Day 1: Happiness Project Framework

The Original Happiness Project.

Gretchen's original happiness project was focused on making different resolutions associated with an overall theme for each month of the year. She identified important themes that contribute to her overall happiness, such as "Remember Love," "Boost Energy," and "Be Serious About Play."

Rubin's strategy is more of a boot camp style of happiness project. In staying true to my own nature, I have organized my happiness project a bit differently.

The Framework of My Happiness Project.

Recently I have become more aware and respectful of my own nature. Rather than trying to change myself, I accept myself.  In my happiness project I still make resolutions, however to keep myself engaged, I have theme variety each month.

Unlike Gretchen's project, there will not one sole theme per month. Instead, I have identified 5 big themes. This will be repeating themes for each month, but I will choose different resolutions associated with each theme.

So, what are themes that would accentuate my happiness?

Time to reflect.

The Big Five.

Connection.

Connection matters.

People who have community around them, friends, family, neighbors are happier and LIVE longer than those who do not. I am an introvert by nature, so reaching out for connection outside of my core people, is not natural for me.

By knowing my nature, I can both accept myself and expect from myself. I have always needed to push myself to reach out the others. My hope is that by making connection part of my happiness project, I will create new habits that will strengthen my connection to others. Therefore making me happier.

Mental Health.

Anxiety has been a struggle all throughout my life for as long as I can remember. I was a very anxious, and shy child growing up. In middle school I was put on medication to help with my constant state of anxiety.

It has been 15 years since and I am still on that medication.

With the support of medical professionals, I am going to work to combat my anxiety through avenues other than medication.** Here, I will use different strategies suggested by the above medical professionals and my research. By having more tools in my mental health tool box, my hope is that I will have a calmer, more clear mind leading to greater happiness.

Physical Health.

Our physical bodies are the vehicles that help us live the life we are meant to live. I have struggled with a variety of physical ailments including, hormonal imbalance, and digestive disturbances. I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome late last year.

I have tried a slew of different treatments and I still have issues with my gut. I have read in many a place that the gut is the epicenter of your body's health and honestly having gut issues can make a person crabby. By experimenting with different types of resolutions during this year, I hope to get my gut health in tip-top shape.

Sanctuary.

I am a home-body, I admit it. I love being home with my husband, and puppy dogs. My husband and I bought a fixer-upper outside of Boston in 2014. Since then, we have checked off the big ticket items on our list, but there are still loose ends to tie up. Those items are mentally wearing on me. I want to make my home more happy and welcoming by taking care of the little things that stay undone. Therefore giving me a little more mental space.

Giving Back.

I think of myself as a good person (see blog post). However, giving myself to others through service and connection has not been at the forefront of my mind. Studies have shown, altruism, kindness and compassion makes us happier. Each month I will find new ways to stretch myself through volunteering, or simply saying "hi" to people I come across.

Resolutions.

I am of the belief that we won’t ever be in “balance.” Some things take precedent, over others. So each month will have a “big hairy goal” and it will be the hardest of all tasks within that one category. The others might not be so tough for me to take on. 

During this project I will post updates and insights here. I ready to stretch myself to do things that I have only thought about doing, that "might be good to try."

Now is the time for ACTION!

I am so excited for 2018 and I hope you come along with me as I give my happiness a jumpstart.

**Please do not take my experience as anything other than what it is meant to be--my own experience. If you want change your medication protocol seek out medical advice or treatment.

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