It’s official: we are more than halfway through 2019. As the saying goes, “the days are long, but the years are short,” and despite all of the challenges that 2019 has thrown my way so far, I still can’t believe we are already in July.
Each month for my Happiness Project, I’ve selected a different focus and incorporated various practices into my life. Some of those practices have stuck through the year, while others were more pertinent to that particular month. My Happiness Project was inspired by Gretchen Rubin, and has been a fun way to approach the traditional “New Year’s Resolution” process and shake things up. In previous months, I boosted physical wellness, created outer order through decluttering, practiced mindfulness, slowed down, and made time for friends.
For the month of June, my focus was Learn Constantly. To do this, I incorporated the following:
- Dedicate time to writing.
- Work on learning a new technology.
- Find places in the day to squeeze in an extra 15 minutes.
- Work on an original piece.
- Enjoy now.
So how did I do? Well, friends, June didn’t quite look like I expected it to – but I still consider the month a success! Although I didn’t do a ton of writing this month, I dedicated time to reading, another passion of mine. Reading often inspires my writing and stirs my creative side, so I enjoyed taking some time to unwind with some fiction. I also read Micro-Resilience by Bonnie St. John and Allen P. Haines, which focuses on “minor shifts for major boosts in focus, drive, and energy.” This book was a fantastic addition to my Happiness Project, and I’m excited to incorporate some of these happiness hacks into my own life.
As far as learning a new technology, I had originally planned to take a coding class, but the woo-woo side of me felt more called to take a manifestation class instead, which required a lot of journaling and self-study. At the end of the month, I did sign up for a coding class, which I’ll be working on in July. It will be fun to begin learning some of the basics, and as a bonus, a coding class also happens to be part of my 28 at 28!
I didn’t end up writing an original piece for another publication, but I did find places to squeeze in extra reading time. I also tend to struggle with being present, so I did my best to consciously enjoy now. My mom and I took our annual mother-daughter trip in June, this time to Montreal, and it was the perfect time to do exactly that.
In 2019 as a whole, some of my happiness principles have stuck with me from previous months. Making time for friends has been an important focus for me, whether that involves trivia nights, making plans with my MBA cohort, or simply catching up with old friends via text or call. Following my hygge month, I still love my quiet mornings with tea and aromatherapy (more often on the weekends). I’m still trying to learn how to under-react to problems – much easier said than done! – but I know this is going to be important for me later down the line. I’m still religious about tackling my “nagging tasks” list, which has made life way less stressful for me. By making a “nagging task” list at the beginning of the week, things like renewing my driver’s license or scheduling doctor’s appointments don’t sneak up on me.
My health hasn’t been at its best this year thanks to my share of autoimmune issues, so I’ve decided to switch things up for the month of July. I originally picked my monthly themes in December/January and up until this point, I had stuck with the pre-assigned theme since it always seemed to hit at exactly the right time. July’s intention was to focus on Ayurvedic practices, and while I definitely would love to incorporate those at some point, I realized that July really needs to be more of a reset for me. Therefore, July’s theme is to reset physical health, and will incorporate the following principles (many of which were recommended by my functional medicine doctor):
- Start the day with a healthy breakfast.
- Practice yoga nidra meditation before bed.
- Drink 100 oz of water per day.
- Incorporate healthy movement.
- Practice mindful food hygiene.
What are your goals for the month of July? Has anyone else taken on a happiness project this year? Sound off in the comments below!