Best of 2011

This year was great! I enjoy being able to reflect upon the year that was through my blog. I blogged a lot in the Spring and Summer, but the Fall got a little crazy. I wish I’d done more blogging here these last few months, (I’ve shifted some of my blogging energy to my classroom blog). Being able to look through all my posts for a year reminds me how much I love recording and journaling it all. It has become a bit of a tradition (2008, 2009, and 2010). Below is my highlight list of 2011.

  • I ran a 10k! I’m actually still surprised I did this.
  • Tranee and I took a girl trip to Fredericksburg.
  • JMO and I took a cooking class, which he gave me for Christmas.
  • I went to visit Mike in Orlando for Spring Break.
  • I was named rookie teacher of the year for my school district.
  • My family and I spent a week at the beach in Florida visiting with my relatives.
  • I travelled to Honduras for my first mission trip.
  • I enjoyed karaoke with my pal.
  • JMO and I have been dating for five years!
  • My cousin got married in New Orleans, not only did I get a mini vacation, but I got lots of family time!
  • I completed a year long Happiness Project

Next year….

In 2012 I have a few broad plans. I’d like to save more money. At my age, I feel like I should have a little more in the bank. That means only buying things I truly want and having a plan. I quit my gym this week. The monthly amount I paid for my gym fee will now automatically go into savings. I’ve really enjoyed doing bootcamps, zumba classes, and whatever else I find a Groupon for. Indpendent studios are more motivating to me. I’m doing the Rodeo Run again in February, so that will motivate me to get outside and run a little more. Next year I want to continue to spend time with people and make sure they know what they mean to me. Life has been good to me, and I hope it continues to be!

2011 Recap of Happiness Project

2011 was a pretty great year for me. I decided to do a Happiness Project after reading the book. I tracked A LOT of things about myself, from work outs, to sleep, journaling, mini adventures, friend nights, and what I ate. The biggest thing I learned about pursuing happiness is that to be happy you need to be yourself. And, it turns out that to be yourself, you have to know yourself. This year I spent a lot of time getting to know me. I did monthly reviews and created another page on my site (Happiness Project 2011). I made a list a year ago of my plan, and looking back, I feel really accomplished. Because I tracked a lot of my goals on my blog, I am able reflect upon all that has taken place in the last year. The elements that added the most to happiness were…

  • Spending time with loved ones. I love people, and those that are my closest friends and family mean the world to me. I made it a monthly goal to have a “friend night.” On this night, I would have to make plans to hang out with my college gals. My family and I some great visits, I spent a great deal of time with JMO, and I strengthened friendships with some new work pals.
  • Mini-adventures. There is a lot to do in the Houston area, in Texas, and in general. On the weekends I am tired, and don’t often push myself. I made it a priority to get out of the house and go to a museum, go out of town for a weekend, or just do something. Activities rock and I did them with people (who I love) so of course this contributed to my happiness.
  • Sleep. My mood varies greatly depending on how well I rested. Getting sleep is important!
  • Positivity. It is a struggle for me to remain positive. One month I recorded one positive thing from everyday. The negative things come up quicker, but they are best forgotten. Being positive had such an impact on my great year.
  • Creating goals and sticking to them. A sense of accomplishment goes a long way. I was really proud of myself for working out more, praying more, being more positive, getting more sleep, and spending quality time with people. Although I never managed to do it at the same time, I did do all of those things!

Tracking behavior was such a great learning tool for me. I know that pursuing happiness never truly ends, and I look forward to making that journey. Next year I probably won’t make a goal for every month, but I’d like to make goals in months where I notice something slipping. I don’t have to wait till New Years to start fresh, I can start on the first of the month or any Monday. Change can happen and I’ve grown A LOT this year trying to get happier!



Enchanted Rock

Most native Texans I know have been to Enchanted Rock. In college, I was interested in checking it out, but no on was ever interested in accompanying me. Mike and Tranee went three years ago while I was working, and I was jealous. Then, last Spring, Tranee and I went on a girls trip to Fredericksberg. We were so close! But we already had planned out our whole weekend. So, I added hiking Enchanted Rock to my life list. Yesterday, we did it! It wasn’t a very long hike, but fairly steep. It was great to spend the day with Mike and Tranee! And… I get to mark something on my list as completed, which just feels really good!

In constant pursuit of happiness…

JMO got me an UP band for Christmas, and I have already opened it. I am absolutely fascinated by the sleep graphs and how many steps I’ve taken. Last year, I made it a goal to become happier in 2011. Every month I’ve made goals, and struggled to stick with them. But, I have stuck with them. A year later, I am very proud of all I have done. The biggest key in the search for happiness, is knowing myself. Before, I’ve been concerned about what others are doing, what works for them. Cool trips? Cool clothes? Interesting life? These things have made me envious. This year, I’ve learned a great deal about what I want. Knowing what makes me happy is key. The way to know? TRACK THINGS! Printed plain calendars were great tools for me in 2011. I’m really excited about tracking activity as a way to inspire more movement. I also know, I am a million times happier and more pleasant to be around if I’ve had a good night’s sleep. So as I wrap I up my 2011 happiness project, I am beginning a new path of tracking. For the final two weeks of the year, I SHALL MOVE MORE and SLEEP MORE. I will not bother with the food tracking, because it is the holidays. Food becomes a priority again in 2012! The pursuit of happiness never ends, but I’ve found great satisfaction in the pursuit.