I downloaded Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project and read it pretty much in one sitting. By the time I got to the end, I already felt happier.
I’m essentially a happy and optimistic person but, like everyone, I have my frustrations and niggles, things in my life that I know could be improved but that I just can’t find the energy to address. I’m a sucker for a project and although Gretchen Rubin says that everyone’s Happiness Project will be different, we seemed to have so much in common so there were lots of ideas there that I could easily adopt.
Feeling inspired, I headed off to http://www.happinessprojecttoolbox.com/, where there are (as it says) lots of resources to help you track your project. I love a systematic approach to things and although it might seem a bit clinical to treat happiness in this way, there’s nothing like recording your progress and being accountable. For me, it’s really motivating.
Gretchen has 12 areas to focus on, ranging from work to marriage, money to vitality. I’m going to take one a day and draw up some resolutions. So far this week, I’ve concentrated on the following:
- Exercise daily
- Use the one minute rule (if a thing takes less than one minute to do, then just do it)
- Have a ten minute evening tidy up
- Tackle a nagging task (aren’t they energy draining)
- Act more energetic – even if you feel exhausted, act like you’re full of energy
- Stop moaning and feeling resentful
- Listen and pay attention
- Do small acts of kindness
- Give hugs
- Spend time together
- Collaborate with others
- Be positive, quit moaning
- Prioritise tasks – tackle No 1
- Fail and thrive – learn from errors
- Find a daily positive
I tend to start off enthusiastic on projects like this, but then get sidetracked and they fizzle out so I don’t know how this one will go. There’s only one way to find out.
So far though, the results have been so positive that I’m extremely keen to continue. Some of the things that I have found myself doing are:
- going out for a 20 minute run on a sunny Monday morning at 6.00am!
- contacting fellow teachers and asking if they’d like to get together to pool ideas and resources (so far with a positive response)
- tidying up for 10 minutes before I go to bed – I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to come down in the morning to clear, clean and tidy surfaces
What makes you happy? Would you start a Happiness Project?