Tuesday, 7 March 2017

January Happiness Project Round-Up

This year I decided to give my own Happiness Project another go after failing a bit with the last one I tried. If you’ve never heard of The Happiness Project before, you can check out my introduction to it here. I made a sort of bucket list for each month of things I would like to do and also national days I could celebrate. Some I came up with myself, and some I found on Pinterest. But I made sure not to put any pressure on myself to do them all because that would just take away from the whole idea of it being a project to increase my happiness! I said in that post that I would share my project with you over the next year, so today I thought I would go through the things I did throughout January.

First up on my list was to set up a new planner and calendar – a job that definitely needs to be done at the beginning of the year. This is something I tended to do anyway to be honest, but I really enjoy doing it, so I thought I would pop it on my list! I ordered myself a cute Boofle calendar at the end of December, so started by filling that in with birthdays, anniversaries and any appointments I already knew about. Next was my Filofax - I’ve had a Filofax for about ten years now and absolutely love how simple they are to keep. I used to use it as a diary and address book, but now I keep my addresses on my iPhone, the Filofax is mainly an appointments diary. So I filled it in with the same birthdays, anniversaries and appointments as my calendar. I love to be organised and know what I’m meant to be doing – it helps me feel happier because I can plan and keep up with my commitments. But I really wish I could make more time to perhaps keep a more detailed and pretty planner like a Bullet Journal or drawing/scrapbook-type journal. I think I will have to make a list as the year goes on, of ideas that come out of doing this project that I would like to make more of an effort to do.

Something I was really keen to put on my list for each month was to buy flowers. There’s something about having fresh flowers in the house that really lifts my mood, and because no one is going to buy them for me, the next best thing is to buy them for myself! Rather than just buying a random bunch of flowers each month, I’ve tried to specify a type of flower (or bunch) instead. For January, my goal was to buy some white roses, as I always think they are a good winter flower. But I do love a bit of colour, and white roses on their own can be a bit boring. So I chose this bunch of pink and white roses from Waitrose that go with my room d├ęcor perfectly.

Next on my January bucket list was to have a Snow Fairy and Epsom salts bath. A bit random I know, but I’m terrible at making time for myself to have a nice bath (please don’t think that means I don’t wash though!) I have one or two (OK, probably more like five!) bottles of Snow Fairy that I stocked up on over Christmas, and it’s got to be one of my favourite Lush products of all time. I’ve also recently been trying out Epsom salts/Magnesium Flakes in my baths to try and help with my muscle pain, but I just don’t make an effort to use them enough. So this was a good excuse to really pamper myself with a lovely relaxing bath. I definitely enjoyed it and really need to make myself take proper bubble baths more often, rather than just a quick dip or hair wash.

Another goal on my list for this month was to light winter candles. I have a ridiculous amount of candles – I just can’t help myself, I love them so much! But I’m terrible at lighting them (are you sensing a theme throughout this post?!) So I decided to light my Yankee Candle, Snowflake Cookie, which is a gorgeous candle for the winter months. It’s quite sweet, so if you’re not a fan of sickly sweet candles this one probably isn’t for you, but I’ve got a real sweet tooth. I wouldn’t say it’s particularly Christmassy in my opinion, which is good as you can continue to burn it into the new year (although let’s be honest, I burn Christmas candles all year round!) I’ve got goals to burn different candles throughout the year, so am quite excited to see what new ones come out for different seasons, despite the fact I really don’t need to buy any more candles!

As well as having some bucket list items on my list for each month, I’ve also found some national days that would be fun to mark. Most of them are quite random and light-hearted, although there are some more serious ones that I felt were important to include. The first one for January was National Bubble Bath Day on the 8th. I know I’ve already included a bath-related goal for this month, but there’s no such as thing as too many baths as far as I’m concerned. So I chose a Lush product from my Christmas collection, The Christmas Penguin, and also added a bit of bubble bath from Treacle Moon (who by the way I love!) to make it really bubbly.

