Learning to be Happy: Part 2
Continued from Learning to be Happy: Part 1
Yesterday, I finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Seriously, this is a life-changing book and everyone should read it. In the end of the book, Gretchen invites the reader to create their own happiness project. Visit her happiness project website and toolbox.
I love projects, and I want to learn to be happier, so of course, I skipped out of the library and got to work in my notebook.
The first step of my happiness project was to set my “Happiness Commandments” as Gretchen calls them. These are like little mantras, meant to remind you of the things you want to change. I borrowed a few of hers, but eventually I came up with ten little reminders to help keep me on track.
1-God First- My religion is important to me, so I want to recognize God’s hand in my own life. As, I need to get better about reading my scriptures. And not zoning out in church.
2-Think about the long run- Will this matter in a month? A year? A decade? Will I be glad I didn’t do this? Hopefully, this will help with exercise and eating choices, conflicts with other people, and maybe even bigger decisions.
3- Act the way I want to feel- (I borrowed this one from Gretchen) Whoever said “Fake it until you make it” knew what they were talking about. Smile. Dress well. Exercise anyway. Do my hair.
4-Be here now- 90% of the time, my mind is either off in the future (i.e., worrying) or lingering on the past. Notice the clouds more. Have a tea party with my 3-year-old cousin. See the colors in the flower beds. Don’t want to be anywhere else.
5- Say yes- Some people have a hard time saying no. Not me, I’m more of the party-pooper persuasion. Instead, I’ll go to that party. Try something new. Help with that service project.
6-Do it now- Again, I’m a terrible procrastinator, even with things I like to do because I “save them for later”. Instead: Write down that transaction. Wipe up that drip. Call her. Pay that bill. Start that story.
7- Don’t be a loner- Studies show that social interaction is crucial to happiness, even in introverts like yours truly. So instead of hiding in the corner with my nose in a book, I’ll talk to people. Call a friend to go to lunch. Email someone I haven’t talked to in awhile. Accept when someone invites me to a movie I didn’t really want to see.
8- There is only love- Instead of doing things begrudgingly, out of obligation or because I’m paid to, I’ll do it because I care. Go above and beyond my nanny duties and be a big sister. Do something special for Sam.
9- Consistency is everything- A little every day adds up to a lot.
10- Connect with something real– Limit web-surfing. Talk to someone face-to-face. Play with the dogs more. Exercise outside. Smell flowers. Play Barbies with Sophie.
What are your happiness commandments?