I just finished reading The Happiness Project.
A little background: I like books that offer insight into either my own life or into others. Books that make me think. Wonder. Imagine. Or, as in this case, smile. There was a lot of smiling* going on.
*plus all of the above!
Honestly, I wish I had come up with the idea of a happiness project, myself. It’s a little reminiscent of a bucket list, except that this is a very direct way of examining what makes us happy as individuals and what we can do about it. The author took on a new project each month, until December, when she applied all of them at once.
Honestly, I thought the book was a little wordy by the end. I was a little exhausted from all of her happiness tasks, to the point where I wondered if this was truly making her happy or not. Maybe it was. But it really would bug my Type A personality to have so many rules and tasks at that level. However, I still loved the idea of it all.
And then it got me thinking….what makes me happy?
As the author so eloquently pointed out, we know what’s supposed to make us happy. You know. The things that make most people happy. Like, for example, going to the movies. Or spending a day doing absolutely nothing. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that these kinds of things don’t make me happy.
Sarah’s Unofficial Happy List
The author earns the right to change any of these items at any given time. 😉
(1) Bubble baths in the morning. They feel so luxurious and out of the ordinary. I like feeling like I’m pampering myself in this way.
(2) Morning. Bowls of hot and steamy oat bran with bananas, granola and almond butter.
(3) Being active every day. I was going to say running, which obviously does make me happy, but as long as I’m outdoors and moving, that’s all that really matters to me.
(4) Being in contact with at least one person during the day. I don’t like being a hermit and feeling out of touch. It puts me in a grumpy mood to not be able to talk to anyone. Even if it’s just a phone call!
(5) Helping people. Making at least 3 people smile during the day. Feeling needed.
(6) Eating. I love cooking, but the part where everyone sits down, talks, and discusses the food is deifnitely my favorite part.
(7) Productivity. Procastination is a nasty habit of mine. But it always leaves me feeling like Mr. Grumps! If I just do what I need to do, even simple tasks, I’ll feel awesome by the end of the day.
(8) A clean bedroom. I don’t like waking up to chaos. 😉
(9) Mindfulness. Of what I’m eating. Of who I’m talking to. Of the current moment. It’s too easy to let everything slip away, but the days I remember the most are the ones in which I practice being mindful.
(10) Gardening. I wasn’t sure if this was going to make the list. I’m honestly not a great gardener, and I don’t always have the greenest of thumbs. But I love seeing hard work pay off, and gardening is great for that. Time to get started! 😀
(11) Eating healthy and clean, 80-90% of the time. I hate deprivation, but I also hate feeling blah after a heavy meal. Eating well most of the time makes me feel my best, while still allowing a little bit of wiggle room for other things like chocolate, ice cream, french fries and—YES!—wendys frosties.
QUESTION: What are some things that truly make you happy? What are some things that most people seem to enjoy, but that you’re not really fond of? I don’t like going to the movies, staying up late, or drinking red wine. I like the idea of these things, but I don’t really enjoy them.