The reality is that we spend most of our time, in our adult life, at work, an average of around 40 years.  Think about that for a second.  Is it, therefore, reasonable to be happy at work?  Why would you not want to be happy?  Do you want to spend these 40 years being unhappy? The reality is though, is that many people in work, particularly managers are unhappy, which I think is sad.  The following are some top tips that I have found to make me happy at work.

Be grateful for what you have – Every day, I consider and then write down a couple of things what I am happy and thankful for.  The reality is that we are all very fortunate and we need to realise that.  I know, and I can also appreciate that you may have a lot on your shoulders now, but the reality is that you are lucky.  For a start, you have eyes to read this!  We should always start our day with an attitude of gratitude; if we start like this, it gives us a very positive way forward.  Every day, for the next month, first thing in the morning write down two things you are happy and grateful for.  I have been doing this for years and helps so much, particularly when you are going through hard times.

Have a plan and write it down – We need a plan to get us from where we are now to where we want to be.  If you are not happy where you are now, then we need to create a simple plan to where we want to go.  This could be a new career or a new role, or it could be something personal to you.  Have a plan with a simple overall goal and break that goal down into smaller achievable targets with dates.  Then write down why this goal is important to you and really feel how you will feel when you achieve the goal.  Ensure this plan is very close to you, don’t file it away somewhere have it close by and read it every day.

Have a vision board – I have a board in my office with pictures of what I want to achieve.  This could be something you want to buy, such as a car or a holiday.  Additionally, it could be a new job or something you want to achieve in your life.  Find an image that represents that achievement to you and cut it out and pin it on a board, simple.  I always have at least six items on my vision board going on constantly.

Make decisions – Don’t think about things too much, or we end up procrastinating.  This is very dangerous, and if we are not careful, we end up thinking about things too much and then before we know it, those 40 years have passed. Get things done and do the things you fear most, first!  Follow Nike's advice and just do it!

Reflect effectively – At the end of each day reflect on what you have done and ask yourself two key questions.  Question 1, What I Did Well? - ensure you find things that you did well and then Question 2, What Could I Do Differently? - give yourself two or three areas where you could improve.

Remember, you always have a choice.  Many people choose to be negative and decide to be unhappy; this is their choice.  I prefer to think differently, and if you use the above, I guarantee you will start to think more positively.  Remember though we don’t just think like this once or twice, we make it a habit.  Do the above every single day and create a happy state of mind.  Remember, if you’re unhappy you can change your life in an instant; if you want to.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.  You can read more about the management courses Ralph delivers training on including the prestigious Foundation Management Development Programme (FMDP) here.