It’s no secret that as you get older, life becomes more challenging. Toss in a significant other, some kids, pets and suddenly you’ve got a whole lot of responsibility and the person you used to know as “you” starts to slowly fad away. For me, last year (2015) was by far the most challenging yet. We welcomed our second baby on New Year’s Eve 2014 and every day since has been survival mode- at best.
While there were many laughs, some tears, not much sleep and way too much caffeine it made for one wildly exhausting year. Now that we’ve moved on to 2016 things need to settle down, the days should have some regularity and nights a bit more peace.
To help rediscover my inner happiness I’ve decided to embark on a year-long personal project, a Happiness Project if you will. Following the book by Gretchen Rubin as example, my aim is to break down the year into small manageable chunks. (As much as I love lists, long lists tend to overwhelm me to the point of paralysis) Each month I’ll focus on improving one specific area of life, instead of overarching goals. The hope is that at the end of the year I will be able to look back and feel greater happiness, by improving many different parts of my life.
You should know that it’s not that I am currently unhappy, I just feel deep down there is room for me to be happier!
Taking The First Step
There are 12 months in the year and because I like to be different I’ve narrowed down 11 topics to examine, leaving the month of December as a recap and rest. Ideally December should be a joyous, stress-free month celebrating with family and friends so this is my attempt to set that in motion right now, one year in advance.
Here are the topics I’ve chosen:
- January: Organization
- February: Self- Care
- March: Exploration + Adventure
- April: Romance
- May: Parenthood
- June: Community
- July: Health + Vitality
- August: Family
- September: Education
- October: Finance + Money
- November: Friendship
- December: Rest and Recap
Throughout the year the plan is to journal about the process here on my blog. I’ve been meaning to get back into personal writing for some time now and this is the perfect solution. It’s going to hold me accountable and maybe even inspire some of you to examine areas of your own life that could use a happiness boost.
Where To Begin?
I wasn’t even planning to do this project until I picked up the book The Happiness Project to re-read on Christmas Eve. Everyone was in bed, I had a warm cup of tea and wanted to curl up with a good book in the light of the Christmas Tree. This book for some reason spoke to me that night, it was sticking out of the shelf just a little more than the rest so I took it as a sign.
When I went through it this time around I jotted notes in the margin and read slowly, with purpose. This was a project after all!
It was just too fitting that the next morning I received a brand new white Moleskin notebook from DT too. Step 1 was complete: Secure a new notebook. Next would be finding the perfect planner.
Step 2 involved developing a master To-Do list of all the random crap taking up space in my head. You know things like find a dermatologist and get the car windows tinted. This list is shared with DT and we plan to work our way through it together. Space was beginning to clear in my brain already!
The last thing I needed to do before diving into the project was create a list of personal commandments. These will act as guidelines and a mantra of sorts when I get stuck. Hopefully I will remember to focus, laugh each day and SLOW DOWN as I embark on this 2016 Happiness Project. Take a look at the full list of personal commandments here and Cheers to 2016!