Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Happiness Project

On a recent trip to Costco I picked up a copy of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I’d read a blog review awhile back by the always-fabulous Chantel Simmons and it seemed like the sort of book I’d enjoy. I’m currently about half of the way though (in July, as each chapter chronicals a month in her year-long journey) and so far I’ve found it to be one of the most inspiring books I’ve read in ages.

Rubin decided that, although she was basically a happy person, she could be happier. And by becoming happier she felt that her relationships with her family, friends, husband and even herself would improve. So she created a plan and each month added five new resolutions that would help her reach her goal. Some were loftier than others (starting a blog or clearing her clutter vs. singing in the morning or wearing a pedometer), but they were all things that she felt she could achieve and make habit-forming.

Throughout the exercise she finds that she is, well, happier. And that the changes she makes really do make a difference. As someone who tackles goals in a similar fashion to Rubin – create a plan, write it down, move forward), I have really been enjoying seeing what works and what doesn’t. And I’ve decided to incorporate many of her resolutions into my own life to see if they might help me be, well, happier.

So far I’ve added the one-minute rule (if you can do it in one minute, don’t put it off) and the evening tidy with great success. I’ve also been working on the no nagging resolution, which I think Shawn appreciates. Some, like singing in the morning, worked well for me, but were not as positively received by my incredibly patient hubby. He’s not much of a morning person and I’m not much of a singer, so that didn’t go so well. Maybe that one only works if you have kids…

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book and to seeing what other suggestions of hers I can add to my life. I think the book offers so many positive suggestions about ways that you can find time for fun, for your passions and for nurturing your relationships – all things that we often overlook and that add to our overall level of happiness. This is definitely a new tool in my healthy life arsenal and I’m excited to continue using it.

Have you read The Happiness Project? What did you think?

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