If you think way back to Non-fiction November 2011, you may or may not recall that I was reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, one woman’s quest to find (or create her own) happiness in life.
Rubin didn’t have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her—and what didn’t.
The book was great, and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking to make some adjustments in the new year.
Part of Rubin’s goal in writing The Happiness Project was to help others find what makes them happy. She was able to dedicate each month to a different set of tasks — admirable, but not something I have the time or energy (or willingness, frankly) to do.
So I’ve created a list of ten personal resolutions that I’m going to try and keep in mind this year. Some of these won’t make much sense to you, but that’s okay.
- If it will take less than a minute, do it.
- Sleep more.
- Enjoy the drive.
- “Is it really that critical?”
- “What would I do if I wasn’t scared?”
- No negative comments.
- Don’t criticize. Let it go.
- Remember birthdays.
- Sing more.
- Stop slouching.
So far, unsurprisingly, I’m doing kind of awful (#6, gah!). But I’ve got my resolutions on a piece of paper on my desk, and I try to refer to it often. I may not succeed at everything, but sometimes trying is what’s important.
What are your (non-bookish) resolutions for the new year?
14 thoughts on “The Happiness Project and 2012 Resolutions”
I’ve heard good things about this book and I’m thinking it deserves a read. I like your resolutions cause I can apply every single one to me…and probably should. 😉
It was such a great book — I wish I’d had time to review it in more detail, but I procrastinated too long on it and couldn’t renew my library checkout anymore. :p It would have been hard to review, though, just because it’s such a subjective topic.
Yes, you should read it! And create some resolutions. And we’ll be each other’s accountability buddies. 😀
It was a good book, I would recommend it as well. I also liked how she said that you need to focus on making yourself happy when you are already happy, so that you have those things in reserve when the bad comes.
Totally agree. When you’re stressed or upset, it’s nice to know of a few things you can do or think to make yourself feel better.
I really enjoyed THE HAPPINESS PROJECT. It was one of those books that kind of changed my life. One of the mantras that I took away from it was “The days are long, but the years are short.” I’m trying to live more “in the moment.”
I love your take-away resolutions. I think it’s great to strive towards them.
The book was recommended to me by my boss, who’s always trying to get me to be more positive. I went into it with a bit of a grumbly attitude, but I ended up enjoying it. I came away with a lot of little positive sayings, including the one you mention. It’s so true, and you never really stop to think about it.
I’m hoping to stick to the resolutions. I don’t think they’ll turn me into a Positive Polly, but hopefully they’ll help me feel less stressed. 🙂
Stopping the negative comments is so difficult for me! It’s a huge thing by itself; you essentially have to change your way of thinking and reacting.
So glad to see you back, Jenn! I missed reading your blog while you were on hiatus. 🙁
Yea, negativity is a big one for me too. I’m a sarcastic and cynical person by nature, which doesn’t help. But I’m plodding away at it and trying to remind myself to be at least a little more positive. Hopefully will take away some of my stress and anxiousness.
Thanks; it’s great to be back. I tried once to stop the three c’s. Criticize, contempt and some other thing. I don’t think I lasted a week, but it did show me that sarcasm wasn’t working for me at all. Cynicism is a little tougher to kick, though.
My sense of humor has always tended toward snarky, with quips and comebacks. It’s great for when you’re hanging out with friends, but not so great when you’re trying to work through a difficult problem at work, or deal with a fractious client. I’m learning to bite my tongue, but it’s definitely an ongoing process.
Good luck with your resolutions and goals! Great that the book gets people thinking and acting like that.
You should definitely pick it up sometime, if that’s the kind of book you could get into. I’m trying to stick with the resolutions, but it’s easier some days than others. 🙂
What a fantastic list of resolutions you made! I need to do 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 a LOT more. I’m going to write those down. Thank you! Good luck with your resolutions. 🙂
“Stop slouching” has been big with several people. I guess it’s a bigger epidemic than I thought.
One day at a time, and good luck with your resolutions!