Happiness

For several years now, I’ve considered myself the happiest person I know. Now that doesn’t mean I run around smiling and pretending everything is all roses, puppies, and kittens all the time. I complain when the house is a mess, or if the kids are too loud, or when I have to go to work (again? I mean, c’mon! 5 days a week, every week?!). I actually complain a LOT. It’s in my nature to contradict things, and I enjoy a good, respectful argument. But I really am happy. I’m content.

How did I get this way? Well, I think it’s because I’ve practiced gratitude on a regular basis for awhile now. I’ve chosen to be grateful for the things I have, rather than bitter over the things I don’t have. It’s pretty amazing how differently I seem to feel about the world than other people I come across who appear bitter and resentful because of the hand they’ve been dealt. I think there is something to be grateful for in every situation, even the difficult ones. Recently, I’ve come to the realization that when fitness comes first for me, happiness follows with more ease. When my body feels better, I find it easier to be grateful for smaller things. I started noticing just how much happier I am than a lot of people a few years ago, and since then, I’ve noticed tidbits of information here and there about gratefulness and happiness popping up in front of me. There are sayings that go across social media all the time about being happy, fortune cookie fortunes about happiness, books about happiness (actually, most self-development books are really about finding your happiness, and we’re encouraged to read those continually as Beachbody Coaches because they’re just good for us), and people who talk about happiness all over the place.

That brings me to this book I keep coming across called The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin. Actually, I keep seeing The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: A Five-Year Record and, considering how much I love blank books, planners, and journals (which I never seem to fill before buying a newer, prettier one), I want it. But I figured I should read the book first, and then, maybe get the journal. So I bought the book (the audio and Kindle versions). And once I’m done talking about the book on here, I’ll probably get the journal, too.

The Happiness Project is sort of a memoir and how-to that outlines Rubin’s yearlong project to find more happiness. The intro outlines why she set out on the project (she realized she wasn’t as happy as she thought she should be, but she wasn’t really unhappy either), how she prepared for her year of finding more happiness (she studied happiness in the classics, literature, pop culture, and science), and what happiness resolutions she was going to tackle each month. Then there are twelve chapters, each with a different focus. She focuses on topics like marriage, vitality, money, and mindfulness. I’d like to take a couple of weeks to go through the book and write about what I learned from Rubin’s chronicle of her year of seeking and practicing happiness. Hopefully some of you get something out of it, and I’ll have helped you find some more of your own happiness.

Stay tuned for the first installment next week!

And if you want to pick up a copy for yourself of the original book or the journals, here are links to them on Amazon (last I looked they were on sale!):

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, and Generally Have More Fun

The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: A Five-Year Record

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