The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin is not nearly as long as the title would suggest. It it less than 300 pages! Really. And it is a good read. Lots of good ideas for improving your happiness.
She says you have to first identify what exactly it is that brings you joy, satisfaction and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse. Then you make resolutions, after figuring out what concrete actions will boost your happiness. Then of course you have the interesting part…keeping your resolutions! That is the hardest part for me.
It is all very well to know that I’m gonna be sorry if I eat that ice cream…but keeping myself away from the ice cream…that is difficult! And knowing that I will be much happier if my shelves are all dusted and neat doesn’t make it any easier to get my butt in there and straighten them up. She does have a few ideas to help with that too.
She goes through the year with a chapter for each month. January is Boost Energy. She has resolutions for that month that do things to boost her energy. February is Remember Love and her resolutions are things that will improve her marriage. Each month has a different goal which you add to the previous months. What you do the first month should become a habit by the time you start your second month and on through the year. At the end of the year you should have become a happier person.
I really like this idea. I’m not sure I can handle as many different resolutions as she did at one time. I might try it though. Just to see. It sounds like it could be a lot of fun. And helpful too.