The Happiness Project


The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is one of my all-time favorite books! Not only was this memoir full of fascinating quotes and statistics… it captivated my TYPE A – list it/plant it heart. :o) While reading through this book, I was convicted and inspired… often on the same page.

The full title reads, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. While riding a bus home on a dreary day in NYC, Gretchen had an epiphany, “The days are long, but the years are short,” …”Time is passing, and I am not focusing enough on things that really matter.” Then and there, she decided to embark on a yearlong happiness project.

Like most people, including Gretchen, I have a pretty great life. I have a healthy marriage; two beautiful children, all my needs are met, and I get to have my dream job… homemaker! {grin}

Like most people, I could be happier. I could take time to enjoy small pleasures. Soak in the fleeting moments of my babies being babies. Deepen relationships. Stress less. Love more. Aim higher. Lighten up. Play more. Make friends. Pursue passions. Pay attention. Show gratitude. Be present.

One of my life mottos is a quote which states:

“Where ever you are be all there.”

 For some reason, this has always proved difficult for me. It’s easy for me to plan for some hypothetical scenario way in the future and let the present slip away.

I want to change that. I want to be happier … where I am. It’s not up to anyone else but me.

As a wise fortune cookie once said,

“Look for happiness under your own roof.”

 Moved by this book, I have chosen to take on my own happiness project of sorts. As the author notes, everyone’s happiness project will look different. However, many of the topics she covers in the book are areas in which I can improve. I figure there is no need to reinvent the wheel; therefore, I am following her outline.

January’s focus is on boosting energy and vitality.

I am going to need energy to accomplish the things I want to do, live life fully, and feel happy while doing it.

Here is how I plan to do it (I will be tracking these with a handy little chart from Gretchen’s website):

  • Go to bed by 11PM – I am a night owl and could stay up much later but I need to rest.
  • Rise to rest – I want to wake up 30 minutes earlier to have a quite time before the kids wake up… I am sure that will go a long way to feeling happier throughout the day.
  • Exercise better – Complete Julian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. Everyone knows exercise goes hand in hand with boosting energy and vitality!
  • Keep a food journal – keeping on track with my food is important too!
  • Take my vitamins – B12 and Vitamin D for energy!
  • Toss and organize – keeping a clean, organized, streamlined home cut’s down on housework and stress… leaving more time to do things that make me happy.
  • Apply the “one minute rule” – don’t postpone any task that could be done in less than one minute.
  • Observe an evening tidy-up – less stress and chaos in the morning… more peace, love, and happiness.
  • Tackle a nagging task – unfinished tasks drain you and make you feel guilty.
  • Act more energetic – in other words… “Fake it until you make it.”
  • Use my to do list – productive people tend to be happier.
  • Unplug- social media and technology makes a great servant but terrible master. I want to unplug a bit throughout the day to focus on and enjoy real life.

I will let you all know how this experiment goes. I am really excited to give it a shot.

I highly recommend this dynamic book!!!




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