'Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.'

-- John Stuart Mill

Happiness is easily one of the basic goals that most everyone strives for. We ALL want to be happy, but a recent Pew Research Center survey found that only 34 percent of Americans say they are “very happy.”

Another 50 percent call themselves a mundane “pretty happy,” while a full 15 percent say they’re “not too happy.”

Meanwhile, increasing numbers of Americans are struggling with depression, financial woes, social isolation and loneliness. Yet, you have the power to change all of this.

Before we delve into how you can achieve happiness in the New Year, it helps to determine what, exactly, happiness is.

Merriam-Webster defines happiness as “a state of well-being and contentment,” but according to Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates, happiness is about much more than that.

“Happiness is simply you being you. It is what is left over when your mind is focused on its source and your feelings to the contrary are released,” he says.

In the New Year, here are the top resolutions you need to make to bring happiness into your life, for good.

1. Simplify your life

Studies show that the more choices you have, the greater your unhappiness. The more you simplify your life, the fewer choices you'll have to make, and the greater your happiness will become.

2. Express gratitude

Gratitude has been described as the 'forgotten factor' in happiness research, and learning how to harness this factor in your daily life is a simple way to get a lot more out of life.

3. Find your FLOW

'Flow' is the elated feeling you experience when you've just had a completely gratifying experience. Engaging yourself in activities that are challenging, that give you purpose, and that you get positive feedback from (meaning you are successful at them) are key to finding your flow and feeling fulfilled.

4. Release any emotions that are not conducive to happiness

You have within your power the ability to let go of anger, sadness, fear, guilt, anxiety and any other feeling that is not part of your idea of happiness. Letting go is the premise behind the scientifically proven Sedona Method, and it's something that you can easily incorporate into your life in the New Year.

5. Recognize that all happiness comes from WITHIN YOU

Happiness is not a bigger house, a dream job or even a long vacation. Happiness is a feeling that you carry inside of you, and you can have it even when times are tough.

“As you discover that YOU are the happiness that you have been seeking outside of yourself, you discover it is always right within you,” Dwoskin says. “This makes it easier to experience happiness from moment to moment -- no matter what is going on around you -- and it even makes it easier to get all the “toys” that you used to think would bring you happiness as well.”

This is because the more you are able to feel positive and content, the more you will naturally do the things that attract what you desire into your life.

The more you use The Sedona Method to release your inhibitions, doubts, sadness and anxiety, the more things will start to go your way -- and the easier it will be for you to feel truly happy, all of the time.