My Happiness Inspired Project

 

T H E  L O W - D O W N (20)

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.

Xx

 

 

 

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19 Comments on My Happiness Inspired Project

  1. laurabee001@gmail.com'
    Laura Evelyn Bee
    13th January 2015 at 1:02 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow this is amazing!!! I’ve just popped over as I’ve recently blogged about this book and you commented that you were going to do your own project!!! Go you! I am really looking forward to reading how you get on. x

    Reply
    • Claire
      13th January 2015 at 5:16 pm (3 years ago)

      It’s a great book isn’t it!
      A few years ago I would have scoffed (nicely of course) at the thought of a ‘project’ – a couple of babies down the line and I’ve learnt that if I don’t plan and devote time to something It doesn’t happen! I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all works out!
      Thanks for reading!
      Xx

      Reply
  2. christinejberry@gmx.de'
    Christine (Yogaberry)
    14th January 2015 at 2:17 pm (3 years ago)

    I love the idea of having a theme for each month! I’m using the Daily Greatness Journal which helps me to focus on what’s important. I feel it helps me to just take 5 minutes in the morning to plan my day and then review in the evening. There is also a weekly and a three month action plan. I must have a look at the Happiness Project! I’m sure I will enjoy that.

    Reply
    • Claire
      14th January 2015 at 3:48 pm (3 years ago)

      I really would recommend the Happiness Project – It’s a really good read as well as having some great ideas.
      I like the idea of a daily gratitude diary. I’ve written gratitude lists before but nothing on such a regular basis and I can see how beneficial it would be – especially on those days when I can’t see the wood for the trees!
      Thanks for reading!
      Xx

      Reply
  3. tinyfootsteps@outlook.com'
    Jenna
    15th January 2015 at 5:13 pm (3 years ago)

    Love this post.

    I’m taking this year to ‘find my happy’ and I’m currently reading The Happiness Project book too. It’s very inspirational and motivating. I’ll been setting myself goals for each month too.

    Good luck wit your happiness project. :)

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

    Reply
    • Claire
      16th January 2015 at 2:50 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you!
      I think it’s great how many people are kicking the year off looking for happiness – surely a better goal than just the obligatory ‘eat less’, ‘join a gym’! I really think we could all be onto something!
      Good luck too!
      Xx

      Reply
  4. Prawncameron@yahoo.co.uk'
    Baby Isabella
    15th January 2015 at 11:02 pm (3 years ago)

    Love this post. The idea of bite size chunks and each month having a list and a theme. Much more manageable. Everyone seems to be making New Years resolutions. My mummy based hers on a rainbow..it’s hard to stick with them though..good luck and hope that 2015 brings you happiness x #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
    • Claire
      16th January 2015 at 2:54 pm (3 years ago)

      Sometimes I think I create so many things to-do I never get going because it appears insurmountable – I’m hoping that forcing myself to tackle them one month at a time will help me stay on track!
      I like the idea of basing it all on a rainbow!
      Best of luck for 2015!
      Xx

      Reply
  5. Mummytries@gmail.com'
    Reneé @ Mummy Tries
    16th January 2015 at 8:32 pm (3 years ago)

    Wishing you all the luck in the world! You’ve got quite a list here but breaking it up the way you gave should ensure success. Don’t forget to recognise your efforts along the way lovely, and reward yourself when you’ve achieved a big goal. You might also be interested in this xx http://becomethebestyou.co.uk

    Reply
  6. Mum@honestmum.com'
    Honest mum
    18th January 2015 at 1:14 am (3 years ago)

    Love this, writing goals down is so important, it gives you focus on clarity. Be kind to you though, we learn a lot from our mistakes, keep pushing forward and shining brightly, you rock. Thanks for the inspiration and linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

    Reply
    • Claire
      19th January 2015 at 3:55 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much for your super lovely comments! Despite being a bit of a perfectionist about my parenting I’m pretty laid back in other ways hence the never ending to-do lists. I do hope by breaking it all down I can move forward – instead of beginning with good intentions only to become overwhelmed by my own crazy schedule!!
      Xx

      Reply
  7. lkmoles@gmail.com'
    Lindsay @ Newcastle Family Life
    18th January 2015 at 10:58 pm (3 years ago)

    oh i love how you have broke things down into different things each month and listed what you want to achieve each month. I also have so many things i want to achieve and change this year and have been feeling rather overwhelmed by it all so i think i may take a leaf out of your book and try and break it down into months like you have. such a brilliant idea , good luck x #TheList

    Reply
    • Claire
      19th January 2015 at 4:00 pm (3 years ago)

      Best of luck breaking down your goals into achievable months – I’m feeling super positive for us both! I’d love to know how you get on!
      Xx

      Reply
  8. bodfortea@gmail.com'
    Michelle Reeves (bodfortea)
    19th January 2015 at 11:48 am (3 years ago)

    Totally LOVE this! Did you know that this is one of the habits of the most successful people – breaking a big hairy goal down into bite-sized chunks? So many of your goals resonate with me – patience, negativity, family – looking forward to sharing this journey with you. Thanks so much for linking up at #sharethejoy again this week x

    Reply
    • Claire
      19th January 2015 at 4:17 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much – I’m so excited that someone else GETS this! #sharethejoy came along at the perfect time!!
      Xx

      Reply
  9. Mum@honestmum.com'
    Honest mum
    19th January 2015 at 12:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Love this, I would also add don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t tick them all off, I think writing things down and having focus is key but overall we all need to be more gentle with ourselves and not beat ourselves up if we don’t do and reach everything we hope to, the journey is so important and I know I’ve learnt so, so much from mistakes too. Much love to you #sharethejoylinky

    Reply
    • Claire
      19th January 2015 at 4:23 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you! I’m hoping by attempting each task I can identify what actually works for me – and what doesn’t. I’ve got a feeling de-cluttering and patience will be my sticking points!
      Thanks for reading!
      Xx

      Reply
  10. michelledpannell@gmail.com'
    Michelle Twin Mum
    24th January 2015 at 12:39 am (3 years ago)

    All the very best of luck. I love the way you have broken down each month into a focus areas, really great. Mich x

    Reply
    • Claire
      26th January 2015 at 2:39 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much – I’m really excited to get started in February with my first full month to tackle!
      Xx

      Reply

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