Happy New Year!
Can you believe it’s already 2018?! Time sure flies, so we really need to make the best of the time we have.
I’m not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to think of January as a fresh start both at home and at work. I think about where I want to try to be better and little things that make life easier. I guess you could call that a resolution? 😉
Anyway, for this year I have decided I want to start my own Happiness Project! I just finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, (which I found at a used book sale for $3! but you can get a Kindle version for less than $2 as well 🙂 ) and in the first chapter she had me hooked.
“I had a sudden realization: I was in danger of wasting my life…….I had so much to be happy about ……This is my life and I never give any thought to it……..I wasn’t depressed or having a midlife crisis, but I found myself suffering from midlife malaise. Can this really be ‘it’?……..I had everything I could possibly want, but I was failing to appreciate it ……….The words of the writer Collette had haunted me for years : ‘What a wonderful life life I’ve had! I only wish I had realized it sooner’………..all these thoughts flooded through my mind and I grasped two things: I wasn’t as happy as I could be, and my life wasn’t going to change unless I made it change. In that single moment, with that realization, I decided to dedicate a year to trying to be happier.”
As soon as I read these pages, I said “That’s so me!” I certainly like to think of myself as a happy person and I have a great life, but I often find myself wondering “Is this what it’s really all about?”
Especially on those days where I have a crazy, not so enjoyable day at work to come home to get dinner going, just to clean up and get kids ready for bed, sit on the couch, exhausted, for an hour or so and go to bed just to do it all over again. I feel like I live for my weekends. Can you relate?
Well, I want to be sure I’m finding the joy in even the most crazy, not so enjoyable days, and I think my own happiness project is the perfect way to try.
I took Gretchen’s advice when starting your own project and made a list of areas I want to focus on (since I really related to her book, I used a lot of the same areas she had). Here’s what I came up with so far:
January – Vitality
February – Marriage
March – Family
April – Work
May – Leisure
June – Friends
The idea is that each month you come up with a few things in the category and try to add the next month’s list to the previous one.
You may be wondering why I wouldn’t have put family first, but I felt that if I could start with vitality, boost my energy and make it a habit for all of those “jobs” I find daunting while I’m motivated- making lunches, 10 minute tidy in the evening, exercising at home on non-gym days, clearing out the “stuff”, etc. – then I will have more energy, and more time in my day for the important things, and feel – you guessed it – happier!
So here is my checklist for January – which I will check each night to make sure I stay on task (or to see where I am falling short):
- drink 6 cups of water
- workout for 20 minutes at home on Mondays and Fridays (Gym Tues-Thurs)
- meal plan on Sundays for the week
- prep veggies for lunches on Sundays
- make lunches the night before
- 10-minute tidy in evenings
- one-sentence journal
That may seem like a big list, but in reality I feel like I should be able to do these things since I already workout 3-4 days a week, and usually try to drink water throughout the day.
I am also trying the one sentence journal idea since I have tried many times to keep a daily/weekly journal, but I never seem to stay with it. The thought of writing about the day seemed daunting, but then I’d almost get a guilty feeling when I would see my blank (or mostly blank) journal sitting next to my bed knowing that I really do want to capture the everyday moments we have as a family. When I heard about the one sentence journal I decided that’s what I would try – surely I could write ONE sentence about our day and maybe once I get used to that I may end up writing a bit more 😉
So, now you know what my plan for 2018 is, and maybe this has motivated you to try something similar, or to read the book for yourself. Let me know if you’d like to join me in the Happiness Project and we can keep each other accountable!
Cheers to 2018!!