I recently read the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I loved it. Normally I don't necessarily go for those self-help type books, but I felt like this one was really insightful. The basic premise is as follows: While sitting on the bus one June afternoon Gretchen realizes that she isn't as happy as she could be. It's not that she's unhappy necessarily, just that she could be so much happier. She spends the rest of that year researching the idea of happiness and what the "experts" have to say about it. By the end of the year she has a plan in place for increasing her happiness. She splits up the over-arching goal of "become happier" into twelve smaller goals that go with each month of the year, then divides each goal into smaller resolutions that will help her reach that goal. She makes a chart of her daily resolutions and everything. (Word on the street is that if you email her--contact info available on her blog--she'll send you a copy of her chart, though you can make any kind you'd like.)
The goal for the month of January was energy and after reading the first chapter I sat down and made a little chart of my own resolutions for ways to increase my energy and thus make me happier. And I kept them for a while, too! At this point I think they need to be revised or possibly added to, but it's rare that I'll read a book and right from the get-go it will inspire me to action like that.
The book can be kind of overwhelming, so sometimes I had to take a break between chapters to think about all the things she'd talked about--also to remind myself that what had just been written about in a few pages had taken place over 30 days. It inspired, humbled, overwhelmed, encouraged, and energized me. It also made me happier every time I read it.
There's so much more to say about the book that I can't even verbalize (or textualize?) all of my thoughts, but needless to say I've been thinking about happiness a lot since I finished the book (as well as for some time before). Today I received this monthly email that my uncle sends out and this month he attached a link to this little youtube video. It made me laugh despite myself and I thought it might share it with you boost your happiness too. I think it's a pretty great way to start out your day, and from now on I resolve to stand in front of the mirror every day and tell myself that I like my family, my hair, my haircuts, and my whole house! (I also resolve to try and find some amazing little kid pjs like that for myself: kids always have the best stuff!)