Monday, January 4, 2010

Missy's Happiness Project

I am thrilled to announce my main resolution for 2010.  It's called the Happiness Project.  I've had the button on my sidebar since I ordered the book and it's coming today!

How do you spell excitement?  B-o-o-k i-n t-h-e m-a-i-l.   

Anyway.  Here's the site -  Go take a look around, then come back.  Go on!  I'll wait. 

Maybe I'll sing a little 1999 while I'm waiting, because I've wanted to all weekend!  Ever since my remembory (yes, I just created a new word - remember and memory) from Thursday. 

Now that you're back and that puppy of ours has finished howling over my rendition (and if you know me, you will know that EVERY neighborhood dog howled along with me), see why I am so thrilled about this project?  I can't think of a better way to spend the year - finding my happiness.  With a project I develop, not the one(s) I read about from others. 

Gretchen Rubin has written this ingenious book about how she spent a year discovering her happiness, month by month, through various methodologies.  She then translated it into a way for you to do the same, on your own terms and timeline. 

Over many years, I've tried different things - becoming more spiritual, getting healthy, losing weight, parenting better, working on my marriage.  All were admirable, but all were . . . kind of like separate little islands of discovery.  But what do they all have in common?  Their common thread?  Happiness. 

We all want to "find" happiness, don't we?  But it's not in a book or a diet, or a marriage, or a job, or your kid's behavior.  It's within YOU, and it's how you react to all of those things I've mentioned.  I think happiness is more about having an internal locus of control.  And with the internal locus of control, a belief that happiness comes on the journey and not just when you reach the destination, wherever that may be.  More on that later, though.   

So instead of JUST having my resolutions for 2010 (which I do still have!), I'm adding, at the top of the list, Missy's Happiness Project. 

And I'm excited to see where it takes me.  Who knows?  At the end of the year, I might find that I am happiest being semi-disgruntled.  Feeling that way does tend to provide the catalyst for change in me.

But then again, I might find something entirely different too.  My prediction for my own happiness project is that I, personally, can't settle for mediocrity in any part of my life (except maybe a messy car.  and house).  I can't say "good enough" when it's actually barely average.  But I also can't strive for perfection either - that's an impossible dream, surely to end in unhappiness.  So I need to find that middle ground for me.   

I'm starting with a focus on Health and Energy.  This month, that's the best place to start because 1) it's too stinking cold to think about much more than hibernation and 2) I did some "damage" to my health and energy in December (I ALWAYS do damage - does anyone not?). 

Here's what I'm focusing on in January:
  1. keeping a food diary
  2. going to bed by 11pm
  3. getting in the habit of exercising 5x/wk
  4. doing a skin care regime - as in wash my face before going to bed - yes, it's embarassing but true, I rarely do
  5. tackling something hard on my to do list every day - and by hard, I mean hard in the emotionally draining way - things that you put off b/c you're avoiding it, but the avoiding itself drains your energy, but when you finally do it, you feel so good - that kind of hard (right now it's writing my thank you notes for Christmas)
  6. eating at home for dinner 4-5 times a week
  7. following the one minute rule (see the site) - don't put anything off that can be done in one minute or less
  8. putting the dishes in the dishwasher every night - you'd be surprised at how unhappy it makes me to come down the next morning and realize I've left them on the counter, rinsed, but not yet in the dishwasher 

So there you have it!  I encourage you to take the plunge with me.  Go to Gretchen's site and learn about it.  Do your own Happiness Project on your blog.  Or follow mine, make comments (when I've gone over the top, tell me!) and make your own happiness in 2010.  The most important thing is that you find your own triggers and work on them each month with each subject.  Like me and the dishes.  Truthfully, I don't think I'm going to be ecstatic about logging my food for a month, but that's a small price to pay to get back in the saddle of healthy eating, I believe.  Hope.

I'll update you on my project progress at least every other Monday.  More if it's noteworthy.  But Gretchen advises us to stay accountable to achieve your goals and I know she's right!  So at a minimum, you get to hear how it's a-comin' twice a month.

So I'm off.  Happiness awaits.  For me and you.
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