Thursday, February 28, 2013

I'm in!

Ok Sister of Mine,

I am on board with your Happiness Project. The last time I attempted to do this it got derailed. Like things do. Then again, I didn't have you. I had flakey friends that flaked out. (I still love them, but I just need less flakey if I'm going to do this properly. Mostly because I'm kind of flakey too.)

I like in Gretchen's book how she pointed out that it's not that she wasn't happy, she was. She just wasn't as happy as she wanted to be. That was the part that speaks to me. I am happy. I love my life. I just want to tweak it a bit and feel happier. Maybe happy isn't necessarily the best word. I want to feel more fulfilled... maybe... I don't think that's the right word either. I feel like I waste a lot of my time watching T.V. I get a large amount of enjoyment out of watching T.V., so I don't know if it is exactly a waste. But there are so many things that I want to do and there are so many things that I know I could do. Productive! That's it. I want to be more productive with my life.

So the last time I tried to do this, we stuck to the one thing a month plan that Gretchen did, but we just didn't start in January. We started with some random month and just went from there. I found a couple of things hard about this method:
  1. I don't have 12 things that I want to work on. I felt stretched and pressured to come up with 12 things and then it stopped being about making me happier. 
  2. From month to month I just concentrated on that month's thing and let the other things go by the wayside.
  3. When I did try to carry things over into the next month I got stressed out. Also I got stressed out if I didn't complete things by the end of the month because I felt like I had failed. I didn't like that. 
I think your idea of picking things that you want to work on and then working on them a little every month is a good idea.

So I did a little research and apparently it takes - on average - doing something 66 days in a row to have it become a habit. Depending on how difficult it is. (As I said, a little bit of research. I found this article, which referenced a study. Seems legit. Those words will probably be my downfall.) That's about 2 months. So I propose we do this whole Happiness Project for 3 months and re-evaluate at that time to see if we need to try something different or maybe just try harder. ;)

In that vein, here are the things that I want to work on for the next three months:
  • Health
  • Communication
  • Career
  • Organization
  • Nerding it up (aka Increase my Awesomeness)
  • Getting out of my shell
I'm not really succinct with some of those, but I'm not sure how else to put them. Some of these things are pretty self explanatory, some of them may require more explaining, but I know what they are and I think that's what's really important.

In the organization vein, I think we should re-organize this blog a little bit. Also, I think we should push each other to blog every day. Even just a short "I hate doing this and I don't have time for it. Here's what I failed at today. Make me feel better now." kind of post. I think this will help us with communicating back and forth. Since we're not always available at the same time it will let us be able to be there for each other throughout this process. We both have iPad's now and there's this app. I will not comment on it's awesomeness as I haven't used it yet, but it should help with the blogging process. I contend that when you're off getting poked in your nose you can still blog and then post them all in one large blog. See Cindy's early blog posts for an example.

In the reorganization of the blog vein: Every post should be tagged with your name and one of your Happiness Project thingies that you want to work on. That way we know what the other person wants to work on. Also I can add a menu item so I can jump to your posts and you can jump to my posts. Which will be especially handy if one or the other of us fails on the blogging every day.

Let me know what you think.

I cannot wait!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My New Happiness Project

Sister -

Since this past Christmas of 2012, when I opened your present of "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin, I have taken a couple seconds every day to realize what it is that makes me me, makes me happy, what I have already gotten from my last 26 years and what I want out of the next 26+ years. I know I have come far through many hiccups, but know I want to go somewhere further.

I have now been out of college for 4 years.
I graduated with a degree in a field that was exactly what I wanted to do.
I found a job in the field I graduated in.
I have progressed in that field and have a great start to my career.
Though all this I have lost a wonderful parent, but also found my best friend and begun a wonderful life together.

So now what....? I am on track to check off all the boxes I ever imagined that I wanted.

Yet somehow I still had the feeling that I was just floating through my life. Considering my life is wake up early, commute to work, work, commute home, gym, dinner, 1 hr to relax, sleep, repeat. And weekends became routine also, either little trips to visit with family or planning for the next week while trying to get through chores to keep the small apartment clean. I had stopped reading, knitting, sewing, drawing, painting, and the list could go on to include all the additional hobbies I had while growing up. What had changed? Was I really "too busy" to do anything I had interests in anymore?

The answer of being "too busy" was just not satisfying.

That's how I have come to the beginning of my Happiness Project. It's my hope to find balance through what appears to be daily chaos and rekindle my older interests and hobbies. Below is the list of the things I want to work on to balance myself.

Creative Projects
Mental Stimulation

Gretchen Rubin took her year and divided her subjects of interest by month. She had her rules to live by and specific resolutions to obtain each month. I don't really like this method, and considering it took me sometime to finish the book, we are now at the end of February and I would be "behind". There is no reason to start off "behind". These topics are things I see that need to be developed for my entire life. They are each individually important and require that specific balance. I aim to touch on each topic often and keep coming back to them repeatedly.

This is where you come in sister!!!! You will be my help system, to allow me to have a checks and balance of sort. I can come here and touch base with you to maintain my resolutions and goals for each topic and allow be to vent and celebrate the progress.