The Happiness Project - January Tasks.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

One of my New Year's Goals is to complete my own Happiness Project. Said simply, in 'The Happiness Project' you set a 'theme' each month then set tasks based on that theme in the hopes of making yourself 'happier' or adding value to your life.  I'm not unhappy but I believe that I could be more grateful, and merrier each day.  Therefore I am reading 15 min or more of the book 'The Happiness Project' each day, taking notes, and working through each month of 2016 with specific tasks to hopefully bring more fulfillment to my life. 

Tucson: one of the places that makes me so happy.
Starting the book in late December didn't leave much room for extensive planning on each month's rubric.  This is actually a good thing for me, one of the 'rules of adulthood' I've set for myself (a concept in the book where you lay out simple rules that pertain to your thought process) is that 'if you want to move forward you must stop second guessing', and also 'take small steps to go big'.  I tend to over think or want a solution right away so thinking small with little time to spare helps keep me moving forward with out much fuss.  I'll be setting my month's theme shortly before the month starts, hopefully building on each month as I continue.

The tracking progress will be done through a simple chart, each task laid out at the top with the date on the left. The task receives a check at the end of the day if it is completed- trying to keep each day in perspective.  This may change as time goes on, but it seems like a good place to start now.

For January the theme is 'Open Heart'.  I couldn't think exactly of what I wanted my theme to be, but had a few tasks in mind.  During yoga on Sunday the teacher kept having us think back to our mantra for the day, whatever kept coming up for us as we sat quietly, 'open heart' kept coming up for me so I am going with it.

For 'Open Heart' January my tasks are as follows:
1. Extreme Kindness
2. One Minute Rule
3. Evening Cleanup
4. Meditate
5. Gratefulness
6. Love on my Loved ones

For 'Extreme Kindness' I'm practicing going above and beyond- kindness, no complaining, going with the flow, be agreeable.  Other people want to be kind to people whom are nice to them.  I have been needing some extra kindness so I'm practicing doling it out.  A couple of days in it seems to be working, I feel satisfied being extra kind and also lighter when walking around with a good attitude. This may be a result of changing my own thinking but it seems that people are nicer back to me as well.

The 'One Minute Rule' and 'Evening Cleanup' kind of go together.  The 'One Minute Rule' says any task that can be done in one minute or less, do it now.  This plays into one of my rules of adulthood, 'do it now, sometimes later becomes never'.  Tending to put things off till 'later' piles up mental clutter and stress for me so I'm practicing doing it 'now'.  (I even stopped to get gas yesterday when it wasn't down to the very last bit- something that causes stress later but a rarity for me to stop and fill up.)  The 'Evening Cleanup' is just a little sweep up before going to bed.  Dishes, sweep the floor etc. Usually these things pile up and become a bigger job by the end of the week, this causes unneeded 'dirty dish' stress.  Working on cutting this unnecessary weight from my mind seems small but is already making a difference in morning clarity and time management.

Mediation is something that makes me feel awesome but not something I always leave time for.  I'll leave more time in the morning when I check in each day. That check mark and overall monthly record is for some reason rewarding to me.

Being grateful is proven to make people feel happier in the long run.  By taking the time to consciously think about things, people, or experiences you're grateful for it carries over longer in your day or week to help you feel happier long term. After meditation I'll try to think of 5 quick things I'm grateful for.

Going with the 'Open Heart' theme I want to just let my loved ones know I know love them, not get taken down the in mundane of the daily routine forgetting to tell people of love and thankfulness I have for each of them.  Today I sent my mom a little 's' in the mail (s stands for surprise in my family) to let her know I was listening when she was talking and I love her. This task goes along with 'extreme kindness' but also forces me to put my emotions out there and be grateful- tying the monthly tasks all together.  

So far I feel really hopeful and like the tasks are coming together easily.  This may be because I've been trying to get to bed earlier- its not easy to practice 'Extreme Kindness' when you're extremely tired as I normally am.  Updating here will help keep me accountable so I'm going to continue to do that as the month/year goes on. Here's to hoping for a happier 2k16 with a little work and persistence.

2016 GOALS.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Multiple 2015 projects in one picture, new windows*, new landscaping, and new fence-in progress photo obviously.
I'm totally bypassing the fact that I haven't blogged in half a year and just jumping in with a new years goal post since I love resolutions so much. 

2016 GOALS:

1. Start a YouTube channel: this is something I really want to try and also something that know nothing about (editing, etc.), but I'm going to try.
2. Learn how to 'top off' my tomatoes and actually do it: this may seem small but I am constantly overwhelmed by my tomatoes and it makes me not want to enter the garden- I'm going to take care of that problem this year.
3. Get as many renovation projects done as possible: get my booty moving and get projects going.  The faster we move the faster its done.
4. Continue Minimalizing: This is something really important to me and something I've already started.  Once we finish more renovation projects we can do more minimalizing. Physical clutter is mental clutter.
5. Do 'The Happiness Project'- This is my real goal, I'm creating goals for each month based on a common theme and I'm going to do it all year long.  I think I will try and document the process here on the blog.

Here are my 2015 Goals, I did relatively ok, minus the half marathon, that was nixed real quick.

*New windows were huge for us in 2015, it seemed like we were getting them forever but cheers to a warmer house, prettier windows, and being more eco friendly.

Summer Goals.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

I love to write up goals each summer to make sure and accomplish fun things. Here are the past three year's goals.

This year's list includes:
1. Plant lots of herbs into landscape- We'd like to try to incorporate more useful plants along with the ornamental ones.
2. Get berries into their permanent spot in the yard- We're trying to establish an 'orchard' of sorts but couldn't decide where to put the berries we got last year so they've been in large pots for now.
3. Go camping- Now that we have a truck we want to load it up with bikes, the portable stove, etc and get out there especially before it gets too hot.
4. Take a bike trip- We want to ride to a nearby-ish town and stay the night then ride home the next day.  Its about 50 miles each way so we've got to plan accordingly.
5. Drive in movie- Again, we've got the truck now so its the perfect drive-in car.
6. Keep track of garden harvest- I don't know how realistic this is, but I'd like to weigh each harvest to get a total count at years end. Along with weight a general count would be nice, ie. 12 tomatoes, 350 bush beans... I'd like to use these metrics to improve upon our garden next year and also for curiosity's sake.
7. Make my own hot sauce- Each year I like to try a few new preserving recipes or methods, this year hot sauces are calling my name.
8. Sun dry tomatoes- I dehydrated lots of tomatoes last year, they are awesome for quickly adding to most any recipe.  Actually sun drying them would be cool to try this year.
9. Dry herbs- All sorts of herbs, for tea, for cooking- they are so much nicer than store bought especially when you're using them in the middle of winter.

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