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2013 Resolutions: Taking it one month at a time.

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Resolutions, as I discovered with my 2012 34 Rulin’s, can be overwhelming. It’s easier to make them as opposed to actually keep them. Some resolutions seem to just become this monster cloud floating over you. You know you shouldn’t eat that donut, but you do anyway. You know that you should take a walk even though it’s cold and windy, but you don’t. You know that if you don’t stop biting your nails by the time New Year’s Eve comes around, you’re going to be really disappointed in yourself.

My 2013 Happiness Project breaks down into one overarching principle for the entire year:  Balance. Balance of Mind-Body-Spirit. Then each month, I have a theme, like January’s is Boost Energy (yes, I stole shamelessly this theme from The Happiness Project’s author, Gretchen Rubin). Then I break down four action items per month that relate to that theme. For me, I had to make sure that each of the action items fell within one of four categories, that I’ve termed “Happiness Conductors.” The categories are:  Play & New Experiences; Friends & Family; Meaningful Activities; and, Appreciation/Gratitude.  I tried to make sure that I hit each one of these Happiness Conductors in my action items.  So, for January, my action items are:  Go to Sleep earlier; Exercise Better; Operation Organization; Invest in Art. Under those action items, I give myself specifics – e.g., in bed by 10 p.m. with lights out at 10:30 p.m.

Sleep affects body, mind and spirit. It’s something I struggle with often. So, if I plan to be happier, I might as well not start off the day exhausted. I cannot have good relationships with anyone, do meaningful activities, have the energy to play, and no one is appreciative of a day stocked full of low energy. Exercise is the same. It feeds into the health and welfare of body, mind, and spirit, as well as effects all the Happiness conductors. Being organized and tossing, restoring or organizing my life and belongings creates a sense of order. Order is peaceful. Peacefulness makes me happy. Being happy means I have positive interactions with all the happiness conductors. See a pattern here. Lastly, investing in my art feeds my mind and spirit. When my mind and spirit are happy, I have more energy. More energy is happy making. When I’m happy, I have more energy. It’s like that recycle circle patter, yes?

I have a chart that looks like this, note the cool quote to keep me focused and inspired:

January: Boost Energy

Quote:  “The energy of the mind is the essence of life.”  ~Aristotle

Go to Sleep earlier*

Exercise Better**

Operation Organization***

Invest :30 extra minutes each day on art****

1

X

X

X

X

2

X

X

X

3

4

5

6

7

As I’m successful, I give myself an X or an O. X means I was successful with that action item on that day. O means I sucked a big fat egg. Hey, wait, eggs are good. Sucking them down whole, would suck though. Anyhow, you can see how I’m doing so far. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to “reward” myself for, say, having more X’s than O’s. But, I could. At its basis happiness is its own reward. However, if I have a hard day, I a reward at the end might be just the tip I need to keep me moving forward. What would be a good reward for this month? What do you think?

I also have a virtual support network. A few friends, associates, neighbors and I have a closed facebook group where we post inspiration, cry for help, our goals and generally converse and cheer each other on regarding our happiness project. So far, so good.

I’m only into the second day, but I felt a bit of an attitude shift. I hope I can keep it up. I plan to keep it up. I’ve been thinking about this project since last summer when I first read Rubin’s book. That tells me I have much invested to succeed here. I’m tired of being blue, low energy, negative, frustrated, and most importantly, not enjoying my life. So, I have a sense of happiness just pursuing this.

At the end of each week, I’ll take a look and see how I’m doing and post it here so you can cheer, maybe be inspired, and kick me in the butt if I fall off the happiness wagon.

I honestly feel like I’m set up for success. I have a plan, clearly defined goals, a way to measure (X’s and O’s, but hey, it’s something), and accountability. These are all the things the Positive Psychology people say is necessary to achieve happiness in your life. Again, I aim to see.

If you were to undertake such a project, what would your January goals be?

 

 

Published inHappiness Project

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