James examines the changes we can make to achieve happiness. Here are a few small things we can do every day to change our lives for the better.

1. Start the day with expectations.

"If there's any big truth about life, it's that it usually lives up to (or down to) your expectations," James writes. "Therefore, when you rise from bed, make your first thought: 'something wonderful is going to happen today.' Guess what? You're probably right."

2. Plan and prioritize.

It's easy to get lost in the idea of having too much to do. Before you let stress overtake your schedule, sit down and make a plan for how to attack the problem. Then pick one thing and dig in.

3. Give a gift to everyone you meet.

James isn't talking about an actual present, here, with wrapping paper and bows, etc. Rather, he means giving something to everyone you come across in a given day, whether it's a word of encouragement to a colleague or change to a homeless person. The goal is not just to leave the world a better place, but also to give yourself peace of mind.

The whole list is worth a read, especially in these stressful pre-holiday times. Think of it as an early alternative to New Year's resolutions.

More From PayScale

What Really Makes Us Happy at Work

5 Easy Ways to Pay It Forward on LinkedIn

Is it Time to Quit Your Day Job? Here Are 3 Ways to Tell

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(Photo Credit: puamelia/Flickr)

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