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?