Happiness Project: March

Hello and Happy Easter to everyone! My sincere apologies for my disappearing act over the past month. I think all bloggers suffer this fate at one point or another in the early stages of their blogging life. I suppose it’s just a good reminder to always stay consistent, because it’s all too easy to fall behind. I was on a roll for a while, posting almost every day and then I let myself make excuses for being too busy to write a post or too tired, or sick etc etc.

Anyway, I apologise and promise to do my very best to pick up my game!

So, it’s now April and I am overdue on an update on how my March resolution for my Happiness Project went. The goal for the month of March was Health.

Health

Going back to my Year 11 Health studies, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

I think the theme of health is one that is very closely tied to goals and resolutions of people throughout the western world. How often do you hear about people making New Year’s resolutions to “lose 10 kilos” or “quit smoking” or vowing to start eating healthily or start that new diet next Monday? It’s a popular and tired goal, but one that most people strive for their whole lives.

I am no different. I had planned to dedicate the month of March to finally kicking off sustainable and healthy eating habits for good. I even bought a book called The Beauty Detox Solution by nutritionist Kimberly Snyder and had wanted to use her advice and recipes to start my new healthy way of life.

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For the grammar-savvy folk out there (or, well, anyone) you’ll notice that the above is all in past tense. I had planned to do all these things. But, sadly I didn’t quite achieve it. I could sit here and come up with all number of excuses as to why it simply wasn’t possible to achieve this particular goal – I was busy, it was too hard to sustain, her suggestions were impractical, the food was too expensive, blah blah blah – but the fact of the matter is that Health, like so many other things, is a constant, ever changing concept that I will be struggling with and working on for the rest of my life. It is not something that can be addressed and improved upon in one simple month after reading one book.

And that’s ok, I’m ok with that. Yes, I still eat chocolate more than I should and don’t always have a healthy meal planned with ingredients bought and ready to cook every night of the week. But I am always working and trying to do better, and I think that counts for something. Health is something that is really important to me and my lifestyle and I like to think that I’m a pretty healthy, active person in general. Luckily for me, my interest in health, fitness and nutrition is just that – an interest. I care about my health and place great importance on it because I think it matters and it is in my best interests. I don’t have any serious health problems, I’m not obese or terribly unfit. I’ve got it pretty good.

So, that’s how March went. I’m incredibly pleased to say that, never mind not addressing Health as planned, I have continued to keep up with my January and February goals of Enterprise and Productivity. I’m happy to report that I have been working very hard throughout the month of March on two separate business endeavours while working four different jobs and still dancing at least four times a week.

I’m pretty happy with my progress. There’s always room for improvement and my Happiness Project is designed to be a constant, ongoing and flowing thing. Just because I affix a goal or resolution to each month doesn’t mean that I stop pursuing it once the month is up or get down on myself if I didn’t quite achieve what I had set out to do. I think this is an important thing to think about and always keep in mind, you can always work on yourself and aim higher – if you fall short, just get right back up again and keep trying!

So, what do I have planned for April? Attitude. This month is all about positive thinking and looking on the bright side of life. Stay tuned for an update of my progress throughout the month and a review about how I went at the end of the month.

I also promise to post some yummy recipes, DIY projects, product reviews and more very soon!

Eleanor
x

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Happiness Project: January

I had been meaning to write a post all month about my Happiness Project goals for January. Considering what my goal was, it’s a bit ironic that I never got around to doing it.

However, being the very first month of my Happiness Project and wanting to test the waters a bit, I thought it better to write an update about my progress once the month was through.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m on about, here’s a bit more information about my Happiness Project. There’s also a bit of a spiel about the tools I’ve been using for my Happiness Project here.

Now, I want to be clear about why I chose to do a Happiness Project. Judging by the name, it is understandable that many people will assume that the only reason to undertake a project focussing on happiness would be because you’re not. But that’s not what this is. A Happiness Project is not about digging yourself out of depression or trying to be happy because you ultimately are not. That is not an issue I need to address. Rather, what Gretchen Rubin (the author of The Happiness Project – my source of inspiration for starting my own Happiness Project) aimed to achieve by creating the Happiness Project was not nearly as contentious. Rubin argues that many people state that what they want out of life is purely to “be happy”, but that most people don’t put in any effort to achieve this goal. Simply put, the aim is to actively do things in your own life to create more happiness. She created The Happiness Project, in which she focussed each month on a different goal, with resolutions to actively seek out happiness in her own life. I have done the same.

So, what was my goal and overall theme for the month of January?

Enterprise

:enterprise |ˈentərˌprīz|noun1 a project or undertaking, typically one that is difficult or requires effort

It took a bit of brainstorming to come up with a name for what I wanted to achieve in my first month of my Happiness Project. Basically, I wanted to use this month to start fresh, do things that I have been “meaning to do” or putting off for one reason or another and start new endeavours. So I came up with enterprise, which sounded to me like the perfect word to sum up my goals.

This is the list of resolutions I wrote at the start of the month:

  1. Start a blog
  2. Start a small Personal Training Business and start training clients
  3. Complete a cupcake order for an event
  4. Start ballet and aerials classes (silks, trapeze, rope and hoop)
  5. Score a job that is vaguely relevant to prospective career and that will fit well around Uni

I also tried to spend the month taking advantage of any opportunities that came my way as well as making a point of using any free time to work towards my goals.

So, how did I go?

I am happy to report that I managed to keep all my resolutions for the month. YAY!!! Along with the above five resolutions I also took the time to do things I had been putting off for a while, like going to the doctor for a check-up and giving blood (I give every few months but kept forgetting to rebook). I had also been planning on doing a detox in my health focussed month of my Happiness Project this year but decided to stop putting off doing another juice cleanse and do it now. You can read about that adventure here.

By tackling my resolutions in January, I felt such a wonderful sense of achievement that, yes, made me happy. Oddly enough, while having brunch with some horoscope-obsessed girlfriends this morning, I was read my horoscope and rather surprised by Taurus’ golden nugget of (amazingly relevant) advice from Jonathan Cainer:

“If we only ever allow ourselves to feel good when we think we’ve got a good reason, we’re really limiting our lives. You need no explanations or justifications now. You just need to trust what you feel.”

Whether you believe in horoscopes or not, I think that’s pretty damn good advice.

Eleanor x