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The happiness index

From our bureaux and correspondents around the world, here’s Monocle’s list of the 50 things to make you happy in 2009.

01 Find your sunny spot – Sweden got it right by making balconies standard on all Funkis-era buildings. Japan’s zoning laws protect the sun rights of residents.

02 Navigate a new route to work – what’s not to love about a silent tram or a fresh bike path?

03 A clean bill of health – while we all love the cool hands of a Swiss GP, we’ve grown to appreciate our annual retreat to the Lanserhof.

04 Start your own recipe book – handwritten like mum’s – and not with your MacBook parked in the kitchen, please.

05 A night at the Asaba on the Izu Peninsula – with three close friends.

06 Catching up on correspondence – on stationery from the Winged Wheel.

07 Spend an evening doing a subscription overhaul – The New Yorker, The Week, AD (Spanish Edition), Casa Brutus and the magazine you’re holding.

08 Build a reading list — from a loved and trusted source.

09 Embark on mastering a new hobby – involving specialist tools, expert attire and a great deal of elbow grease.

10 A day off during the week once a quarter – as good for the soul as a long weekend.

11 Engineer a space to call your own – cut all communications and build yourself a den away from emails, texts and inane interruptions.

12 Lobby for an extra month – we think Extember has a comforting ring to it.

13 Hire an eagle-eye PA – a school ma’amish operational aide will take the tedium out of agenda queries and flight schedules.

14 Engage in a random act of charity – we’re on the lookout for a worthy recipient of a well-intended tax break.

15 Fund a beneficiary – choose an art college and pluck a student ripe for patronage. We suggest a trip to the Lisbon School of Fine Art.

16 Scope out a new local hangout – (club, pub, café, resto) in the style of Taipei’s Dian Qiang, aka Darrly’s Bar.

17 Pause for a real breath of fresh air – Finland’s a good venue.

18 A failsafe fashion combo – featuring a jacket from Piombo, jeans from Anatomica, a Sammler shirt and Tabio socks under a pair of boots from Alden.

19 Boost the economy and create an opening – what job/position does every company lack?

20 Track down a conference you actually want to attend – Monocle’s working on developing its own.

21 Start your day with a naked, bracing dip – the Baltic off Sweden revives our soul.

22 Buy a car you don’t have to fuss over – the Subaru Forester pre-curves.

23 Fill a drawer – with new tees and drawers from FilMelange and Gunze.

24 Create a cosy reading corner – with furniture from Carl Malmsten.

25 Bring about a return to tradition – why not introduce an afternoon drinks trolley circa the Time-Life building 1962.

26 Take up residency in a perfectly formed town – Belluno? Palma? Atami?

27 Invest in a better bed to roll out of – Hästens, Nippon Bed or Dux work best.

28 Overhaul your favourite residence – by commissioning Truck in Osaka.

29 Switch to a bank you can depend on – who came out of this crisis best?

30 In the meantime stuff some money under the mattress – a Japanese pastime to the tune of hundreds of billions in savings.

31 Spend a naughty weekend in Paris – the Daniel, George V and Lancaster get our temperatures rising.

32 Buy a well behaved Shiba-ken – to keep you company in the office and at home.

33 Cut your daily food intake by half – there’s nothing worse than outgrowing your Incotex trousers.

34 Begin and end your day with a new way of washing – seated in a Toto bedecked bathroom with the highest end Neorest washlet.

35 Purchase a cellar of the Bekaa Valley’s finest – ask for tips from Kamal Mouzawak at Beirut’s farmers market.

36 Buy a pencil case from Brooklyn Museum – and go crazy filling it.

37 Go on a grand rail journey – for spring we’d try Spain.

38 Find a new newsreader to fall in love with – it’s a slim field out there.

39 Commission – get Ambush to create a collection of jewellery for day and night.

40 Press play on a perfect soundtrack to start the day – TV On The Radio are sounding good to us.

41 For night music – slide in Osaka Monaurail.

42 Install a superior security system by Secom – especially if you have flimsy London doors.

43 Download a bulletin to inspire and inform you – The Monocle Weekly will hit the digital waves from 28 December.

44 Attract some passes – by wearing some glasses from Facial Index NY.

45 Invite five closest around – for a DVD, Laurent-Perrier and a curry rice weekend on your De Padova sofa.

46 Make an attempt at self sufficiency – go solar, plant a few more things to eat and take up fishing.

47 Make a tradition of becoming a patron of a friendly food emporium – Copenhagen’s Løgismose is the Grønlykke family’s well-cut delicatessen and one of our favourite places for a grocery grab.

48 Get in the blocks for an easy to follow fitness regime – 5km three times a week and 8km on Sunday morning.

49 Start a photo album – shot on 35mm.

50 Set to work planning a compact dream house – on a side street in your favourite city – the timing can be a year or a lifetime.

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