Thursday, 5 February 2015

My Happiness Project - February

I was recently given a book by a friend called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and after hearing about it online and then flicking through the book I was inspired to do my own Happiness Project. If you haven’t heard of the book, it is basically about a lady who was tired of feeling run down and miserable all the time, so she decided to do something about it. She started off on a project that would span an entire year. Every month was assigned a theme, and within these themes she came up with a selection of goals to help her reach the happiness theme of that particular month. It’s a really inspiring and thought-provoking book, so I would really recommend giving it a read if you ever get the chance.

So, I decided that I am also fed up of feeling sad all the time. Having depression makes life incredibly difficult and, whilst I know I can’t cure myself, I can be more proactive in my choices, which in turn could lead to an improved state of mind. Conducting my own Happiness Project seemed like the perfect thing to start, what with it being a new year and all that, so I started thinking about how I could do one for myself. I have decided to use the same monthly themes that are talked about in the book, because I feel I am able to come up with relevant goals for each of them, which are personal to me. Obviously no two happiness projects will be the same, because we all have individual challenges that cause us unhappiness and different things that make us feel happy. But I felt I could relate the themes to my own life and come up with a range of goals that cover all aspects of my life.

I thought I would make a series of posts, over the next year, so that you can experience my Happiness Project with me, and perhaps even join me and do a project of your own. I will do a post at the beginning of each month, detailing the monthly theme and the goals I am aiming towards, and then at the end of the month I will do a brief wrap-up about how I have got on over the last month and reflect on how the project is going.

So we are now in February, and the theme for this month is to ‘Remember Love.’ My goals this month are as follows:

Send a random text to a friend who is struggling at least once a week

I tend to text my friends quite regularly anyway, but I’m definitely one of those people who is better at replying to texts than I am at initiating contact. I do try, but there is always room for improvement. I know how much I love getting a little random text from someone, especially when I’m having a hard time, as just knowing someone is thinking of me can make things seem that little bit brighter. I’m hoping this goal won’t be too difficult – if I stick to just sending one text a week, it will probably only amount to about five minutes out of my whole month, so really not something that is going to take up loads of extra time. I would obviously like to try and send more than one text a week, but one a week is my absolute minimum requirement. Hopefully I can brighten a few people’s days over the next month and beyond.

Do an RAOK at least once a month

Now, if you’ve never heard of an RAOK before, let me first tell you what one is. It stands for Random Act of Kindness, and basically does what it says on the tin. It is any act of kindness, no matter how big or small, that is done completely randomly, with no hidden agenda, for the sole purpose of making someone else smile or making their day that little bit better. These acts of kindness could be anything from sending a text or letter, to giving someone a small gift, or even just helping to carry someone’s shopping. I’ve already got an idea for my main RAOK this month, but I will tell you more about it in the wrap-up as I’d like it to be a surprise for the recipient.

Every week write down two things I like about myself

This is definitely going to be the most difficult task this month by far. Like most people, I’m terrible at pointing out my good qualities and would much rather say something bad about myself or find fault with something I’ve done. I don’t know whether it’s a bit of self-preservation or something, but I’ve never liked to big myself up. Well, that needs to change this month, because as well as remembering to love other people, I need to remember to love myself. I’ve been given a really cute notebook by a friend, and have decided that I will use that to write down my two things a week. The idea is that I should carry this on beyond February, so hopefully I will develop a whole notebook full of my positive qualities and attributes. Hopefully it will be a good thing to have to read when I’m having a down day or just need a bit of a boost.

So there we have it. Three different goals to work on this month, and I think that hopefully they are much more achievable than my January goals. I’m still planning to work on my January goals, as the idea is that you are meant to carry your goals forward so at the end of the year you are practising everything you set out to do. I’ve joined Slimming World, so I’m hoping that will help improve my diet, and I’ve got plans to go and see Big Hero 6 and The Theory of Everything at the cinema, so I will more than meet my one film a month quota! I’m really enjoying taking part in this project and would love to hear if you’ve set yourself any goals this month. If you would like to join me in a Happiness Project and happen to take any photos as part of it, please use #JensHappyProject so I can check out what you’ve all been up to!

Have you read The Happiness Project? Do you have any resolutions you’ve made for this month?

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  1. This is such a lovely idea! This book has been sitting in my Amazon basket for months, I really have to get it now. I love the idea of doing random acts of kindness, I've done some in the past but it'd be great to have a reason to get back into doing it. For the last few years, I get down from time to time. Bad enough that I go to counselling whenever it get's "bad", but not bad enough that it affects my day to day life. I'll definitely be checking in to see how you get on!


    1. Thank you Collette I'm glad you like the idea - you should definitely get the book :) Random Acts of Kindness are a really lovely thing to do as well :) xx