This is from December. The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Clements wrote about six academics in the field of “happiness research” who took some of their own advice and made changes for the better: Here are the highlights for those without a subscription.

Relish the day — When we get a raise or promotion, we’re thrilled at first, but quickly get used to it. UCSD professor David Schadke’s advice is to celebrate the small things, not just save up the celebrations for big occasions. Also, take photos and buy souvenirs to help you to recall the good times long after a vacation or event is over. For example, when his undergrad school, the University of Texas, won the college football championship last year, he bought T-shirts to help him remember.

Commuting — Studies have shown that commuting is one of our least favorite activities and one of the main reasons is the lack of predictability. This lack of control is what induces the stress. Warwick University professor Andrew Oswald took his own advice and moved closer to his office, reducing his commute from 60 minutes to 20 minutes.

Time with family and friends — Chances are you enjoy seeing friends and family more than you enjoy spending extra time at the office. So why do we take the higher-paying job that leaves less time with our loved ones? Part of the answer is that we sometimes don’t thing about how things will play out over time. We’ll get used to the extra money fairly quickly, but we don’t realize the long-term effects on our social lives. Professor Richard Easterlin from USC used to sacrifice family time for research time, but does that much less now and enjoys the extra time with his family.

Limiting options — Clements writes about a study by Jane Ebert and Daniel Gilbert where participants were told that they can take home an art poster. Some were told they could exchange it if they didn’t like it, others were told that their selection was final. Which participants were happier? The ones that didn’t have the option to exchange it. Gilbert says “When options are open, the mind generates debate. When options are closed, the mind generates satisfaction.” To that end, Gilbert took his own advice and proposed to his girlfriend, who is now his wife. He says that “sure enough, now that she’s my wife, I’m happier.”