Tuesday, 7 February 2017

My Happiness Project - Introduction

If you’ve been following my blog for a few years, you might remember back in 2015 I attempted to do my own version of The Happiness Project. Unfortunately, because my health was a bit temperamental, I only made it to mid-April. So I’ve decided that this year, I should give it another go!

I got the idea for this project from a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin. It is about a lady who was tired of feeling run down and miserable all the time, so she decided to do something about it. Gretchin 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.

Her story really struck a chord with me. I am also fed up of feeling sad all the time. Having depression can often feel like trying to wade through thick mud and, whilst I know I can’t cure myself, I can be more proactive in trying to make little changes to improve my mood.

When I last attempted this project, I followed the format in the book quite closely, just changing some of the themes and goals. But for me, it didn’t really work and ended up feeling like more of a chore. So this time I’ve had a think about the things that make me happy and also had a look on Pinterest (you can find my Happiness Project board here) for inspiration, and came up with a slightly different idea. Rather than listing things that I need to do (like going to bed earlier, starting to swim again, doing my physio exercises etc.) I thought it might be fun to come up with a fun bucket list of things I can do each month. Then, rather than pushing myself to do everything on the list, I can just do items when they feel suitable.

I thought it would be fun for me to share my project on my blog over the next year, so that you can experience my Happiness Project with me, and perhaps start your own too. So this post is just a bit of an introduction to my project, and then at the end of each month I will let you know how I got on with my monthly bucket list. I am also posting videos about it over on my YouTube channel, and you can find my first one here.

I won’t share my whole list of goals with you in this post, or we’ll be here all day! But I thought I would just give you a quick idea of the kind of things I’m hoping to do. For each month, there will be a mixture of specific tasks relevant to that month, and also a list of fun awareness/celebration days that I can do something to observe. So, for example, in January I wanted to do things like setting up a new planner, having a blue manicure and pedicure, buying white roses and reading in front of the fire. There were also a number of awareness days to celebrate including Winnie the Pooh Day, National Hug Day, National Handwriting Day and Chinese New Year. Then I also have my Happiness Planner, which I plan to fill in regularly throughout the year too.

I want my project to be flexible, so tasks can be carried forward to a different month, and awareness days don’t necessarily need to be celebrated on a specific day. Basically I want to make it as enjoyable and fun as possible – feeling happy is the goal after all! I’m really looking forward to giving my Happiness Project another try and would love to hear if you’re planning to do your own. If you’re taking part and happen to take any photos during your project, please use #JensHappyProject and tag me on social media so I can check out what you’ve all been up to!

Have you read The Happiness Project? What things do you do to help lift your mood?

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  1. I think I might see if I can find a copy of the book. I'm on a bit of a journey to a better me physical health-wise this year, but maybe my mental well-being is also something I should work on.

    1. I'd definitely recommend the book - it's something you can dip in and out of, which I love, and gave me a lot to think about. Working on mental well-being as well as physical sounds like a great plan. They are so linked together, so I think working on both works really well :) xx