My Happiness Project

January 21, 2012 at 2:39 am Leave a comment

Having just finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, I feel compelled to a. begin my own year-long quest to generally be happier and b. track my progress in several ways, including my own resolutions chart and this blog. First, I want to clarify that I am not the expert. Ms. Rubin does an excellent job at her blog of offering tips and, frankly, guidance, and I encourage everyone to check out her blog and her book. I am also not attempting to lift her insight as my own. I just think she did offer great suggestions and best practices that I am really interested in trying out for myself and documenting here.

Second, it may seem strange to blog about my happiness project on a blog called Undefined Ambition, but the truth is they are related. I still have a lot of ambition, hopes, and goals, but they are often rather, well, undefined. For example, in terms of my career, I want to make a difference. In terms of my relationship, I want to make it last. Um, hello most vague goals in the world!

So, I think working on my happiness will help to clarify my many goals and desires – and maybe it will help be channel some of my drive into productive uses. At the very least, it will let me be at peace with the uncertainty. 🙂

I will be starting the year of happiness in February, and using the remainder of this month to prepare and think through specific resolutions. I will follow Ms. Rubin’s lead by focusing on one major topic a month for 11 months, and then having a “boot camp” style 12th  month – in my case it will be January 2013 – in which I try to do every resolution every day.

One thing I particularly liked about The Happiness Project is that it’s really about small changes in your daily life, not radical changes:

“And more important, I didn’t want to reject my life. I wanted to change my life without changing my life, by finding happiness in my own kitchen. I knew I wouldn’t discover happiness in a faraway place or in unusual circumstances; it was right here, right now…” (page 12 of my version of The Happiness Project).

Because, as Ms. Rubin described for herself, I am happy with where I am in my life right now, I just want to appreciate everything more, cut out as much of the bad feelings I can, and avoid becoming complacent.

So here goes my journey into increasing my feeling of being happy every day. I will start by sharing my tentative list of topics to focus on by month:

February: Sustainable energy

March: Relationship

April: Work

May: Career

June: Leisure

July: Friendship

August: Passion

September: Adventure

October: Money

November: Spirituality

December: Attitude

January 2013: Happiness

I am still flushing out my specific resolutions of each theme. Maybe I will work on developing one set each day for the rest of the month. (Related: why are there only 11 more days in January! Time is flying.)

It will be an exciting, and probably challenging, year as I work on my version of a happiness project. I hope you’ll join me!

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Reflections on two years in DC. February Resolutions for Sustainable Energy

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