The Happiness Project in Practice

A short time ago I wrote about discovering Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.
In that post I spoke about a couple of ideas gleaned from her blog that I would implement while waiting for the arrival of my reserved copy of the book at my local library.

The first was to Spend It Out with regards to books, library ones specifically.  I have restrained myself reasonably well.  I’m not on a 100% success rate, but have reduced the piles substantially.  Admittedly I have sneakily managed to use Miss Oh to get a surrogate library fix by looking for interesting books for her bedtime reading.
Still, some improvement is better than none.  This one will be staying.

The second was to use the Gratitude Journal.  This worked well for the first month and then gradually fell by the wayside.  It may be resurrected at a future date, but for now it has been consigned to the “maybe” file.

Since that post I have received and am currently reading through The Happiness Project.

It is a nice read so far and a personal journey through the process of intentionally paying attention to the amount of happiness and what generates it in your life.

I am just about to start on June, so I am about half way through the book.  I have found that I share some traits in common with Ms Rubin and have already instigated the sensible resolutions detailed in January.  For those unfamiliar with the book or blog, January is the starting month and it begins with a focus on boosting energy.  The premise, as obvious as it may be, is quite correct – you need energy sufficient to carry through on any subsequent resolutions you may choose to make.  It is also the area with which I currently struggle the most, and therefore it makes the greatest impact on my daily happiness level.   An 8 month old son who is not ready to make the transition to sleeping through the night (by which I mean from any time around 9pm to any time around 6am – a glorious dream I still hold dear), is playing havoc with my energy level.  Sleep deprivation is not a pretty sight and is not a fun thing to live with or around.

I have signed up at The Happiness Project Toolbox and have begun the process of tracking my resolutions.  Yes, I am the sort of personality that likes to make task lists and tick them off as they are done.  If you are interested in my progress, or decide to join and throw out a Group Resolution, then you can find me here under my other online alter ego.

So starting a week ago I started tracking my desire to have more sleep, and this week I am starting to tackle my lack of regular exercise.  And, as I pretty much concur with the entire set of Ms Rubin’s January resolutions, I will also be undertaking my own version of her “Toss, restore, organize”, “Tackle a nagging task” and “Act more energetic”.  Each resolution joins the ones that go before it, so last week was a focus on getting more sleep, this week it continues on and is joined by my resolution about exercise and next week I will be venturing in to decluttering as well as maintaining the other resolutions.  You get the idea.

So far I have enjoyed the book very much.  It is not strictly a “how to”, it is a memoir of a life enhancing experiment, but it does make a useful guide with examples of what you could do.  Clearly much thought and research went in to the process.   There are items that would not serve any useful purpose in my life, but there are also many comments and passing thoughts made throughout the book that have caught my attention.  It is even making a bid to become a permanent member of my library as I can see myself re-reading sections for inspiration and refreshing my resolve.  But it is too early on to make that commitment yet.

What are you doing to be happier every day?  Enquiring minds would like to know.

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