September 2019: Happiness Project Recap

Happy October! I’ve officially broken out the Halloween decorations, marked my calendar for fall festivals, and lit the pumpkin scented candles in the apartment. My inner basic witch loves this time of year!

According to Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and host of one of my favorite podcasts, this time of year is also great for observing Happier Labor Day. The concept of “Happier Labor Day” is to use Labor Day/the month of September as a time to reevaluate your work life and really think about what will make you happier and more productive in your career. Naturally, I decided to focus on Working Smarter as part of my own 2019 Happiness Project for the month of September. (Monthly themes for previous months included boosting physical wellness, creating outer order through decluttering, practicing mindfulness, slowing downmaking time for friends,  learning constantlyresetting my physical health, and taking a digital detox.)


For the month of September, I planned to incorporate the following practices:

  • Observe “Happier Labor Day” (of course).
  • Declutter work space.
  • Go outside.
  • Send one positive email per day to thank or praise someone.
  • Pursue professional development opportunities.

So how did I do? 

Well, friends, I loved this monthly theme! 2019 has been a whirlwind year at work, with a rebrand, merger and other major projects under my belt in that time. Juggling all of those things with shifting responsibilities and health struggles has been a challenge, to say the least. I was really excited to use this month to get organized and evaluate where I need to make changes.

Spending the first week of September in Washington DC (more on that soon!) brought me a much needed change in perspective and overall attitude adjustment. I loved adjusting into a brief new work routine for a few days, setting up on my laptop in a new city and feeling a regular at new spots in town. I learned a lot at FinCon, the conference I attended, and started to map out some professional development goals for the next year or two. I decided to begin preparing for an APR accreditation and even start looking into teaching part-time as an adjunct professor!


Decluttering my work space is still a work in progress, but I began the lengthy process of decluttering my inbox, and that has really shaped my productivity for the better. I am also back on the decluttering kick at home, a nod back to my monthly theme for February.

For the month of October, I’m Contemplating the Heavens (adopting more of a spiritual practice). To do this, I plan to incorporate the following:

  • Rise above the worries.
  • Learn more about my heritage.
  • Find ways to make others happy.
  • Use 5 Minute Journal to incorporate gratitude.
  • Work on a meditation practice.

What are your goals for October? Have you embarked on a happiness project? Sound off in the comments below!

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