The Happiness Project

 

the_happiness_project_book_by_gretchen_rubin

A little while ago I read a book that I’d seen recommended on several blogs, called The Happiness Project.  I took away several ideas from it, some of which I’ve implemented already, some of which I’ve tried with and failed, and some of which are still on the waiting list.

  • The One Minute Rule – if something is going to take one minute or less to do, DO IT NOW.  This has been a big success for me, and helped me avoid a lot of the endless procrastination that I battle.  It’s particularly useful for putting things away.  I’ve been trying to get William and Ashley to join in with this, but not much luck so far!
  • Evening tidy up – have a general tidy around the house before you go to bed, so it’s nice when you get up in the morning.  I battle this one.  I am far more a morning person, and am totally without any enthusiasm for getting things done by the time bedtime rolls around.  I did have a period of managing to do this, but it’s slipped away again.
  • Week of Extreme Nice/Pollyanna Week – I like the idea of this very much: you spend a whole week being nice to everybody, and don’t say anything negative at all.  I’ve yet to achieve it, but I’d like to give it a go – perhaps I ought to tackle this one soon, as I’m still feeling quite chilled out post-holiday!
  • Send emails that aren’t ‘To Do’s’ (yes, I know there shouldn’t be an apostrophe there, but it looks weird without one) to your Husband – oh, how I laughed when I read this.  Guilty, m’lud.  So I tried sending Ashley funny little snippets about my day, links I’d come across on my travels around to the web to things he might be interested in, etc.  And after about a week, he asked me if I could ‘stop bunging up his inbox with crap’.  Oh well, win some, lose some!
  • Turning your blog into a book.  No, not like a publishing deal, proper sort of book, one of those photo books thingies. The author recommends lulu.com, which I haven’t had a chance to look at yet.  I actually had thought about this before reading The Happiness Project, as I’d love to have a physical copy of the last five plus years of my witterings, and I want to investigate this properly.  Will look into this further after the summer.
  • Like What You Like – Not What You Ought To Like.  I haven’t phrased that well at all, the author did it far more eloquently than me, but it’s something that we’re probably all guilty of.  For example, Ashley loves Greek and Roman history, and when we were in Cyprus we went to look at quite a lot of archaeological sites and a museum or two.  In the past, I’d have trailed around, thinking I should be looking at everything and taking an interest, really not enjoying myself at all and getting impatient to leave.  This year, I went along, found myself a shady spot to sit with my Kindle, and read happily while Ashley and Will took as long as they liked looking at everything.  Which worked far better for everybody.
  • Don’t Save Things For Best.  Self-explanatory, really.  I’ve put this into practice with clothes – rather than wearing the same old pair of jeans every day, why not dress up a bit and wear something nice that I’d normally only put on if I was ‘going out’?  Does wonders for the self-esteem as well.

Have you read The Happiness Project?  What did you think?

 

 

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7 thoughts on “The Happiness Project

  1. Some really good advice! Saving things for best? It will end up in a fleamarket to be sold for nothing to someone like me! Like what you like? Permission to paint everything white then, no attempt at colour! The one minute rule is a good one too. But most of all I think looking at the positives and the ‘haves’ rather than the ‘have nots’ is vital for happiness. xx

  2. Haven’t read the book, but have already been practising Don’t Save Things for Best, which I used to be terrible at. All round improvement in appearance and morale!

  3. Saving things for best – hit a note with me. I will buy something and then not wear it as I want to save it. I can be the same about food, save it and then throw it away cos it has gone out of date! Can´t be bothered about the tidying up before I go to bed. Rather do it in the morning. My MIL used to do the clearing up thing and drove me mad as when I was in bed all I could hear was her click, clacking with glasses, washing up etc. Grrr. Oh and she once tidied up my spider plant by cutting all the babies off! I could have cried at the time.

  4. I haven’t read it, but have heard good things. Enjoyed your list of salient points. I want a blog book too, just not really into the work of deciding which posts to leave out for space/cost savings.

  5. I’ve seen it around land like you often wondered. I’m glad you enjoyed it, maybe I will give it a go. The idea about the emails to Ashley and then his response made me laugh out loud!
    I think the not keeping for best is a hard one to conquer but it’s something I have definitely been trying to do ever since my dad passed away. When we sorted nout his home there was a jar of dulce de leche sauce in the cupboard which I had bought him because he had had some at our house and liked it so much. He never opened it. It was a waste because he kept saving it and then it was too late. Silly little thing really, but it made a big impression on me.
    Lisa x

  6. It took me a while to read it. I do the clean thing at night, as fly lady would say “shine your sink”.

    And we do the thing of when someone comes home we completely focus on them. listen to them, no phone no tv no laptop no distraction. Face time as it has come to be known. it means you hear them, take it in and not just nod, half listening. this is our new commandment

  7. Have seen some snippets from the book online, had to chuckle at Ashley’s comment on your e-mails …very funny, I agree with the don’t save things for best, when my boys were young we had school clothes, playing out clothes,smartish clothes and best clothes, the clothes saved for best never got worn, what a waste. I have some dishes and glasses etc that I used to save for best but I think if you have something pretty why not use it !
    Good luck with your own happiness profect, I have a few of my own and may turn it into a blog post. x Dawn

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