Friday, January 7, 2011

My Happiness Project

If you’ve been reading my blog, you probably know that I love any kind of inspiring self help book. I have always loved to read, but when I was younger I would never read anything other than fiction, it would always drive my mom crazy because she never read fiction, she loves inspiring biographies and spiritual books.

The first book I ever read of this variety was Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff. I became very fascinated with the subject of happiness. I have always been a fortunate person, always surrounded by lots of people and love.
Since that book, I have read many others on this subject and other books on how to make life better. It is becoming increasingly obvious to me that this is my life’s passion. How to Make Life Better. I don’t know what to do with this passion, but for now, blogging is a way to help me figure that out.

I recently read, or more accurately devoured the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Upon the first reading, I immediately began at the beginning again. This book is Gretchen’s realization that although she was happy in that she had everything she wanted, she felt like she failed to appreciate her life and enjoy it. I found I could really relate to this concept. I have everything (almost) that I’ve ever wanted, but I don’t know how to enjoy it. After compiling a huge amount of research on happiness, Gretchen picks resolutions for each month to make herself happier.  

This book was so amazingly insightful for me. For instance, she says in it that things that make you happy don’t necessarily make you FEEL happy. For instance, I am happier if I feel healthy and fit. But eating salads and going to the gym don’t make me happy while I’m doing them.

I also realized that things that make me happy are hard for me to do and things that make me feel BAD are easy for me to do. This might sound really simple, but I have honestly never thought of it this way.

Gretchen uses a resolutions chart for each month, there is a box for each resolution and each day, you give a check mark if you did well and an X if you didn’t do well that day. Tomorrow is always a new day.

I have decided to do my very own happiness project. If anyone else would like to do one as well, there is TONS of information on Gretchen’s website:

The first chapter and month in the book is all about energy. Obviously, energy is the key to accomplishing anything, yet a lot of us have a huge lack of energy in our lives. For me personally, it takes up all my energy just to do my 3 hrs a day commute, a 7 hour workday, laundry, cooking, cleaning ect. I don’t have energy to spare to pursue my passions, do as many workouts as I’d like (to make me feel happy…AFTER I’m done) and I really, really hate that! I want to have enough energy to tackle my aspirations.
So, like Gretchen, I am dedicating the month of January to ENERGY!

My resolutions are:
  •  Drink more water
  • Get at least 7.5 hrs of sleep per night (I'm grumpy with anything less than eight, just ask my husband)
  • Move every day
  • Eat more nutritiously  (more fruits, veggies, protein)
  • Get rid of stress inducing clutter in our house
Sounds really ambitious right?! Some of these things might be easy for some people but for me, they are a challenge. I’m great at taking care of others, if I do say so myself, but not so great at taking care of myself.

Honestly, so far I’m not doing too bad! I’ve cleaned out my closet (well, ours, I unfortunately share a closet with my husband) and donated several bags of clothes.  Next, put away Christmas decorations and tackle our paper clutter. I’m getting a bit more sleep the past few nights, at least 7.5 hours. I’m drinking a bit more water and eating a bit more nutritiously.

These things are all things that don’t make me happy when I’m doing them. I’m happy when I’m hydrated, but lets face it water has no taste. Too many times I go to the kitchen for water and end up with a fresh cup of coffee.  Eating a salad isn’t fun but I feel great after. I hate cleaning, but I'm happier when my house is sparkly clean. See what I mean?

Gretchen points out that a goal is something that you complete, like running a 5K or getting a degree. But a resolution is something that you resolve to do every single day. You will have days where you do it and days where you don’t, and tomorrow is always a fresh start.

Reading this book has affirmed my belief that you can "make life better" with small changes. As Gretchen says in the book, "You can change your life without changing your life". I love that statement! I obviously highly recommend this book to everyone, and right now it's available at Costco, at least my location, for around $10.

I would love to hear if anyone else wants to do a Happiness Project of their own or share any tips.

Have a great Friday!



  1. I NEED THIS! YES!!!
    I have heard of the book and have not read it. i will get it this weekend !
    Thank you!
    p.s. I put the makeup remover wipes next to my bed ... so far so good!
    Have a pretty day!

  2. I definitely need to check out that book. Sounds wonderful. Loving your resolutions. Have a fabulous weekend. I am your newest follower.


  3. I know exactly how you feel! I love the idea!

  4. Thanks for reading girls! :-)

  5. What a lovely idea. I like that everyday is a new day, leaving room for those inevitable slips. Kudos!