Over at The Laughing Medusa’s Self-Love Book Club we just finished reading The Happiness Project, a book I had originally picked up two summers ago. In a nutshell, as much as I appreciate Gretchen Rubin’s candor, I really felt overwhelmed with coming up with my own methods to tackle my own laundry-list of goals. Again, The Happiness Project left me wanting more. What I did appreciate was her idea to focus on one goal a month. Rubin gets into some of the science of building habits, and her Happiness Project and website reflect a 21-day project model. I am personally of the belief that it takes around 30 days to develop a habit, for me three weeks can feel abrupt.
The most important takeaways for me were mindfulness and nurture my healthy interests by growing a mini-community around them. Employing mindfulness when examining my actions and reaction to others resonated with me during my first read of this book, reading it again provided a helpful check-in to see how I was doing with that intention. Currently, I am using this approach to be conscious not to decompress by ranting to someone around me. I am also using this goal to make sure that I am being honest with myself in order to avoid participating based on unfounded sense of duty. Although spending time alone is very important in my eyes, strengthening my sense of community is my ultimate contingency plan for when life gets in the way of all those fantastic goals and plans go up in flames. Finding a friend to dance with in the kitchen, or sweat alongside in a yoga class, or chat about a novel, or listen to sweet jazz is what takes the edge off of any bad day for me.
Overall, I would suggest The Happiness Project as it proves to be an easy ready and a feel-good approach for guided reflection that helps you evaluate the good, bad and the ugly in your life. Checking in to see what brings you joy and pain shouldn’t be a once in a blue moon, activity. For me the gentlest reminder is to look out the window and take notice of the changing seasons. Now when you are cleaning out your closet, remember to unpack the emotional baggage you’ve been hauling around too!
Stay tuned until next time when I map out my goal-setting plan to kick November blues to the curb! I promise there will be something to sate your appetite as well.
P.S. For more impressions on The Happiness Project and more information on the Self-Love Book Club, visit the Laughing Medusa Blog.
For those wary of the warm and fuzzies – fear not, it isn’t all one group hug, we are dishing out some constructive criticism sprinkled with sarcasm during our book reviews.