This year is brought to you by The Happiness Project. It’s a very good read (and blog) written by a woman named Gretchen Rubin. Her idea is that you can become happier than you are by changing some simple things around your life. You don’t need to be terribly sad or unhappy to do this; you can be quite happy in fact and still become happier by making a few changes.
Gretchen followed up her Happiness Project book with a second book titled Happier at Home. She follows similar ideas to her first book, except this time she focuses on her home. This book is also a terrific read!
These books both inspired me – I read The Happiness Project some time ago, and I’ve just finished Happier at Home over this past holiday season. I love Gretchen’s ideas. They are simple, compelling, reasonable, and most of all, do-able by the average bear.
So I’ve decided to create my own Harper-ness Project. I’m going to try and combine all of her elements from both books into a year of self-reflection and self-improvement.
I’ve picked twelve things that I’d like to focus on for each month in the coming year. As months go by, I’ll focus on that month’s goal as well as the previous month’s goal. The farther I get into the year, the more focus I hope to have!
December will be the most interesting month of all, where I’ll combine all of the goals and changes over the past 11 months and take note of where I’m going strong, where the wheels have fallen off, and the why surrounding it all.
I hope to gain a few things out of this, not the least of which will be a better understand of what makes me tick. But most of all, I’m keen to see if I can spend 12 months sticking to 11 particular goals. I find it an interesting challenge (says the woman who can’t even commit to flossing for more than three days at a time).
- Mental (happy mind)
- Physical (happy body)
- Emotional (happy heart & soul)
We are our own worst critics, and I’m trying to change this. For me, this means being aware of negative thoughts that creep in (can’t, won’t, NO) and make a conscious effort to replace them with positive thoughts (can, will, YES). It means trying to avoid words like should (unless it’s related to something crucial; let’s face it, we still have to go to work and pay the bills). And it means making more time for myself (whatever that might look like, to me), by both feeding my mind with music and books that make me happy and stretching my mind with new ideas and approaches and maybe even trying some of them.
Most of us have a pound or six we don’t need. But I’m not approaching physical health from a single standpoint (weight loss). Instead, I’m focusing on a healthy lifestyle. Making smart nutritional choices. Getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day. And finding time to sleep and rest and let myself recharge regularly.
To me, this means allowing myself to be open to really feeling things; good, bad or otherwise. And learning to let it be.
So here we go. Bring it on, January!