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According to a Louis Harris poll, what makes people happiest is family. Next comes health, then personal accomplishments, and friends. Money is fifth, followed by romance, attractiveness, and power.

Keeping those things in mind, here a few that will probably NOT make you happier: a very expensive car, boat, or airplane; having lots of dates with a variety of people; being a rock star, movie star, or professional athlete; or being a genius.

These things WILL make you happy:

1. Being nice to people. Want to get a better job or keep the one you've got? How you treat others makes a difference. Be personable to everyone (particularly your boss).

2. Saving for retirement. Save $5.50 a day, says one expert writing in Men's Fitness, between the ages of 21 and 41. Invest it at 9 percent and have a million at age 65.

3. Enjoying the free stuff. Read a book, write a letter, go on a hike.

4. Dressing a little better. People judge you within the first few seconds of meeting you. The way you're dressed plays a big part in their assessment. "Well-dressed" applies to business, creative, or casual wear.

5. Being spontaneous. Shake up your routine periodically.

6. Getting a pet. Caring for an animal can do wonders for the soul, especially for a single person.

7. Appreciating your family. Married people, on average, are happier. But close relationships with family members and close friends can be almost as beneficial.

8. Counting your blessings. Ask yourself each morning, "what do I have that I am grateful for?" It could be your job, your family, or pizza. Drive the gloomy thoughts away.

9. Keeping your cool. Don't let anyone or anything destroy your peace of mind. Avoid confrontations with rude or angry people.

10. Working out. More than half of the people interviewed said they were happy when they were exercising, walking, or working out.

11. Creating a mantra, a phrase you can repeat for positive affirmation. Buddhists use a mantra to tap into an "enlightened state." It can be as simple as "Life is good."

12. Believing in something. Have a spiritual retreat, whether it's a church, temple, or forest. It's a place where you can clear your mind.



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