Real Simple Magazine recently did a survey among 2,600 women and men about what would make them happier.

Here are the top results for the women. Click on the above to see the list for the men.


1. A permanently clean home.

2. A luxury trip.

3. A big house.

4. Losing 10 pounds.

5. A great body.

6. Time for themselves.

7. A really romantic relationship.

8. Being smarter.

9. Saying “no” more.

10. A luxury car

Personally, I relate to a lot of these. Particularly #4 (losing ten pounds) and #5 (a really great body) which I think are intertwined. In my case, however, ten unfortunately wouldn’t quite do the trick. But it would be a good start.

I most relate to #6 (more time for myself) and #10 (being able to say no more). Again, I also see these as extremely inter-related. I feel like if I could say “no” more and trim some of the excess obligations from my life I would definitely have more time to focus on the things (and people) that matter most to me.

I don’t really relate to #1 (a permanently clean home). Life is pretty messy. I’ve grown to accept that. And besides, a relatively inexpensive outsourcing of this issue (e.g. a weekly housekeeper) keeps things from getting too disgusting.

I don’t relate to #10 (Luxury Car). I’ve never been that into cars, and as many of you know, I’m not the world’s best driver…so I wouldn’t want the pressure of any thing more expensive to dent and repair.

I would, however, LOVE a car with a place for my purse. I don’t really get why no one has cracked that yet.

Last on my list would be chocolate that actually helps you lose weight. I am not talking about the chocolate flavored diuretics (gross) or the health benefits of dark chocolate…I am talking about something that hasn’t been invented (yet).

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

Men and women, what’s on your “happier” list?

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Julie is the Founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build stronger, more profitable brands.


  1. Tough to argue against any or all of those on this list– men or women; besides winning the “Gadzoonka” million-dollar lottery payday, which could single-handedly take care of a good portion of these lists, if you are asking me what I could go for most in the life that I currently lead, the answer is: a butler/maid.

    I don’t mind the crazy schedules, the getting up early, commuting to work, the errand-filled wkends because my wife & I work full-time, the kids bouncing from party to party, but someone at home that can relieve the stress/pressure of the constant cooking, cleaning, picking-up after, bed-making, laundry-folding, vacuuming chores that are mind-numbing day-after-day, but MUST GET DONE to function.

    That alone PROBABLY allows for: more quality family time; time for themselves; losing 10 lbs (using that “me” time effectively); a clean home; and maybe even some additional romance as both husband & wife/mom & dad might not be so exhausted at the end of, what can sometimes feel like a 32-hour day.

  2. @Ann you are so right. Maybe this didn’t make the women’s list because too often we think that we should be able to do everything on our own. And don’t know always how to ask for help. It’s kind a sexist expression, but powerful that “every one needs a wife”. I’m lucky to have fantastic support at work, but it’s not enough. I need a personal shopper, an organizer, a party planner etc. etc. Oh to be in Hollywood!

  3. @Gregg I hear you. I am constantly wishing for a least an extra 6 hours every day. Although, maybe there is a way to turn the chores into more quality/fun family time. Try and get the kids involved with the cleaning (at least the light stuff like straightening up, setting table, emptying dish washer) and break out the old sticker chart with rewards trick. It also works as they get to be teens. Want those clothes clean? Here’s how to run a wash.


  4. I find the list a bit depressing – might be the weather – but really? Is that it? The furthest these 2,600 people’s imaginations could take them.

    The founder of NLP, Richard Bandler used to say, “How much pleasure can you handle?” He didn’t necessarily mean that in a physical way.


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