my happiness project

I picked up this book the best way, randomly, in an airport. It seemed funny, quirky, and like a quick, light read. The author reminded me of myself, happy generally, with a great husband and a nice life, but puzzled as to why she's often in a bad mood or how to minimized the stress, snapping, and aggrivation to savor and appreciate everyday life. Something I need. I go to sleep so thankful and peaceful an happy, and sometimes wake up and just want to bury my head back under the covers.

days are short, years are short

And so are months. After reading the book (in just a few hours, it was a very quick read), I related a lot to the author's personality type, particularly for her love of analysis, spreadsheets, charts, and checklists. Want to be happy? Let's start with a spreadsheet! I love it! But seriously, I did realize one reason why I've been sucking so badly on my resolutions - checking in once a month, at the end of the month no less, is not gonna. Especially since my resolutions are so tiny this year, nothing really big or life-changing, and, at the same time, nothing with dramatic results to encourage progress.

My resolutions basically revolve around what makes me feel bad, and on the flip side, what makes me feel good. Basically feeling well (healthy eating, exercise), looking decent (skin care, hair cuts), having a clean/orderly apartment, and feeling productive. So, I sat down to make my resolutions list, or happiness project spreadsheet. I also tried to think of tiny things that give a little lift to the day and the first things that came to mind were lighting candles and playing music. 15 second mood boosters for sure.

And I came up this daily checklist (it's pretty much the same as my new year's resolutions, which I realized had the same goal: improve everyday life):

Read a book (for 15 minutes or 15 pages).

Keep house clean:
Clean cat litter every day (yep.).
Vacuum (1x/week).
Change sheets.
Buy the little things we need without hesitation.

Eat fruits and veggies.
Drink 8 glassed water.
Limit alcohol intake.

Little things:
Light candles.
Play music.
Wake up by 9:30.

Like the way I look:
Wash face right away.
Wear nice clothes.
Wear makeup.
Fix hair.
Maintain manicure.

Did you notice play guitar is gone. When it came down to it, that just isn't something I want to do, not everyday at least, and not on demand. So, it's only been two weeks of this happiness project, and it hasn't been perfect at all, but I think it's been a lot better than the previous months of the year, and will continue to get better. I open my chart every morning, which acts as a prompt to do the little things: get a glass or water and light a candle for instance. And then, I really get a thrill from checking the things off my little lists.

I would definitely recommend checking out the book, and also The Happiness Project blog.

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