Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project is my kind of book. I like the whole idea of projects where a person takes a year to do some thing or other. I like lists. I fantasize about charts. And who does not want to be happy? (Put your hands down, Shoe Gazers. I don’t believe you.) As a person with depression, I am always looking for ways to fight the monster, although the book specifically says, perhaps on the advice of lawyers, that it is directed not at people with clinical depression, but at average humans who would simply like to be happier.
There is lots of research stuffed into the text. The anecdotes are amusing. One could simply go forth and do what Rubin did and it would probably make a good amount of difference. The more intriguing possibility is to take what she did and customize. She chose a focus for each month, beginning in January with working on having more energy (getting enough sleep, exercising, acting as if, etc.). Some of her foci might not make sense for different people; those of us who are not parents of small children don’t need to work on our parenting skills. I haven’t checked it out, but there is also a blog with online resources.
The book also came at a good time for me. As I’ve mentioned, I’m in the process of doing my Behavior Change Specialization for continuing education. It is almost June, an excellent time to check in on how my plan for this year is coming along (remember that vision board?). In the remaining days of May, I’m going to be getting my ducks in a row to Happiness Project and Behavior Change my way through the rest of the year. Anyone want to join me? If so, let’s talk and figure out how we can work together. (It should be obvious, but just in case, I’m talking about this as a personal project and not a work project, even though it intersects with my work interests in general well-being.)
Let’s get happy.