While I was on traveling to Mexico, I picked up a book while waiting in the Buffalo airport.
“The Happiness Project”, by Gretchen Rubin
It was the best purchase I have made in a REALLY long time. The purpose of my trip to Mexico was really just to get away for a week and relax. I needed to find my happiness and energy again and with everything going on at home, that just wasn’t possible without escaping – for a brief moment.
As I laid on the beach, I read about Gretchen’s year long happiness project with goals and objectives that she set every month for herself, to maximize her own personal happiness. I knew right then, that I wanted to modify her happiness project to fit my own life and try it out for myself. I have always been extremely interested in human development, positive psychology and emotional intelligence; all areas I focused and studied thoroughly for my undergraduate degree in Human Development with a concentration in Psychology.
Since I didn’t want to wait until January 2017 to begin my Happiness Project, I decided that May 1, 2016 would be the best date to officially begin. I reworked the goals and objectives that Gretchen set for herself to fit my lifestyle and maximize my happiness. Since I am not married, nor do I have children, I modified months where Gretchen focused on her marriage and spending time with her children. I personally enjoy being creative and traveling, so I added those objectives to my project and took some of the objectives that were more important to Gretchen. After a lot of self reflection and discussion with Matt, I decided on the following monthly resolutions:
Organization – Clear My Closets (boosting my energy)
Myself – Sing in the Morning (working to be a better person)
Significant Other – Quit Complaining (working on my relationship)
Career – Launch a Club/Organization (working on career and leisure)
Friendship – Remember Birthdays (cultivating friendships)
Challenges – Don’t Be Afraid to Fail (challenging myself)
Money – Buy Some Happiness (spending/donating money to boost happiness)
Spirituality – Contemplate the Heavens (considering matters of spirit)
Creativity – Imagination Will Take You Anywhere (focus on creative projects)
Literature – Read a Novel. Write a Novel (spending more time with books)
Travel – To Travel Is to Live (take an unexpected trip)
Happiness – Feel Good. Love More (finding psychological shortcuts)
Some of my monthly resolutions where VERY similar to Gretchen’s. I made the same goals and objectives, just envisioned a different way of obtaining them.
Tracking my Goals
I keep talking about goals and objectives… so how am I tracking mine? Well I am making sure that each month I set multiple obtainable goals that I can reach and track.
For example, here are my goals for the month of May:
- clean my closet
- tackle a nagging task
- restore, maintain, organize
- identify the problem
- find everything a place
- do laundry daily
- tidy up before bed
Purpose of my Happiness Project
So why I am I blogging about this? Well first off, I was really inspired after I read Gretchen’s book. I found it relatable in many aspects of my life. I think professional organizations, associations, companies and even entry level professionals would all benefit from reading this book. You are a more productive person, and therefore employee, if you are a happy person.
Second off, I always enjoy a good challenge. I decided to blog about my Happiness Project because I know that by sharing it with others, it would also hold me accountable. I would have to track my goals and share my progress because others would now know what I am up to. Having that accountability might be what keeps me from being lazy one day and failing at reaching one of my goals.
Finally, and probably most importantly, my purpose for starting my own Happiness Project is to bring more HAPPINESS into my life! Who doesn’t want to be a happier person? When you’re happy, you touch the moods of others around you and infect them with happiness too. I might not always be a walking beam of sunshine, but I do know that I could use more positivity and happiness in my life – come on, who couldn’t?? I wan’t to learn to say “no” to the things that I am not so crazy about, and “yes” to what I am truly passionate about. How about just discovering what those passionate interests actually are??
I have high hopes for the outcomes of my project and I know with the love and support I have, it will be a success – but it’s all up to me.
Sooner than later,