Welcome back for day 2 of my happiness project! I was so thrilled to see how many of you expressed your support for me and this project when I announced it just yesterday.
I am beyond excited to start this not so little experiment – and let’s be honest, a little bit nervous too. Mostly about blogging every day for 25 days straight until my 35th birthday!
My blog has just passed it’s six month mark and before I started this project, it had 31 posts on it so far. So this little project will almost double my blog posts if I am able to stick to it – wish me luck!
In today’s post, I am going to keep what I liked from Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project, and change what I didn’t like so much, in order to fit my own personal needs.
Let’s get started!
What I Liked About Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project
- It offered a very clear and structured way to work towards personal growth and improvement.
- It took a holistic approach to happiness, focusing on more than just short term pleasure.
- It had a visual tracking system so you can see progress as you go, thus improving motivation and building self-confidence.
- It uses daily self-reflection to help you think about what you did well, what you didn’t do so well, and how you can make tomorrow a better day than today.
- The habit tracking charts help you to be more mindful of your actions which is the first step to changing them.
- The project reinforces the growth mindset by showing people that they can always improve when they put in the effort.
- It really stresses the ideas of consistency and never missing twice which are some of the most important concepts in making a change and adopting new habits.
- It argues that happiness is a worthy cause and that it isn’t selfish to pursue your own happiness.
- The framework is extremely flexible and allows for individualization and personalization for maximum benefit.
What I Didn’t Like So Much About Her Happiness Project
What I liked about the Happiness Project far outweighs what I didn’t like, but I do have 3 things to list here.
First, Gretchen Rubin’s project didn’t have any sort of an assessment of happiness levels before, during, or after the project.
This makes it difficult to definitively say whether or not the project actually made her happier. The only thing that can be truly measured (in the scientific sense) using this current set-up is achievement – but I feel that misses the whole point of a happiness project!
Second, her project adds 8 new “resolutions” each month. However, scientific research has shown that 30 days really isn’t enough to fully form new habits.
For this reason, I suspect that adding 8 new resolutions to the list each month may be a little overwhelming or off-putting for some people. Not to mention that by the last month of her project, Gretchen is working on 88 different resolutions at the same time! That’s an awful lot to keep track of on a daily or even weekly basis.
It is my hope to inspire some of you to take up your own happiness project, so I’d like to make it a little less intimidating for you if you do choose to follow in my footsteps.
And third, in Gretchen’s project, there is no real progression from month to month within the same happiness theme.
How My Project Will Be Different Than The Original Happiness Project
I have picked 5 areas of my life that I would like to work towards improving, rather than the 11 different happiness themes in the original happiness project.
I feel that focusing on fewer areas will allow me to dedicate more time and energy to each of the five areas of my choosing.
This will allow me to progress further in each of these 5 areas where I feel that my life really needs more work right now, rather than just progressing a little bit in a lot of different areas.
As I move through the months of the year, I will work on progressively more difficult goals within these 5 areas. This way, at the end of my project I won’t have 88 different resolutions in 11 different areas of life that I’m expecting myself to live up to every day.
Instead of adding more and more goals/resolutions, a slightly more difficult version of a goal in the same life area would replace the original one.
For example, let’s say the life area I am focusing on is physical fitness. In month one, my goal might be to get full range of motion back after my shoulder surgery.
In month two, it could be to work on developing strength now that my range of motion has returned.
In month three I could progress this goal by slowly working up to getting back to my usual active hobbies and recreational sport activities etc.
One thing that I thought was really cool about Gretchen’s happiness project, is that she was seeking to increase her happiness without drastically changing her life in any way.
That idea is super inspiring to me. I will try this technique in some of my 5 areas of life. However, in others, I do plan to make some significant life changes.
Finally, my project will use subjective measures of happiness to determine whether or not I actually became more happy during the course of my project or simply become more accomplished.
Hopefully it will be both!
What I Hope To Achieve By Doing My Own Happiness Project:
- More happiness obviously… I mean that’s kind of the point, right?
- More confidence – this project will force me to step out of my comfort zone in many ways.
- More time for things I’m passionate about by weeding out those things that are just “killing time” as Mark Manson pointed out in his quote.
- More life balance (I’ll talk about this more tomorrow).
- Improved blogging skillset – it is going to almost double the amount of posts I already have, so I would expect to learn a lot during this process as I become more and more efficient.
- A bigger audience for my blog.
- And to help me overcome my perfectionism. By having to write blog posts quickly, I will be forced to overlook some things that I might usually waste a lot of time on making perfect.
- And finally, and probably most importantly, I hope to inspire a few of you to pursue your own happiness even if it is on a smaller scale than this project I am undertaking.
That’s it for today! Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you all back, same place, same time tomorrow! <wink, wink>