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The Happiness Project

Submitted by on February 3, 2010 – 9:52 pmNo Comment |

In 2010, I along with a few of my friends read Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project and started Happiness Projects of our own.  Below are some excerpts from the posts I wrote about the book and my own pursuit of personal happiness.

Happiness Project Update: Month two and three, Career & Health

I stopped by Jeanne’s place the other day and read the most amazing thing: “Sometimes saying that we didn’t quite accomplish what we’d hoped to could be cathartic. when we say i didn’t do this or i didn’t do that, it takes the power away so we can move forward. when things stay hidden in the shadows, they grow, feasting on shame and embarrassment. there was something so freeing about that. not admitting failure or defeat, not hanging the head or wringing the hands, just saying i didn’t do quite what i’d intended to do then moving on.”

It’s an understatement to say that in months two and three of my Happiness Project, I didn’t quite do what I’d intended to.  My goals for month two were career related, not all of which I am willing to divulge in such a public space. (Remember: You never know when a current or prospective employer may stop by your blog.) My goals for month three dealt with healthy eating habits and exercise.

While I feel more mindful overall about these areas of my life, I can’t say that I made any real progress in them.  But as I’ve indicated before, I’m trying to beat myself up less these days.  And according to Jeanne, that’s for the best. So, I will move on to month four (relationships), aware that I didn’t do what I’d intended in months two and three, but knowing that there’s always room for improvement.

Happiness Project Update: Month One, Faith

Well, the first month of my personal Happiness Project has come and gone.  I was hoping that, like Gretchen Rubin, I’d feel refreshed, ready to take on the world and well, happier.  Unfortunately, I don’t feel any of those things.  What I do feel, is uncertain and relatively imbalanced…which makes me all the more grateful for the discipline that doing something like a Happiness Project requires.

During the first month of my Happiness Project, I concentrated on faith: developing more of it, helping others find it and just generally doing all that I could to concentrate on my faith and what it means in my life.

My micro goals were as follows:

1.) Spend 30 minutes reading the Bible or in daily devotion to God

2.) Pray for 10-15 per day

3.) Invite more people to church

4.) Start a ministry

Two through four weren’t a problem.  I’ve was working on my prayer life long before The Happiness Project was even a gleam in my (Gretchen’s?)eye, so this past month only solidified the habit.  Anyone who knows me, knows I’m pretty outgoing, so the hardest part of inviting people to church was trying to figure out who I could invite without offending them (religion isn’t welcome in all social circles).  And the ministry goal wasn’t really fair to begin with; hubs and I have been planning a Bible Study for college students for months now.

The fact that I stumbled on number one–doing my devotions for 30 minutes a day– shouldn’t have been a surprise.  I’ve always tried to pack way too much into a day and unfortunately, the one thing I should be making a priority (time with the Lord) is often put off or neglected altogether.  I guess I’d hoped that my Happiness Project would break me of that habit.

Interestingly enough, I have made an interesting observation about my overall happiness as it relates to my faith.  The days when I feel most uncertain and imbalanced are usually the days that I did not spend time reading my Bible and doing my devotions.  Coincidence? Probably not.

Month two of my Happiness Project–work–is now upon me.  Each month builds on each other such that you incorporate the previous month’s micro-goals into the next month.  I’d say the revelations in the previous paragraph are reason enough to strive for more faith in month two.

SG Book Club, Book 2: The Happiness Project

Hey Style Geekers! After much deliberation, I’m pleased to announce that the second book we’ll be reading is New York Times Bestseller, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

In her own words, The Happiness Project ”is a memoir of the year I spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happy–from Aristotle to Martin Seligman to Thoreau to Oprah.” Since publishing the book in 2009, Rubin has been helping others create their own Happiness Project as well.

As we’re reading this book, I’d like for each of us to start working on our own Happiness Project. (Don’t worry! I’ve got all the materials!) The book club will kick off the second week of March, but keep checking back here for more details between now and then!

Be sure to check out Gretchen’s blog and don’t forget to order your copy ofThe Happiness Project!

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