My Happiness Project

I cannot even count how many times I tried to write an intro to this post. The fact is, I am not the one to clearly explain what a Happiness Project is. The idea comes from author Gretchen Rubin who just so happens to have written a book called The Happiness Project. “It is the account of the year she spent test-driving studies and theories about how to be happier.”

Cover of "The Happiness Project: Or, Why ...

Cover via Amazon

In her very first blog post (one of the tasks she set herself during her Happiness Project) Rubin describes her venture like this:

“Now, what is the Happiness Project? One afternoon a few years ago, I realized with a jolt that I was allowing my life to flash by without facing a critical question: was I happy? From that moment, I couldn’t stop thinking about happiness. Was it mostly a product of temperament? Could I take steps to be happier? What did it even mean to be “happy”? So The Happiness Project is my memoir of one year in which I test-drive every principle, tip, theory, and research-study result I can find, from Aristotle to St. Therese to Benjamin Franklin to Martin Seligman to Oprah. What advice actually works?”

It is a wonderful book that I picked up mid-last year after seeing a referral to it in a magazine. The entire time I was reading it, I had a massive grin on my face, I could relate to many of the things she spoke about.

According to Rubin:

“A “happiness project” is an approach to changing your life. First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse. Second is the making of resolutions, when you identify the concrete actions that will boost your happiness. Then comes the interesting part: keeping your resolutions.”

Rubin designed her Happiness Project so that each of the twelve months of the year would have a set theme about something she wanted to tackle in relation to happiness and she created resolutions around that theme to adopt during the month, building on more each month. She tackled Vitality, Marriage, Work, Parenthood, Leisure, Friendship, Money, Eternity, Books, Attitude and Happiness.

Upon reading this wonderful book I decided I wanted to embark on my own Happiness Project. Of course, mine cannot mimic Gretchen Rubin’s as not everything applies to my life. I have been preparing for a while and identifying some themes I would like to focus on. I am now working on making my own resolutions.

I don’t want to write an essay of a post, so I’ll just leave it at that for today and I’ll keep you updated with my progress.

If you like the sound of starting your own Happiness Project, or are intrigued to learn more, I suggest you buy the book or head to The Happiness Project Blog.

Eleanor x

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