Saturday, 4 April 2015

My Happiness Project - April

At the end of last year I was 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 April, and the theme for this month is to ‘Lighten Up.’ My goals this month are as follows:

Write a gratitude journal at least once a week

I think it’s always important to be grateful for the things we have because, as bad or difficult as life can be, there is always something to be grateful for. For my birthday last year I was given a gratitude journal, which has been sitting on my desk looking pretty ever since. So I thought that, this month, I would start using it and try and write in it at least once a week. Once a day would be amazing, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself and end up failing, so I think once a week is a good compromise and obviously I can write in it more if I want to. I’m hoping it will help make me realise that there is a silver lining for every grey cloud and will hopefully help to improve my low mood.

Take a happy photo on my iPhone every day

Last year I actually did a challenge where I had to take a happy photo every day for 100 days, and I really enjoyed doing it. Even on my darkest day I managed to find something happy to photograph and it definitely helped me to find some good in every day. So, I thought I’d start doing it again and try to at least do it for the month of April, but hopefully continue with it in the long-term. I love taking photos anyway and sharing them on my Instagram, so this seemed like a perfect way to bring a bit of light into my life and other people’s lives. All too often we can be negative on social media, so I think it will be nice to encourage myself to post a happy photo every day. If you’d like to follow my happy photo challenge on Instagram I will be using the hashtags #JensHappyPhotos and #JensHappyProject

Watch a DVD at least once a fortnight

I love buying DVDs, but I never seem to get a chance to watch them, so they stay sitting on my shelf in their cellophane wrappers, which I think is such a shame. I always feel uplifted when I’ve watched a good film, especially if I sit down and watch it with other people, so I decided to set myself this challenge. Hopefully it will give me a bit of ‘me’ time to relax and chill out, as well as lifting my mood (depending on what I watch!). It will also be a good excuse to treat myself to move DVDs as I’ll actually be watching them and will need new things to watch! But saying that, my siblings have a lot of DVDs too, so it’s not like I will run out of choice any time soon!

So there we have it. Three different goals to work on this month, and I think that the majority of them are definitely achievable, although some of them are definitely dependent on how much time I have. I’m still planning to work on my goals from previous months, 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. For my cinema trip for this month I’m not quite sure what I want to see, so I will need to go and check out what’s on and see if anything appeals. 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. I havent read this and I wasnt sure whether i would like it so i bought the happy book instead which i can write in.

    1. That sounds good Emyii I might have to get myself a copy of that! xx