Happiness Project Progress (January)

For 2011, I made a plan to get happier. Although January has 2 days left, I decided that I would count those days as part of February because they start a new week. The first month I decided to focus on getting enough sleep and getting myself in shape. Now, I wasn’t able to achieve my goals 100%, but I feel proud of my tracking and of my achievement.

This printout of the month of January sat on my desk. Both goals were written at the top. I also tracked my weight (as a girl, this is extremely awkward, but I put it on the calendar so I can try to improve it. I’m going to attempt to own it). This number has not changed either. I wanted to work out 4 times a week, and out of the 4 weeks, I met that goal twice. Overall, I should have worked out 16 times, and I worked out 15 times, which is a 93% rate of success. My body is no slimmer than it was before, but I feel good. Boot camp has been HARD, but I feel more in shape than I have in years. My endurance has definitely improved. Completing a boot camp is on my life list, and crossing that off seems like a serious accomplishment. Leah and I are also signed up for a 10K (which is also on the list), and we are really going to be able to finish! My fitness is greatly improving, which I do believe leads to an overall feeling of health, which is a definite happiness booster.

Sleeping 8+ hours a night was not a goal I met. I had a good night’s sleep 16 out of the 30 days (53%). I am busy, and this was tough. My body needs sleep. This needs to be a priority in another months. I will refocus on this a couple months from now.

Friend night happened! We made pizza, Mikhail came to town, I watched a dog, and Leah and I played Rummikub on the floor. All and all, quite a success. Christine has agreed to take on a February night, so I think we are in business.

We just got back from Dallas a couple of hours ago. This month’s mini adventure was a wedding in Dallas. Now this didn’t really take extra effort, we would have done this either way. I did not go out of my way to plan something, but oh well. I’m counting it. The wedding was a full mass, and honestly one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’d ever attended. (Congrats Jeff & Amanda!)

January 2011

Now it is time to focus on February. My primary goal will be BUDGETING. I’m going to listen to dear old Dave Ramsey and carry some cash and pay for my goods. The frivolous spending has gotten a little out of control. Especially on things for my classroom. I throw pencils in my shopping cart constantly, and I am fairly embarrassed to share how much I’ve spent on books.

The secondary goal will still be working out. Although I am proud of the last month, I still need to keep track of my work outs. The habit hasn’t quite been made yet.

And in the month of love, for that extra boost of happiness, JMO and I are taking cooking classes.

*Gretchen Rubin was definitely right about the satisfaction of tracking happiness.

The Happiness Project – Goals for 2011

It is time to get serious about making room for happiness. Six months ago I wrote about The Pursuit of Happiness, I had high hopes, but I did not make a way to track it. Tracking it, makes it real and concrete, which also makes it happen (per The Happiness Project). Here is my plan.

Step 1: Pin pointing what makes me happy. I like these things, so these are the things I need to make more room for in my life.

  1. Physical Fitness. I do not like to exercise, but I love the feel good effects. PLAN: Leah and I are going to do a bootcamp to kick start the year of getting in shape. I am also going to add sleep to this this goal. I need more of it, and I believe if I make it a priority then it can happen.
  2. Financial Security. I realize that this is a life long goal. This year I will focus on making a budget and sticking to it.
  3. Mini Adventures. I love the zoo, museums, and visiting out of the way places. There is so much to see in do in the Houston area that I just haven’t had time to do. It is time to make time. Once a month, I’m going on a┬ámini adventure.
  4. Friends. I have amazing friends. Most of them live locally, and how often do I see them? Not so often. PLAN: I have told my friends they have no choice, we are making time for each other. Each of us have a month, and we are responsible for planning a fun friend night.
  5. Books. Reading makes me happy. I love children’s books and I love discussing them and collecting them. For Christmas I got a Reader’s journal that I’m excited to put to use, Goodreads.com helps me track, and some of my new favorite coworkers discuss books with me. This year I won’t waste time with books I don’t like.
  6. Clean House. I let the house get a little away from me. When it is clean, it is such a happier place to be. It is time to keep it that way.
  7. Shopping. Shopping makes me very very happy. The thing is, I often splurge on many small items. I would like to start focusing my funds on saving for more expensive, quality items.
  8. Journal. I have always enjoyed reflecting and documenting. My journal has become a place where I rant, and I’m not so pleased with that. This year I want to go back to recording happy things, small stories that make me smile, and reminders of how blessed my life is.

Step 2: Find a way to track and document these goals. This is the tricky part. JMO and I have talked at length on how I will document this. I made a spreadsheet I was pretty proud of, but it would be difficult to make sure I record daily on it. As of now, I made a calendar. Each month has a spot for my goal. January, for example, I will focus on my physical fitness. The plan is to work out four days a week, and to sleep 9 hours a night (I function best at 9 hours). On the calendar I will mark a “S” for days I meet my sleep goal. If it is one of the four days I am working out, I will record the length, and type of activity. At the end of the month, I will scan and post my calendar. I will also post my mini adventure and my friend night.

Step 3: Understand that this is an ever evolving process. Making goals in January for the entire year is just more likely to fail. If the calendar doesn’t seem the best tracking method after a few months, I will think and reflect and come up with a new method. If I decide that fitness needs to be the primary goal every couple of months, then it will. If I realize I really need to work on something in June, then that will be my goal for June. Resolving to be a better person for a year is just to much. One month at a time.