Recently, I’ve been inspired to start a “Happiness Project”, in an effort to focus my attention on feeling as though I have a little more control in my own life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m plenty happy with my life right now, but I do have plenty of habits that make my life seem chaotic at times. I figure that making a conscious effort might help me maintain the control that I want in my life.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go camping with my friends Chris and Liz at Salmon Lake Cabin. While there Liz and I rowed out into the middle of the lake, or soaked up the sun on the dock, while Liz read aloud to me from the book “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. (For more info check out http://www.happiness-project.com) While Gretchen is much older than me, and much more accomplished, and her seemingly constant over processing and researching annoyed me; I still gleaned a number of wisdom nuggets that stuck with me.
Liz reading "The Happiness Project" aloud to me.
So, because I have very little ability to follow through with something for an entire year, and I am easily distracted, I am choosing to limit myself to 6 goals large goals to work on, breaking each goal down into three smaller goals. I hope to focus on each goal for one month (which is how Gretchen did it) and each smaller goal focused on for a week or two. I don’t know how well this will work, but I’m 23 years old and figure that not only am I bound to mess things up a little bit, but I’m allowed to as well.
My goals are as follows (and the reasons for them):
- Get organized
- Keep things clean
- Everything has a place
- Limit my possessions
My stuff is everywhere… Literally. There is obviously no reason why there should be t-shirt in the satchel I take to work, or three pairs of shoes in my car. I should not have fake Christmas trees with me everywhere I go. I Know for a fact that I can go over two months without doing laundry and still have clean clothes to wear… I know this because I’ve done it. I don’t need every high school art project I’ve made or every valentine I’ve gotten since 1993. I need to work on organization, cleaning and cutting back on what I have.
- Be intentional in relationships
- Make time/stay in touch
- Check in more
- Remember and appreciate others
I value relationships over everything else. My relational importance goes; first God, then family, then friends. I often get caught up in being so very excited about those immediately around me that I neglect those valuable relationships that need work to be maintained. I’m terrible about keeping in touch, neglect the feelings of my friends and family and regrettably show little appreciation for everything that others do for me.
- Get Healthier
- Exercise regularly
- Eat healthier
- Regulate my energy better
I’m lazy… and it probably has something to do with the constant input of processed foods and energy drinks that I flood my body with.
- Leave stress where stress is
- Stop bringing work into relationships
- Focus on being more in the moment
- Vent only to those that can understand the situation
Those close to me will tell you that when I have a rough day at work, I have a rough day everywhere else. I have a hard time not thinking about how to do my job better or make a bigger impact in the work that I’m doing, and often vent my frustrations to people that don’t understand, and because of the nature of my job, I can’t explain the situation too.
- Recharge myself
- Find a hobby
- Take time to myself
- Get into a regular sleep pattern
By the time the weekend rolls around, I am drained. I then take the entire weekend to recharge, and it does not lend itself well to enjoying the beautiful area I live in.
- Reflect more
- Keep a journal
- Stop, Look, Think
- Be intentional about learning from experiences
This goal is more about those that I admire. I am amazed by people that cue into such little details about their daily existence and strive to be more like that. Also with my short memory I Know I don’t spend enough time trying to learn from my experiences when I really could be.
So… There we are. I start now… Literally. I wrote this on a break from working towards my first goal, which naturally includes cleaning my room. So as I sit here among piles of stuff I probably don’t need, I already feel so much better. I can see the hardwood floor in most places and things already seem less daunting.