Having resolved to make 2015 the year I bring more joy into my life, I have been busy thinking about what that actually means and how best to go about it.
One of my big issues – and one I’d like to avoid – is jumping head first into something and then not being able to see it through. Lack of time, energy or plain old distraction is my nemesis.
With this all in mind, I recently re-read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I was particularly interested in the way she tackled a different aspect of her project each month. This bitesized approach really appeals to me – so much so, I’m borrowing the concept as the springboard for my own own happiness inspired project!
We’re grappling with some pretty big decisions here at the moment (to move or not to move, business expansion etc) so I’ve decided to give myself the chance to grapple and plan in January. My project will start in February. Here is my month by month breakdown:
FEBRUARY – CLEAR THE CLUTTER
- Give or sell the last of our baby things.
- Clear paperwork (my overflowing important documents draw).
- Clear wardrobe.
- Create a clear and welcoming environment in the home.
MARCH – HEALTH
- Keep a food diary.
- Enjoy the process of cooking/eating.
- Address my running niggles.
- Create healthy opportunities.
APRIL – PARENTING
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Practise more patience.
- Take the time.
- Under react to problems (as opposed to what I do now…)
- Listen more.
MAY – MARRIAGE
- Appreciate what my husband does do.
- Treat my husband as I would a friend.
- Stop the spread of negativity.
- Make space for my marriage.
- Bite my tongue more often.
JUNE – WORK
- Be brave with my dreams.
- Be consistent.
- Create and adhere to my own deadlines.
- Invest in my blog and myself.
JULY – FUN
- Figure out what ‘fun’ means to me.
- Try three new ‘fun’ things.
- Create more opportunities for family fun.
- Create time for ‘fun’ things in my life.
AUGUST – SOCIALISING
- Update missing and lost contact details for friends – establish contact.
- Make regular plans with friends who live nearby.
- Make the effort with friend’s who live further away.
- Be more open to new friendships.
SEPTEMBER – MONEY
- Keep a money diary.
- Stop buying things we don’t need.
- Spend a bit more money on having fun.
OCTOBER – PASSIONS
- Identify what I consider to be a personal passion.
- Try three new potential passions.
- Make time for the things that interest me.
NOVEMBER – ATTITUDE
- Complain less.
- Consider my glass half full as opposed to half empty.
- Be less stubborn and more open to suggestion.
- Connect with the people around me.
DECEMBER – LIVE THE BEST OF THE BEST
- Take my favourite aspects of the year and create a ‘happy’ month encompassing the best elements of the year.
Reading over my list, I’m struck with how much work I have to do but I’m also really excited!
I’m kicking off in February with ‘clearing the clutter’, as we are considering a move this seems sensible. I’m also much calmer and more focused when the house is in order so I think that will set me up well for my other challenges.
Health is my priority in March, it makes a lot of sense to make this my focus as I have an appointment at the beginning of the month with a consultant to address my pathetic iron levels. I’m also registered for the Leeds Half Marathon in May so I desperately need to get my health and running niggles in order.
April and May will see me focus on ‘parenting’ and ‘marriage’. My family are the best things in my world and there is so much love in our house. However, in the chaos of life I find my patience increasingly thin – I want to find ways to communicate with my children in a better way for us all. I also don’t want to turn into a grumpy wife!
Over the summer months I’m going to tackle ‘work’, ‘fun’ and ‘socialising’. I’m going to focus on work in June before the summer holidays arrive so I can turn my attention to fun and socialising!
Money is something I definitely want to look at – not so much in terms of saving more but certainly not wasting it. I would rather direct our funds to more ‘joyful’ activities.
If it’s one question I dread it’s ‘what do you like doing?’ – what do I like doing?? I’m so busy doing stuff that I have lost sight of what genuinely interests me. Addressing that will certainly increase my happiness (?).
I firmly believe that a positive attitude is key to increased happiness so I’m going to be looking at this in November. I like to think I’m generally a pretty positive person, I see the good in people and situations. I have however noticed that this is slightly less true in recent years – I’d like to work on reversing that trend.
December is going to see me pull together all the things that have worked, discarding those that haven’t, in order to create a fantastic end of the year!
I’ll be posting on my challenges as I go – hopefully there will be lots of happy successes but I’ll be honest about the things that don’t work too!
Wish me luck.
If you have any suggestions, or if you’re making changes yourself this year I’d love to hear about it.