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November 2, 2012

The Happiness Project in 2013...Wanna Join Me?



Yes, 2013.  No, my blog hasn’t been hacked.  I’m actually thinking ahead…TWO MONTHS!

I’ve actually been thinking ahead for much longer than that, ever since I read “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin last spring.  It was such a fantastic read, and now I’m finishing Rubin’s second book on the subject, “Happier at Home”.

I wouldn’t characterize these books as “self-help” exactly.  They really read like a memoir.  Rubin documents how she tackled different initiatives – basically a topic a month – in her pursuit of feeling “happier”.

I’m not an unhappy person, by any means.  I think I’m generally upbeat, more glass-half-full, usually pretty optimistic.  What really spoke to me about these books, though, is that they play to one of the deepest tenets I hold, that we create our own happiness.

I can’t always choose the hand that life deals me, but I have control over how I respond to those situations. 

I am as happy as I want to be.

I wake up (at least most days) and choose happiness.

There are a few points from Rubin that have really stuck with me…

·         Act the way you want to feel.  (Or, in my words, fake it ‘til ya make it.)

·         Identify things that make you happy, and surround yourself with those things.  That sounds like a no-brainer, but I think it’s a really valid exercise to actively identify – in writing – what those things are.  Make a concerted effort to incorporate them into your environment, or your routine.

·         Identify things that make you unhappy, and work to eliminate those things, or work to develop a new / better response to those things.

To that last point, as an example, one thing that really brings me down is when I have some tasks hanging over my head.  One of Rubin’s happiness boosters is, “Tackle a nagging task.”  It may be tedious, but devote 15 minutes, or one hour, whatever…to accomplishing the task, or making progress towards it.

I was beating myself up for being behind on editing photos.  One of the girls woke me up at 4:30 (and hour earlier than I normally get up) one morning, needing a tissue.  Instead of trying to go back to sleep, I got up and devoted a solid hour to photos.  I felt so accomplished!!!  That sense of accomplishment – happiness!  -- boosted my entire day, more than making up for the hour of lost sleep.

I could go on and on…but ultimately the post of this post is to share that my word for 2013 will be HAPPINESS. 

I want to make a concerted effort to identify those things that make me happy, and those things that bring me down.  And then I want to be intentional about addressing them.

And I want to invite you to join me.

Have you read the book?  Whether you’re up for blogging about it or not, I’d love to have some folks to bounce ideas around with, and maybe encourage some accountability.

Want to read the book?  The first volume is available in paperback, and I think it’s a pretty quick read. 

The books have really helped me think about the world in a more intentional way…have helped me be more AWARE (my 2012 word).

Have you started thinking about 2013 yet?  Or do you want to kick me in the shin for glossing over the holidays that are QUICKLY APPROACHING?  HA! 

I’ll only say, don’t mistake my 2013 speak for me having wrapped up all my plans for 2012...far from it…but I’m “acting the way I want to feel”…organized and on top of things.  ;)

***

Here's a LINK to Gretchen Rubin's website, The Happiness Project.
And here's a LINK to her Facebook page. 

(I'm in no way linked to Gretchen Rubin...I just love her books!)

7 comments:

Marcia (123 blog) said...

*ahem* Of course I'll join you!

This is one time I'm glad to skip over Christmas craziness and go straight to the clean slate that is a new year :)

Mandy said...

I'll bite. Maybe it will change my pessimistic mind!!

Now off to find the book!

Johanna at The Baker Twins said...

Ok. I just downloaded the kindle version. It will be next on my list after my book club book for this month. :)

championm2000 said...

Love G. Rubin! Great choice for the new year!

Barbara Manatee said...

"Identify things that make you unhappy, and work to eliminate those things, or work to develop a new / better response to those things."

Oh boy...that sure hit home with me right this very moment as I sit here and am stewing this evening about a recurring family issue that I'm certain is all in my head but is a constant emotional nag to me. Maybe I should do some soul searching and try to find time to read the book....

cat said...

Oh I loved the book but I knwo now that I may not be able to join you - my first 6 months looks hectic.

strongblonde said...

so. i'm totally behind in bloggy type stuff...just reading this now. but i'm in :)

b and i were JUST talking about our feelings and our response to people who are so negative. how negative behaviors can be so alienating....even if you agree with the negative person. i know i'm not making sense. it's too long to get into without totally hijacking your comments....but i'm in :)