Thursday, February 17, 2011

Finished the Book: The Happiness Project

After several weeks of reading, I finally finished my book club book, "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. This book was incredible and I can't wait to read it again! This is definitely a book that I want to read again and savor the chapters as I create my very own Happiness Project. The author broke her project down into monthly sections and each month focused on a different area of happiness. Here is a quick recap of my favorite parts of each chapter. 
  • January: Vitality - This month focused on getting more sleep, exercising more, dealing with the clutter, and acting more energetic. My favorite part of this chapter was focusing on tossing, reorganizing, and taking care of clutter that happens in our lives. I am already a very organized person and this chapter reaffirmed my passion for cleaning and organizing my life. 
  • February: Marriage - This month focused on quitting the nagging, fighting right, and giving proofs of love. I was really struck by the nagging part and had a huge aha moment that I am a bit of a nag most of the time. I loved how the author talked about nagging and how it can really affect a marriage in a negative way and it can be damaging to our emotional well-being. After reading this chapter, I made a resolution to focus on limiting my nagging when it comes to my marriage.
  • March: Work - This month focused on working smart, asking for help, and enjoying the now. My efforts were focused on the resolution to work smarter in my career. I have taken the time to become more organized and work in a more efficient manner when it comes to projects, emails, and meetings. I am also working on the resolution of enjoying the now instead of always planning days and weeks ahead.
  • April: Parenthood - This month focused on singing in the morning, taking time from projects, and acknowledging feelings. Since I am not yet a parent, I was not able to practice any of these resolutions but I was able to gain some knowledge for future parenting challenges. I love the idea of taking time for projects with my future children... can't wait to have some fun with that!
  • May: Leisure - This month focused on finding more fun, taking time to be silly, and going off the path. I learned so much from this chapter about how important making time for fun is for our level of happiness. I am working on the resolution of going off the path and finding time to be more spontaneous. I am such a planner (which can be a good thing) but I also need to focus on having fun on a whim and allowing myself to relax and embrace the time to be silly and finding more fun in my life.
  • June: Friendship - This month focused on being generous, showing up, and not gossiping. This chapter was one of my favorites, because I find that friendships are a huge part of my happiness level. I agree completely with the author that just by showing up, you can have a huge impact on your friends. I am also trying to work on the resolution of limiting the gossip, which is really easier said than done.
  • July: Money - This month focused on indulging in a modest splurge, buying needful things, and giving something up. I really enjoyed this chapter, because the author focused on how we spend our money is what can make us happier, not necessarily having more money. I have focused on the indulging in a modest splurge, since I am so frugal, I have realized that a modest splurge makes sense sometimes and can really have an impact on my happiness level.
  • August: Eternity - This month focused on keeping a gratitude notebook and imitating a spiritual master. I chose to focus on the gratitude notebook resolution and I have found that just by recognizing moments of gratitude or by keeping a gratitude journal, more joy and happiness does come into your life.
  • September: Books - This month focused on writing a novel, making time for reading, and mastering a new technology. I chose to focus on the making time for reading resolution, which is easier said than done. With so many things going on in our busy lives, it is often hard to find time for reading. I am striving to work on this resolution daily, even if it is just 5 minutes of quiet reading time.
  • October: Mindfulness - This month focused on meditation, keeping a food diary, and stimulating our mind in new ways. I can honestly say that the food diary resolution is not going to happen for me. The idea of writing down everything I eat, day after day, does not appeal to me in any way. I do want to work on the resolution of meditation, which for me is going to take some practice (as you can imagine, it is hard to quiet my mind).
  • November: Attitude - This month focused on laughing out loud, using good manners, and giving positive reviews. I have chosen to focus on the resolution of giving positive reviews. I would like to be the wife, friend, daughter, sister, and colleague that gives positive feedback far more times than negative. Let's just say I am working on giving more compliments.
  • December: Happiness - This month focused on doing all of the resolution perfectly... which let's be honest is crazy. With all of the resolutions that were discussed in this book, I find it impossible to do even half of them perfectly. I have decided for myself that striving for perfection is not a resolution of mine. Instead, I want to continuously work on myself and strive for more happiness in my daily life.
This book was such a joy to read and I am excited to discuss it with the girls at book club tonight! Can't wait!

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