Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Happiness Project


I started reading The Happiness Project last week (thanks to Krystal for the fabulous recommendation!) and I've been inspired to incorporate some of the strategies into my daily life.  If you're not familiar with the book, it's Gretchen Rubin's account of small changes she makes over the course of a year to increase the amount of happiness in her life.  I think one of the greatest things about this book is that Gretchen realizes most people can't embark on some Eat Pray Love style adventure in order to search for their happiness.  Real people have responsibilities and commitments that prevent them from checking out for a year.  Instead, the more reasonable and realistic approach is to make small changes to your everyday life.

Here are the four goals I've come up with so far:

1. Tidy up every night.


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I don't know about you but I have a really bad habit of coming home at night, kicking my shoes off in a pile, dumping the mail all over the counter, and dropping my clothes on the floor when I swap them for something more comfy.  By the time I get around to straightening up on Saturday, it takes me an hour to sort through all the junk.  I've started spending 5-10 minutes neatening up every night and it makes such a difference.  Plus, I feel calmer when I walk into a clean orderly bedroom instead of one that's a chaotic mess.

2. Watch less TV and read more.


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I almost always have the TV on. I like background noise when I'm reading blogs, cleaning the living room, or eating dinner.  Two nights ago I decided not to turn on the TV.  Instead, I ate a quiet dinner, climbed into bed, and spent 2 hours reading.  It was amazing how much more relaxed I felt.  I also felt like I was using my time much more productively.  This is definitely a habit I'd like to keep up with.

3. Be less high maintenance.



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Ok, so I'm not quite as high maintenance as Miss Blair Waldorf, but I can be pretty bad sometimes...especially when it comes to dating.  I expect gobs of attention.  Not in a clingy we need to spend every moment together way...let's be real here, I need my trashy reality tv/drinking and dancing with the girls time...but in a you should probably text me to say hello every day way.  I've recently realized how ridiculous this is and let me tell you, it's decreased my stress and increased my happiness factor exponentially.

4. Do considerate things for others.

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Doing nice things for others always makes me feel happier.  They don't even need to be big things.  Something as small as helping a neighbor with a heavy package, sending my grandparents a letter, or meeting a friend for a drink after they've had a bad day, have a huge impact on my mood.

Have you read The Happiness Project yet?  Are there any small changes you've been making in your life?

8 comments:

  1. These are great goals! I've been wanting to read this book for like ever!

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  2. I love these :) I've never read that book but I definitely had the first two on my list of things to attempt at the beginning of the year (I hate to call them 'resolutions' because I feel like too much pressure goes with that word).

    In December I moved into a bigger apartment that is much easier to keep clean (if that makes sense). Everything has a place and is always in it's place. In my small apt it was so cluttered that I gave up on keeping it clean. Now that it's clean I'm almost OCD about it...I vaccuum all the time and can't sleep at night if everything isn't put away.

    I also turn the TV off more and read. I have a DVR so it's no big deal...I can veg on the weekend watching my shows. But some nights I stay up so late trying to watch my shows and what for...they will all be there a few days later. I feel so much better and more productive at work now that I'm relaxing more at night and getting more sleep.

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  3. Oh wow. I should read this book!! I've never heard about it - until now :)
    Thanks for blogging about it! ox

    <3-Cami from First Day of My Life

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  4. I definitely need to turn the tv off more. I still haven't finished the book and I started it before Christmas!

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  5. Those are great ideas! This book is on my must-read list now! Thanks!

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  6. I'm glad you liked it! I need to revisit my list that I made to make myself happier and less stressed! Ive been struggling lately!

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  7. Awesome and accomplishable goals - I feel like I always set goals that I know I don't have time for. Seems like a neat book!

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  8. I've been making myself pick up at night and I swear I sleep better! I'm not sure if it's just that exhausting or I feel better knowing my house is in order :)

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