My Own Happiness Project for a Happier 2017

Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project book, “Happier” is my word of the year and I’m doing my own happiness project in 2017.

2015 and 2016 kinda sucked for me. I mean, a lot of good happened, but for the most part the last two years really put me through an emotional wringer. On the marriage front, the kid front, in the political arena, with life changes, etc. So I decided to make 2017 “Happier.” I don’t always choose a word of the year (in fact, rarely, since it became so trendy), but I’ve chosen this word to be a guidepost for the 365 days of 2017.

Of course, Gretchen Rubin‘s work and books on happiness–The Happiness Project, along with two other books of hers that I liked even better, Better Than Before and Happier at Home–gave me the idea for this. Her bestselling The Happiness Project is where it all began and it’s the model for my 2017 goals. I’m calling it “Lisa’s very own Happiness Project, 2017.” (Find all her books by clicking on the link at her name above. No links here are affiliate links.)

Happiness Project

Like Gretchen, I’ve come up with 12 “themes” for my project, one for each month of the year. You can see them in the photo above, but here they are again:

January–Hygge/Cozy Rest
February–Relationship
March–Community
April–Strong
May–Energy
June–Finances
July–Summer
August–Beauty
September–Nature
October–Home
November–Simple Gifts
December–Intimacy

Each month, I plan to focus specifically on the area I’ve chosen for that month. Without a doubt, each of these themes will come up throughout the year and they’ll be on my mind continually, but I’ve given each its own timeframe so that I don’t approach this as an “all or nothing, right now or never” project–which is what I’ve often done with goals and projects. Gretchen set the example for this in her books, and I’m following it as closely as I can. I gave each theme its month based on when it probably makes sense to focus on it. For example, Relationship during the month of Valentine’s day, Simple Gifts the month before Christmas, and a special focus on myself, called Beauty, during my birthday month of August.

You can see from my very simple overview list in the photo that under each month’s theme are some other words that will further guide my thoughts, goals, and actions for that month. I also have a list of principles to live by. These include:

My Principles to Live By

Be Lisa
Making yourself happier makes others happier, and vice versa
Recruit help
Be of help

My favorite of those principles, Be Lisa, guides all the parts of this project. I aspire to be myself this year, to stop trying to be someone I’m not. As one example, I’ve given up the pressure on myself to go to knitting group as I don’t enjoy knitting that much and instead started attending a couple of book clubs, which is much more “me.” I also want this entire project to feel good, to make me happier, and to help me be loving and kind to myself and those I love.

Coming up: my next post on January’s theme

I’ll post soon about my month of January, the theme of Hygge/Quiet Rest, and how that has guided me in my actions and attitudes this month.

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