A few days ago I finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It had been on my list to read for quite awhile and I finally got it and made time to read it. I am so glad I did! It's one of those books that I will keep and resort back to many times (I already have!). It's full of tips and great points on living our lives to the fullest.
Chapter 1: January, Boost Energy
Boost energy is a great first topic in Gretchen's book. In January, there are many people making New Year's resolutions but often fall short of their goals not too long after making them. This chapter was all about making smarter goals and how to keep them throughout the years. I loved how she talked about how exercise has changed her life when she finally found something she enjoyed! The main area I am working on for this month is 'toss, restore, organize'. I have clutter from college and moving that I still need to sort through and get rid of and I also have many clothes that I never wear, but yet keep holding onto. Lastly, she talks about doing something that takes 5 minutes or less right away rather than waiting. For example, I'm so bad about saying I'll do the dishes later because I really dislike dishes but if I just take the 5 minutes every night to do them they'll never add up and become a nagging task. The first chapter will draw you in and you'll never quite reading this book, I tell ya!
Chapter 2: February, Remember Love
Now this is a chapter I can relate to A LOT. This doesn't just have to do with a significant other, but anyone you love in your life. There are many excellent points touched on during this chapter. The biggest ones to me were: quit nagging and don't expect praise. I am a semi-perfectionist in many things and also like things to be done right away which results in nagging at Tyler or someone else to hurry up and do something. Tyler is much more laid back and spontaneous. From reading Gretchen's advice and experiences, I learned that we need to relax more and realize not everyone is like us. As for praise, I truly love to take care of others and do things for them and sometimes a little praise is great to hear. Yet, this isn't something we should expect which is hard for me to understand sometimes. I'm not always searching for praise, but when someone doesn't praise me for something that I do, it is upsetting. She says we need to do something because it makes us feel good rather than doing it to receive attention or praise..spot on Gretchen, spot on.
Chapter 3: March, Aim Higher
I hope that most people find this chapter to be enlightening and motivating to them. I am always working towards making my life better and pushing to be the best in everything I do. We should always be working towards bettering ourselves and aiming for something higher. While Gretchen says to have strong goals and push, she also hits on just enjoying the now and not stressing about what we need to do to make our future better. I think it's true that often people worry too much about the future when they should just live in the moment and enjoy what they have now! I need to do more of that as I am always worrying about tomorrow rather than today!
Chapter 4: April, Lighten Up
I feel like Gretchen was talking to me in this chapter..haha! I am so uptight sometimes. I really need to work on the spontaneity in my life.
Chapter 5: May, Be Serious About Play
I have so many friends that go out and just 'play' like they used to as kids and I wish I could do that! Gretchen talked about being more creative, starting a collection of sorts, and finding time to be silly. I feel like I am silly sometimes, but not enough and need more laughter in my life. I think we should laugh every day multiple times!
Chapter 6: June, Make Time for Friends
I am actually doing so much better with this one lately! I must have really connected to what Gretchen wrote because I am taking the time for all of my friends and reaching out to those I haven't talked to in awhile. This has been really fun getting to see my friends more often and catch up. I often ask myself why I didn't do this more beforehand! Hopefully this means I won't go back and get too busy to make the time for my friends. These relationships are priceless!
Chapter 7: July, Buy Some Happiness
I feel as though I'm an expert on this one..(oops!) I love to shop and buy things that make me happy. I am a smart shopper, don't get me wrong, but I just don't mind spending money unlike some people (cough, Tyler, cough). Although money doesn't necessarily buy you happiness, it can indeed make you happier and enjoy life. I usually spend my money on quality things like healthy food, fun fitness clothes, or a new pair of shoes. I also really like buying little gifts to give to people just for fun because that makes me feel good and it doesn't stress me if I spend money on something like that.
Chapter 8: August, Contemplate the Heavens
The biggest thing I got from this chapter was to keep a gratitude notebook. Basically, each week or so you should write down something you are thankful for in a journal. I think this is an excellent idea that I'd love to adapt someday (hence why I want to keep this book for future reference).
Chapter 9: September, Pursue a Passion
I have always wanted to be more dangerous and go for something in my life. I have contemplated several things, but after reading I realized there's no better time than now to get started on doing what I'm passionate about. I am so proud of myself for switching my major awhile back from nursing to health promotion for the main reason of pursuing my passions. I was nervous to go a different way in my life, but now I couldn't be happier with my decision! Now, I just need to do this in the rest of my life and really GO for it!
Chapter 10: October, Pay Attention
I am very good about paying attention and stimulating my mind in many ways. I am still in school, but on top of that I love to read about so many different topics and also ask people about many different things that they know about that I don't. It's so fun to learn from others about something! After I graduate, I have many things I want to do next as my source of knowledge that I hope I will continue to do throughout my life as I believe learning something new every day is so important!
Chapter 11: November, Keep a Contented Heart
Laugh out loud, give positive reviews, use good manners..all of these are points Gretchen touched on. I need to work on the LOL part. I laugh, but I don't LOL enough and who doesn't love a good, hard laugh?!
Chapter 12: December, Boot Camp Perfect
Finally, this chapter was all about following EVERY step ALL the time! This is a hard one that I'm still working on, but am trying to take each thing month by month and get down to the serious stuff.
Have you read The Happiness Project by Rubin? If not, I highly recommend it. It's a quick, easy, yet so enlightening and joyful read that you'll be hooked fast!