The Happiness Project: Your Next Read

Have you read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin? If you have, what did you think? For those who haven’t read the book, don’t fear, I’m going to give you the book’s best bits.

Real quick for those who need and/or want context, the book is about one woman’s year dedicated to being a happier person. Each chapter provides action items to complete the month’s happiness theme. For example, chapter one (January) focused on boosting energy: her action items were going to sleep earlier, exercising better, de-cluttering, tackling a nagging task and act more energetic when she felt herself feeling exhausted.

And JIC you’ll never pick up this book, here are some takeaways, my best bits, and one personal truth you might need to hear, too.

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  1. Examine your true rules. Identify the ones that are conflicting and/or unhelpful. Pay attention to the ones that are beneficial. Your true rules are mental rules of thumb or quick commonsense principles you apply to solve a problem. Example: nothing good happens after 2 AM or always greet people with a smile. What if “always in a hurry” and “enjoy the moment” are part of your true rules, it’s conflicting–work on getting rid of “always in a hurry.”
  2. When your mind starts to go negative, flip the script and think of something funny that’ll make you laugh.
  3. Acknowledge what makes you happy and not what you wished made you happy and do what makes you happy.
  4. Look for happiness.
  5. Quit waiting for ‘something special’ to use the good china or dress up nice.
  6. “When one loves, one does not calculate.” – St. Therese of Lisieux
  7. Play. Make more time for doing the ridiculous. Not every moment of the day needs to be efficient and productive. Lighten up.

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Tips for getting your sweetheart to do chores–without nagging:

  • No carping from the sidelines: if your sweetheart made the travel arrangements, don’t criticize the flight time.
  • Suggest tasks without words: leave a note, put an empty container on the counter.
  • Limit yourself to one word: Instead of barking out, “I’ve told you a dozen times, stop off at the grocery store, we need milk!” Say, “Milk!”
  • Don’t insist that a task be done on your schedule.
  • Have clear assignments. My Hubs gets the car washed, I water the lawn.
  • Every once in a while, do your hunny’s chore.

Tips for getting a boost of energy in the next 10 minutes:

  • Go outside into the sunlight.
  • Go for a brisk walk.
  • Act with energy.
  • Listen to your favorite upbeat song.
  • Tackle an item on your to-do list.
  • Clean up!
  • Drink some coffee – it gets a bad rap depending on what article you read, but remember everything in moderation.

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  1. We’re more like other people, and less like other people than we suppose.
  2. Things often get harder before they get easier.
  3. It’s easier to keep up than catch up.
  4. The things that go wrong often make the best memories.
  5. We can’t make people change, but when we change others change and a relationship can change.
  6. Most decisions don’t require extensive research.
  7. Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination.
  8. Every room should include something purple.
  9. Nothing stays in Vegas.
  10. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
  11. Don’t expect to be motivated by motivation.
  12. Everything looks better arranged on a tray.
  13. Something that can be done at any time is often done at no time.
  14. It’s easier to change your surroundings than yourself.
  15. Starting again is harder than starting.
  16. Go slow to go fast.
  17. The days are long but the years are short.

How many of these feel true to you? Number one has always felt true to me and number four is both hilariously and painstakingly true, but don’t even get me started on number seven…

I work myself silly in all different directions in order to be too exhausted to chip away at my ‘write a book’ goal. This book idea (a couple if I’m being honest…) has been in my head for the last five years, FIVE. When will I push past my own self-doubt and fear to tackle this dream?

Do you have a dream you distract yourself from doing?

I think step one (for me) needs to be to schedule it into my weekly routine and then stick to it so I make it a habit. Other times I think I just need a secluded environment for three days to knock it out. Oh yeah, and accountability. Maybe I need to pay my Hubs $20 every time I flake on myself, that’s motivational…hahaha.

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