Project Happiness


Inspired by "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin.

“I use to think that being focused on my happiness was sort of selfish and now I couldn’t imagine going a day without putting it first and best of all- guilt free.”- Me.

December is a good month for reflection. A time to reflect on the past year and all of your accomplishments and mishaps. It is also a good month to brainstorm on what you want out of life, what to look forward to and set goals to works towards in the coming year.

The month of December 2018 was difficult for me. I stressed over everything. Stressed about the holidays and money. Stressed about the beautiful weather that’s not allowing me to enjoy any trail time. Stressed about having goals and not doing shit about them. And stressed about my relationship because every little thing irritated the heck out of me.

I knew the reasons why I was so stressed out and I knew what needed to be done. I knew I needed a major change in my life and what better way to start than with the new year. One of my new years resolutions this year is to read more books. I forgot how reading made me feel after getting lost in a really good book for a couple of days. But who has time to read a book? I most certainly do. Especially when I decided to break up with Instagram. I would spend nearly 14+ hours a day just scrolling through my feed, double tapping and commenting on photos of strangers who seemed to be living their most best lives.

Lucky for me, I had a list of books that I’ve heard great things about and wanted to check out. “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin was the first book I purchased and read this year. It was the first “self-help” book I ever purchased and read. It was almost too good to be true but, I believe there is a reason that this was the first book I picked up. After about a day or two, I couldn’t put the book down. It was like Gretchen was speaking directly to me, so I needed to take notes, pay attention and keep an open mind to change.

This entry will not be a book report on “The Happiness Project”, but to understand a little better, I’m going to summarize the book in my own opinion. As a writer, a wife, mother, friend and simply human being- Gretchen dedicated a year to focus on the things that brought her happiness. She created a list (or goals) of things that she wanted to work on each month. They were obtainable goals. Simple goals. Not goals to travel the world in 365 days. But goals such as: be serious about play, boost energy and pursue a passion.

Seeing these, made me realize that goals are allowed to be small and inspired me to start my own happiness project.

12 goals for My Happi-NessA Project

  1. Self-Love, Reflection, Care + Discovery.
  2. Spend more time with family + friends.
  3. Setting Goals: Weekly, Monthly, for the Year.
  4. Focus on passions + hobbies.
  5. Be generous. Do good.
  6. Comfort Zones: Break ’em.
  7. Meditation + Yoga: Learn about + practice.
  8. Anger Management.
  9. Work on communication.
  10. Spending/Saving.
  11. Mindfulness + Manifestation.
  12. Relationship?

I’ll admit that these goals did not come to me overnight. With the intent to focus on one certain goal each month, was sort of scary. Is this even worth setting as “a goal”? Am I wasting my time? These were just a few questions that had crossed my mind when goal setting and I will admit that there have been a few changes since. 

It has been 1 month and a couple of weeks and though A Happi-NessA Project has just begun, I look forward to sharing this new journey and encourage you to take a step back to focus on your own happiness. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. I truly believe that this book landed in my lap at the right time. At the beginning of a new year, I was focused on setting goals and now I’m set with 12 different obtainable goals for 2019, working towards my happiness and becoming a better person in general.

Question: What does happiness mean to you? Do you consider yourself a happy person?

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Vanessa is an outdoors enthusiast, hiker at heart, and the storyteller behind Forever She Wanders; a women's lifestyle + travel blog inspiring all to get outdoors, seek adventure and live an active lifestyle. As an outdoors enthusiast, Vanessa has found passion in being outdoors while backpacking, camping, hiking and creating memories of a lifetime.

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