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The Happiness Project Experience - January

The Happiness Project Experience - January

Being the Gretchen Rubin devote that I am, it should come as no surprise that I jumped at the opportunity to join The Happiness Project Experience.

What is The Happiness Project Experience? It is Gretchen’s new course to guide you through creating a happiness project of your own. Now, in complete honesty, I haven’t done one yet. Even though The Happiness Project is my favorite book, I cannot admit to having done one myself. BUT - that is because the real message of The Happiness Project is that maximizing our productivity, creativity, and happiness is done through small and incremental but important changes. Now that is something I can do, even without utilizing the format of a happiness project.

My primary methods for implementing these important changes are just deciding to start some habits (I am an Upholder after all), and keeping track of them in my bullet journal (which I will share about soon).

I definitely know what I want to accomplish and I have countless lists (thank you Notes app!) for what to do, research, and purchase for various areas of my life. So I decided to break those lists down into monthly goals and tackle many of them as 2019 progresses.

I was able to group many of these seemingly random tasks and several of my 19 for 2019 goals (again, all credit to Gretchen Rubin!) into the monthly categories set up as part of The Happiness Project Experience.

January is all about self-knowledge, something I am clearly very passionate about. So I was excited to identify some tasks and goals to continue my growth in this area.

My January goals are as follows:

  1. Talk through my feelings/the stories that I tell myself

  2. Schedule time to see a therapist

  3. Review personality quizzes and see if there are any more that interest me

  4. Launch my blog

Now let's look at my goals more closely and see how I have done (thus far) with all of them.

First, the idea of identifying and discussing the stories that I tell myself is taken from Brené Brown. I first heard about it (and her) when she was interviewed on the Jess Lively Show. I remember the exact moment when it hit me that the stories I tell myself are just that - stories. And not only that, but sharing them can help me to work through them.

The idea of stories can be kind of confusing, so let me explain them through an example. Sometimes, when I ask to hang out with a friend or meet someone for coffee, the response I get is, “Sorry, I can’t”. When I hear that, my mind often defaults to thinking, “Well that person doesn’t want to spend time with you. They don’t really like you, and they probably think you’re really annoying when you keep asking for time to hang out.” Now is that true? No, probably not. So instead of pushing the thought away only to have them resurface later, or (even worse) allowing myself to continue to harbor feelings of hurt and resentment - it is much better for me to communicate those thoughts and feelings. Sharing the stories we tell ourselves can make us feel very vulnerable, but in such a situation, vulnerability is often just what we need.

It is somewhat difficult to determine if I am meeting this goal. I have definitely gotten better at verbalizing my mental stories, but it is a process, something I don’t think I will ever be done with. However, having it on my list of goals is a constant reminder that I need to be vulnerable and be willing to talk through these stories, so I guess I deserve a partial check for this goal.

Second, I've tinkered with the idea of meeting with a therapist for a long time. But several months ago, I found the person I knew I wanted to work with - someone I felt instantly connected to and that I knew would be able to help me work through my personal issues (emotional, mental, relational, and otherwise). So I did it - check!

Third, this one was pretty easy. I reflected on the personality quizzes I have taken and did a bit more research on my types (I feel like they are all pretty accurate). I’ve taken all of the major quizzes (all the free ones at least!), including all of the ones that Gretchen mentioned in the course. So with that - check!

Finally - launch my blog! This was something else I had thought about doing for a long time. Finally, I just decided to pull the plug. I started the website development process in December, and by the time I wrote out my January goals, I knew it would only take a couple more hours to get the blog officially up and running. I put in those hours and I can now check off this goal (and all the subgoals/tasks I needed to get done to consider the blog officially launched, so - check!).

I’m looking forward to the next 11 months and experiencing increased productivity, creativity, and happiness (I definitely have felt more of all three lately)!

As Gretchen always says - onward and upward.

Until next time,

Carly

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