It was a game changer.
Gretchen wrote about the year she made a concentrated effort to be more happy in her life. It's not that she was unhappy, but that she knew she could get more out of her every day living. Each month she focused on a different facet of her life - her marriage, her finances, her overall health - and what she did to "improve" each of those areas. It was amazing.
- "Spend Out" (one of her Twelve Commandments, page 10) - which basically boils down to 'use your stuff'! The special bath gel you are saving for a 'special occasion'? - use it. The sweater you only wear a handful of times because you are afraid to wear it out? Just wear it before it gets moth holes or doesn't fit or is out of style! What are we saving things for? I buy things because I like them, or others gift things to me because they were thinking of me. Why hide things away for a special day, when we could be enjoying them now? I have made a concious effort to "spend out" in my life since reading The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun .
- Approach situations with no expectations for how the other person may act (I forget where I saw that, but it's in there). Basically? I can control myself. I cannot control others, nor do I know what they are thinking or why they are thinking it. This has lead to much less stress in my life.
In 2013, I am going to focus on my own "happiness project". I always feel like odd years are "rebuilding" years, a prep year for great things to come in the following (even) year. I was born in an even year, graduated, got a job, and got married in an even year, and gave birth in an even year. Weird? Probably :-) But that's me.
I have started January's task list and will share tomorrow. In the mean time, I highly recommend Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. The links above are Amazon affiliate links and I would so love if you'd use them, but completely understand if that's not your thing. Trust me, I'm not getting rich off those links (I think I've made .20 cents over the past year with Amazon affiliate links?)!
Happy New Year - Here's to 2013!