January 2019: Happiness Project Recap

That’s it, folks — the first month of 2019 has officially reached its end. Can you believe it? My January has certainly been a rollercoaster, but thanks to my happiness project, I will leave this month feeling better than when I started it.

At the end of 2018, I was completely exhausted. Between autoimmune issues, a busier than usual workload, and some difficult situations outside of my control, I needed a break — and an attitude adjustment. As part of my happiness project, my theme for the month of January was to boost physical wellnessTo do that, I incorporated the following five daily goals:

  • Embark on a Whole30 to create more intentionality in my food choices and identify any new food sensitivities.
  • Go to sleep earlier.
  • Take a 10-minute walk each day.
  • Act more energetic.
  • Tackle the “nagging tasks” on my list.

Inspired by The Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin, I created a resolution chart, giving myself a gold star each day for the goals I accomplished.

Happiness Project Resolution Chart

So how did I do? Well, as can be expected, I fared better in some categories than others. Through my Whole30, I consistently ate nourishing, real foods, while detoxing myself from some of the junk food that my body doesn’t agree with. I managed to lose 10 pounds, clear up my skin, stop getting daily headaches, and decrease overall inflammation.

Acting more energetic allowed me to fake it till I made it on the days when I just didn’t think I had it in me, and I really started to feel more energetic after doing that. The other thing that massively boosted my energy levels was tackling the nagging tasks. 

Happiness Project Resolution Chart

By “nagging tasks,” I’m referring to those pesky but necessary to-do’s in the back of your mind that you don’t particularly want to do but will benefit you in the long run. I always feel like I have a lot of little things that I need to do but don’t have time for, so at the beginning of the year, I made a list of all of those items in an Evernote. Then, each week, I picked a few of those items that absolutely needed to get done, and wrote them down on my dry-erase board on the fridge. Tackling those nagging tasks made a huge difference in my anxiety levels and overall happiness, and I’m excited to bring this goal back into the month of February.

Of course, nobody is perfect, and I did struggle to get those daily walks in (it’s been so chilly out!) and get to bed at a decent hour. These are both areas I need to prioritize in the days to come.

Tomorrow begins the month of February, and this month’s theme is Creating Outer OrderI’m excited to create a life that sparks joy (thanks, Marie Kondo!) and will be implementing the following goals:

  • Follow the one-minute rule. (If it can be done in less than one minute, do it right away.)
  • Spend 10 minutes tidying up before bed.
  • Beware of freebies.
  • Spend time each day de-cluttering problem areas of the house.
  • Tackle the nagging tasks. (It was so effective that I decided to bring it back!)

What goals are you working toward? Are you doing a happiness project? Sound off in the comments below!

 

Book Challenge Results of 2011

Happy New Year, everyone!

For the first time ever, one of my New Year’s Resolutions last year was to read 50 books in 2011. Between school, life events and just plain abandonment of the really bad books, I wound up only reading 38 books… which is still an accomplishment for someone who loves to read but doesn’t have a lot of time to do so! Some of these books inspired blog entries (see links below), while others required me to open myself to genres I wouldn’t have otherwise considered. I learned a lot from last year’s book challenge, and am excited to try again in 2012.

Below are the books I read in 2011. Feel free to comment with suggestions for this year’s book list, along with any questions you have about books you’re thinking of reading, as well as your own resolutions for the coming year!

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Books I Read in 2011

1. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (1/6/11)
2. A Mercy by Toni Morrison (1/17/11)
3. Voices by Lucille Clifton (1/19/11)
4. Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright (2/12/11)
5. The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich (2/17/11)
6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2/20/11)
7. My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki (3/8/11) — With Your Whole Heart
8. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (3/10/11)
9. The Latin Deli by Judith Ortiz Cofer (4/4/11) — Heartbreak and the Latin Deli
10. This Lovely Life by Vicki Forman (4/14/11)
11. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin (4/16/11)
12. Everyday Chica by Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes (4/21/11)
13. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (4/28/11)
14. For One More Day by Mitch Albom (5/2/11)
15. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (5/8/11)
16. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (5/10/11)
17. Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen (5/20/11) — Our Struggles With Either/Or
18. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (6/14/11) — The Joy Luck Club And Happiness, Meet Me Halfway (Or Elsewhere)Innocence Versus Hope
19. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin (6/20/11) – Something Borrowed: The Ethics of Boyfriend Snatching
20. What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen (6/29/11) – What’s In A Name?
21. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (7/6/11) – Eat, Pray, Be Present , Following Your Heart and Finding Your Backbone
22. Something Blue by Emily Giffin (7/7/11)
23. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (7/19/11)
24. Understanding the Psychology of Diversity by Bruce E. Blaine (7/23/11)
25. The Shining by Stephen King (7/25/11)
26. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (7/31/11)
27. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (8/10/11)
28. Specials by Scott Westerfeld (8/20/11)
29. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (8/26/11)
30. Some Girls: My Life In A Harem by Jillian Lauren (8/31/11)
31. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (9/20/11) – Waiting By The Window
32. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (9/28/11)
33. The Princess Bride by William Goldman (10/9/11)
34. Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA by Julia Alvarez (10/24/11)
35. The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen (10/30/11)
36. Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg by Barry Williams (11/26/11)
37. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen (11/26/11)
38. Ogilvy On Advertising by David Ogilvy (12/17/11)