Happiness Project: Fall 2012

I am not a big fan of the summer.  This one in particular, was kind of a drag for me. One thing I love about myself, though, is that when I am not feeling super happy, I make a plan to fix it. And sometimes I actually follow through!

I did spend most of my staycation running errands, exercising, and generally avoiding thinking about or making a plan to improve my overall happiness. I was feeling relaxed, but still not super happy. Then, on Friday, I had an amazing yoga class and got in to a headstand for the first time all by myself.  It was like a miracle. (Unlike this woman, I was against a wall. I don’t want to mislead you. Baby steps.) When I came down, I said to myself “This is a sign from the universe! If I can do this, I can be happier!”

I spent Saturday completely focused on making a plan, which always involves (1) research (2) a lot of thinking (3) lists.

I started the day with the first of my September meditations. Yup, I am trying it again. Three mornings in a row, I have knocked out 10 whole minutes of meditation. I will do this for at least 10 minutes EVERY day in September. It takes 21 days to form a habit, right? Meditation is supposed to make you happy. Bring it on.

Next up I read The Happiness Project. I have been avoiding reading this book forever. I didn’t think I would learn anything that I didn’t already know, but I did get some inspiration. Gretchen Rubin likes to research, think a lot, and make lists!  We could be buds.

Here were a few takeaways I got from The Happiness Project:

  • I already do a lot of stuff that happy people are supposed to do: exercise, get lots of sleep, eat well, and keep your apartment uncluttered. I really rock in these areas.
  • I don’t have a husband or children so I skimmed those chapters and tried to file away information that I may use in the future. I definitely don’t have to worry about nagging my husband or yelling at my kids less. Another thing to be happy about!
  • Many people apparently struggle with figuring out their real passions and being OK with what THEY think is fun versus what other people think is fun. Nice to know. Gretchen said that if she looks forward to something, then it is something that is fun for her. Now, this can get a little bit confusing when you are kind of afraid of things and have an enormous capability to talk yourself out of doing stuff that you might actually enjoy.  I will keep this philosophy in mind, but I might have to try some stuff that I am not looking forward too. If I discover I never like these things, then I can stop (if I ever get started).
  • I got a great tip to set my computer password to a mantra that will inspire me to love my happiest life. It would be a security breach to tell you what it is, but I did it!
  • For some reason, I keep thinking about how Gretchen tried to start a toy blue bird collection to improve her overall happiness. (She tried a lot of stuff!) I wonder if I would find true bliss if I stepped my collection of toy frogs?
  • I also learned that “the most reliable predictor of not being lonely for men and women, is the amount of contact with women.  Time spent with men does not make a difference.” Hmm..this is interesting.
  • Gretchen made resolutions and tracked her performance on a list. This is right up my alley.  She also has a toolbox on her website that anyone can use to track their own resolutions. Now she just needs an app! I have decided to use Remember The Milk to track my progress because I track everything there, I love it, and I can “check things off” on all of my electronic devices.

I had a lot more thoughts and a couple of lists that I will reveal as September unfolds. Happiness Project: Fall 2012 has begun! Nothing like getting back on the wagon of personal growth. I feel better already!

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