Organised Home Day came next, on the 14th, and this was something I will always have things to do for! No matter how much time I spend tidying and organising, there always seems to be more to do. I actually really enjoy tidying and organising though, which may sound a bit weird to some people, but I just find it quite relaxing and I love the end result when everything looks tidy. I decided to focus on my make-up storage, as I recently purchased the Alex 9-drawer unit from IKEA and have been meaning to start sorting out my make-up for a while. First, I worked out which products will go in each drawer and wrote that down so I had something to work on. Then I found a load of old boxes from My Little Box and Birchbox, which I thought would be perfect for organising each drawer into smaller section. And then I started to put my make-up and skincare into the different drawers. I’ve still got some to do, but I’ve made a good start.

The 18th of January was Winnie the Pooh Day, and as a lifelong lover of Winnie the Pooh I knew I needed to do something to mark it. It was a bit of a challenge thinking of something creative to do, especially with limited time and energy, so in the end I just spent some time reading through one of my old Winnie the Pooh books that I’ve kept from my childhood. I love the beautiful illustrations, and the words bring back so many lovely memories of my parents reading me these stories when I was little. I wish I could have thought of something a bit more exciting to do, but the whole idea of this project is to do things that make me happy, and this certainly did. If I do this again next year, then maybe I can think of something different to do. Perhaps you can give me some suggestions if you have any?!

The day after, the 19th, was Popcorn Day, and what better way to enjoy popcorn than at the cinema?! I have to just add in here that I didn’t always mark these days on the right dates – that was going to get too complicated! But my friend Charlie kindly invited me to go to the cinema with her, her husband and two children to see Sing, and I jumped at the chance. As soon as I saw the trailer last year I knew it was a film that I needed to see, so I was really excited to watch it and thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. We were all singing along and dancing in our seats all the way through, and it’s definitely something I will be getting when it comes out on DVD. I always used to be a sweet popcorn lover, but just recently I’ve been craving salty food, so opted for salted popcorn. I kind of wish I’d gone for a mixture of both, but hey, there’s always next time.

National Hug Day came on the 21st, and there’s nothing I love better than a good hug. Unfortunately, being single, I don’t get many opportunities for hugs, so I tend to turn to my family, friends and pets for a bit of love. On this particular day, Freddie came and sat on my lap as he often does, and gave me a lovely long cuddle. A hug from him (or any of our pets) will always lift my mood if I’m feeling down. He doesn’t judge me or ask any questions, it’s just unconditional love (and kisses!) I think everyone needs a Freddie in their life!

The last goal I managed to achieve this month was celebrating Chinese New Year on the 28th. I always used to love getting a Chinese, with my favourite being sweet and sour chicken balls with egg fried rice. But over the last few years my digestive problems have got a lot worse and I struggle to manage food like this any more. But my family were all having some, so I thought I might as well give it a go and just have a nibble of some of my favourite things. Waitrose were doing a deal on their Chinese range, so we decided to get some bits from there, and ended up getting a whole feast! I did enjoy getting to taste some of my favourite Chinese foods again, but unfortunately I was quite poorly afterwards.

So, that was all of the things I managed to do in January, but I did have a few more things on my list that I didn’t quite accomplish. I thought I would share them with you too, just in case you’re looking for ideas for your own list. I’m going to hold onto all these ideas and either fit them in as the year goes on, or do the project again next year! The goals I didn’t manage this month were:

o   Write a 2017 reading list
o   Blue manicure and pedicure
o   Decorate my home for winter
o   Read by the fire
o   Go on a winter adventure
o   Make soup
o   Build a snowman (we had no snow!)
o   Blue Monday (Bright Monday) – 16th
o   Handwriting Day – 23rd

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing how I got on with my January Happiness Project. I’d love to hear your comments and if you’ve done/are doing a similar project I would love to hear all about it too!

Have you done a Happiness Project before? What do you think of the idea?
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