Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Resolutions - My Happiness Project

Happy New Year!!! I cannot believe it is 2013! That's just so crazy!

I used to always make New Year's Resolutions but I quit a few years back because I would always fail by February or only make it until March at the longest. I hated the feeling of failing so I just quit making them all together. But this year I am making resolutions in a different way. I am doing a Happiness Project for 2013.

What is a Happiness Project? It is a project to get happier ;)

How do you do it? Gretchen's Happiness Project website has the best info but in short, you choose things to work on with a main goal broken up into smaller measurable resolutions.

I will be modeling a combination of both of Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project and Happier at Home project. Plus I will be adding my own spin. That's the beauty of them. It's about making YOU happier so you choose the things that matter to you and the schedule that fits your life.

If you haven't read her books, you totally should!! I LOVE them!!

Why am I doing a Happiness Project?

To become happier. I use to be a relatively positive person. I always saw the glass as half full. I loved turning lemons into lemonade and helping people see the best in a situation. Then life got the best of me and brought out the worst.  I started focusing so much on the negative that I couldn't see anything good in any situation. I have begun focusing so much on the regret of an event or a chance I missed that I am missing the good times happening in my life now.

I have spent more "blue" days in the past few years than happy days when in all reality my life is so much better than it used to be. It is just that I am focusing on the wrong things. I am not appreciating the amazing things in my life and I want to change that. I am the only person I can change and I must start now.

As a mom, I don't want to look back and realized I didn't appreciate AG's childhood. I also realize I am being a model for her. So if she sees mommy sad more than happy then that is going to affect her. (Now I am not talking about depression. That is totally different and if you suffer from depression, please seek medical attention and monitor your depression symptoms.) We have an amazing life and I don't want our daughter to grow up seeing things negatively. That is something I have a good bit of control over, at least in her younger years.

When I told my husband he asked if I really think it will make me happier, which is similar to the response Gretchen got from her husband. Personally, all I can think is what will it hurt? I think it will. The items on my list are things that I feel are the most important changes I need to make.

I was also inspired in Happier at Home to have a single word that represents your theme of the year. The word came to me immediately while I was still reading the chapter. Low and behold her last chapter of the book would be all about my word. My word of the year is NOW. As a procrastinator and a relatively negative person, I always put things off and make excuses as to why I can't do something. I also don't do things because something could change in the future. Example: my husband wanted kayaks a few years ago. I told him no because one day we would have children and we couldn't take them out in a kayak. So we never got them. Does that even make since? There will be a whole post on this tomorrow.

Gretchen uses this formula to determine what to add to her list: (taken straight from her book, The Happiness Project)

1. What makes you feel good? What activities do you find fun, satisfying, and energizing?
2. What makes you feel bad? What are sources of anger, irritation, boredom, frustration, or anxiety in your life?
3. Is there any way in which you don't feel right about your life? Do you wish you could change your job, your city, your family situation or other circumstances? Are you living up to your expectations of yourself? Does your life reflect your values?
4. Do you have sources of an atmosphere of growth? In what elements of your life do you find progress, learning, challenge, improvement, and increased mastery?

So here goes my Happiness Project and the details:

My Happiness Project is for 5 months. Why 5 months? Because I turn 30 in five months. I am tackling the big things I need to address and want to change before then.

Here is my teaser list. Check back during the first week of each month to get the details of my plan and then follow along. I am working on each subject for a month and caring it over into the next month.

January: Organize Me and My Family (more to come later this week)

February: My Sweet Girl -AG

March: My Hubby

April: My Business and Blog

May: Family and Friends

There will be some overlapping as with any aspect of life. I am also going to be participating in Gretchen Rubin's 21 Day Challenge which begins on January 14. Learn more here.

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