Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Happiness Project - February Round Up

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 in 2015, 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 have now come to the end of February and I thought I would have a quick chat to you about how I’ve got on with this months goals, which were as follows:

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

This is something that comes fairly naturally to me, as I’m a big texter! But I wanted to try and be the instigator, rather than just replying to texts already sent to me, so this month I have tried to be the one to send the first text to people a bit more and I think I’ve done a fairly good job of it. Obviously there is always room for improvement, but I’ve tried really hard to contact people I know are having a more difficult time, and it’s nice to know that I have hopefully brightened their day a little bit. It’s definitely something I want to continue over the next few months.

Do an RAOK at least once a month

Again, this is something I tend to do fairly regularly anyway, but I wanted to motivate myself to do it on a regular basis. For those of you that don’t know, RAOK stands for Random Act of Kindness, which basically does what it says on the tin! This month I managed my RAOK by making a happy scrapbook for a friend going through a difficult time. I really enjoyed making it, putting thought into what might make someone else happy, and it was lovely hearing from my friend when she received it. She told me she really liked it and that it really cheered her up, so I would say that is mission accomplished!

Every week write down two things I like about myself

I must admit this has been the most difficult task this month, but then I knew that would be the case. I’m just not very good at finding good things about myself! But I really have tried. A friend sent me this cute notebook and I decided that I would use it for this task, so every weekend I sat down and tried to think of two good things that I liked about myself. Some weeks I couldn’t think of any, but I tried not to put too much pressure on myself and just came back to it another day, and overall I’ve managed to write down a few things. I definitely want to try and keep this idea up because it’s really nice reading back through the notebook when you’re feeling low, and just think what it would be like to have a completely full notebook!

I’ve also had a go at keeping up with my other goals from January, which has been going fairly well, although I’m still yet to tidy out my wardrobe – I’ll get there one day!

So there we have it. Three different goals I’ve worked on this month. I’ve really enjoyed having some goals to focus my energy on and I’ve found doing it this way a lot more achievable than if I just set myself some general New Years resolutions. If you would like to take part in your own 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 goals you’ve achieved this month?

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