New Year, New Me, right? What if in 2020 you actually went through with all of your goals and came out the other side an improved version of yourself? It might be something small that you keep putting aside, like drinking more water and going to bed earlier. Or it could be something bigger like loosing 50 pounds and finding that perfect job. No matter which goal you are trying to accomplish, Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project is a great motivator to get you started.
In her year long experience, Rubin sets off to discover how to create true happiness. Divided in months, each chapter is dedicated to a specific area of her life that she wanted to improve but wasn't taking the time to put in the work. Drawing on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world examples, she delivers an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.
I read this book back in September and as soon as finished I felt really inspired to work on my own Happiness Project. I thought, what better time to start than with the new year around the corner? So in 2020 I'm going to work on 12 news habits / areas of my life that I want to improve and challenge myself to stick to it all year long!
The following is the list of areas Rubin worked on and their corresponding actions.
JANUARY - Boost Energy (Vitality)
Go to sleep earlier
Toss, restore, organize
Tackle a nagging task
Act more energetic
FEBRUARY - Remember Love (Marriage)
Don't expect praise
Give proofs of love
MARCH - Aim Higher (Work)
Launch a blog
Enjoy the fun of failure
Ask for help
APRIL - Lighten Up (Parenthood)
Sing in the morning
Acknowledge the reality of people’s feelings
Be a treasure house of happy memories
Take time for projects
MAY - Serious About Play (Leisure)
Find more fun
Take time to be silly
Go off the path
Start a collection
JUNE - Make Time For Friends (Friendship)
Make three new friends
JULY - Buy Some Happiness (Money)
Indulge in a modest splurge
Buy needful things
Give something up
AUGUST - Contemplate The Heavens (Eternity)
Read memoirs of catastrophe
Keep a gratitude notebook
Imitate a spiritual master
SEPTEMBER - Pursue a Passion (Books)
Write a novel
Forget about results
Master a new technology
OCTOBER - Pay Attention (Mindfulness)
Meditate on koans
Examine true rules
Stimulate the mind in new ways
Keep a food diary
NOVEMBER - Keep a Contented Heart (Attitude)
Laugh out loud
Use good manners
Give positive reviews
Find an area of refuge
DECEMBER - Boot Camp Perfect (Happiness)
Recap of the year
In the book she mentions feeling a better sense of accomplishment when she was able to check something off a list, so I bought a wall calendar where I'll be able to write down my actions and check them everyday to see how I'm doing. That way I'll have a daily visual motivation and it's an easy way to track my progress at the end of the year.
I've always been the kind of person to look back at the past year and reflect on the good and bad and what I would like to change and improve, but that motivation always seemed to fade by March, so I'm very excited to challenge myself this year and see how far I can go with this project.
What about you, what would be included in your Happiness Project?