Saturday, January 14, 2012

Let the Happiness Begin!

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Really. It can start anytime. I am waiting!

Just kidding. We are half way through January and a phrase of Gretchen Rubin jumps out at me: "Happiness does not always make you feel happy." And she's right! I am happy when I stay up late, enjoying the house to myself. But, the next day the price I pay makes me quite unhappy. Better is to choose getting to sleep earlier and have the rest and energy that I need the following day. And sleeping more does increase my overall level of happiness. No to mention that the family is free from "grumpy, tired mom". So, happiness (the day after I choose to get to sleep) does not always feel happy (making myself go to sleep earlier).

I knew three days into the year that it wasn't necessary to track how I spend my time. I truly know when I am procrastinating and when I need to spend less time in front of the computer and more time doing chores, writing, reading, having family time or enjoying a hobby. Because I generally see life in terms of "to-do" lists, I am aware of how much time I work, play and am idle. It's actually better for my overall level of happiness to remind myself to "pause and enjoy". In fact, that will be one of my personal commandments. I'm trying to break the habit of "get this done, check it off, get the next thing done" and replace it with pausing to enjoy the moment at hand. (Yes, I have blogged about that before... it's an on-going process for my task oriented self!)

I've just about finished reading The Happiness Project and while visiting Gretchen's website I signed up for an email that gives a daily happiness quote. Those have been terrific! They are brief, uncluttered statements to ponder. Also from the website was instructions for emailing Gretchen to get copies of her monthly resolutions charts. The basic principle involved is... set a goal for the month to tweak an area (or two or three) in your life that could increase your level of happiness and then work on it... that includes checking in with yourself regularly to see how it's going. Don't be afraid to join in! You can always eliminate goals that don't work, add in new ones and when something is working, it feels great! Anyway, I printed the blank resolution chart for January and have used it near-daily to check off how I'm doing with my goals. My title for January is "Time Management", of course. I also decided to pick a room each month to focus on because I don't want to give a month of my happiness project to cleaning/organizing the house! So, this month the room of focus in my bedroom. Since my main time management resolution is taking time, first thing, to check calendars and plan my day, I try to stick some sort of "bedroom" task in there somewhere. I'd better step it up, though, because the month is passing by and my closet is a wreck and my drawers horribly cluttered up... not to mention the few piles at the end of my bed.

Another thing I've done is to pick a "word of the day" that sums up how I feel about the day and jot it down on my chart. So far my words have been:

* Plan
* Relationships!
* Frustrated
* Procrastinating
* Off-track
* Marriage :^)
* Joy
* Peace
* Success! (Two days have this word!! Yippee!)

And so I end my mid-month happiness report... closing it out with a couple of pictures of a little guy who adds supreme happiness to life!

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He loves looking outside... and loves going outside even more...

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