My 2015 Happiness Project: Month The First

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In 2009, Gretchen Rubin published The Happiness Project, detailing her year-long experiments in being happier. I didn’t hear of it until November 2013, when my friend Shannon wrote about it at her blog Salt Lick Lessons. And then it took me more than a year to actually read the book…

…because, honestly? I believe deep down that my pursuing happiness would be selfish.

Doing more for others? Sure, that’s fine. Doing more to change the world? Absolutely! Putting energy into a big project just to make myself happier? WHAT?! If I want to be happier, clearly I should just work harder, use that energy to help other people, and have a more grateful attitude.


But it’s hard to do that when you’re worn out and borderline miserable. Which, due to various events in the last few years, seems like my permanent state of being. I need to change all that. What I’m doing isn’t working. For me, or anyone around me. (You can ask them!) I want to get back to the gal who volunteers, supports her friends, and keeps her promises.

So I’m starting my own year-long happiness project. Rubin had a small handful of items she focused on each month. I’ve decided I can manage just one. And I can’t wrap my head around planning all twelve months of it right now, but I’ve got January and February figured out.

January is for Routines. We’re re-establishing household routines that collapsed in the fall, and making them work better so they won’t break so easily under pressure. We’re making some things into routines that were basically handled as afterthoughts to our schedule before. (Like housecleaning and cooking. Yeah, I know, that’s bad.) I’m using HabitRPG to track and nurture my positive behaviors. And I’m hoping my anarchist-spirited husband doesn’t feel completely suffocated by this at the end of the month.

February is going to be for Decluttering. There is so much STUFF in our house and garage. As I told Boy Detective, me trying to run my life with this much clutter is like him trying to do multiplication while someone’s running the blender. He hates the blender. (But he loves smoothies, so it’s a hard life.)

If I do those two, I’ll be in a better state to figure out what the next 10 months should be about. That’s the theory, anyway.

Wish me luck!

11 thoughts on “My 2015 Happiness Project: Month The First

  1. Natalie

    What an awesome idea! I know there are things that I could do in life to make myself happier, but fixing them all at one just seems so overwhelming. Breaking them down into months would be so much easier–and would help me feel great when I achieve those smaller goals. Best of luck! :)

  2. Michelle

    I think this is a fabulous idea! Women in general, especially moms, have such a difficult time placing themselves first….at least I do! I can’t wait to hear all about your success!!!

  3. Trish

    I love this idea! It seems like a great idea to plan for a goal each month. I am looking forward to reading more about your year long happiness project.

  4. Shannon

    Ohmygosh, I wish you ALL the luck! I think it makes great sense to do one thing a month and honestly, I should put housecleaning and cooking in my plan for 2015. I understand the husband thing–he’ll survive. :) haa! Go, you and I wish you the best. Happy 2015!

  5. Jean

    I’ve had that book on my “to-read” list for a while now…so I’ll be interested in hearing about your progress! Decluttering is on my agenda for 2015 too.

  6. Sarah

    I think I’m going to have to give this book a chance. We could definitely use some tweaking around here also so that all of us can get back to not being perpetually exhausted.

    (and OMG where DOES all the garage clutter come from???)

  7. Skye

    Natalie and Trish, I get overwhelmed so easily with All Of The Things. It’s been such a relief telling myself “that’s okay, January is for routines, you can work on that later.”

    Lysha and Jean, she did a great job honoring that people are different, while sharing some good universally helpful info. Sarah, let me know what you think if you get a chance to read it.

    Michelle, yes, it’s time to pay attention to me for a while! Too burned out by All Of The Things.

    Shannon, thanks for your comment. Since this is all your fault, you know. ;)

  8. Skye

    I think my powers of concentration are just more limited than hers. Of course I’m not doing it as part of my full-time job as a writer, to get a book out of it, either…

  9. Julie S.

    I think decluttering is on everyone’s list for 2015 heh. I’d certainly like to do that, and I see a lot of people talking about their plans to as well. Good luck :)

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