Friday, January 13, 2012

Happiness Project

Hey, bloggies!  Being snowed in yesterday was a nice little respite from the daily routine – I woke up this morning feeling more tired than usual though… too much relaxation perhaps? 

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The granola bars turned out very yummy – I used banana, dried dates, raspberries, & blueberries, flax, rolled oats, peanut butter, protein powder, and a few other ingreds – I’ll post a recipe later.  Still, making my own never turns out quite how I like the taste when I buy my fave bars.  This is odd because with almost all ‘baked goods’, I prefer my own to store-bought… haven’t gotten the bars dead-on yet though.  I think this may have to do with not having found a recipe that is baked.  I always have made ‘no-bake’ variety granola bars.  This could perhaps be the difference me thinks…

On a different note, a month or so back, I read Gretchen Rubin’s “Happiness Project”.  This piece of non-fiction is Rubin’s effort at making her life happier.  She compiles list, goes through research, and all in all brings a surprisingly methodical and scientific approach to happiness achievement… there is no meditation, soul-searching, or yoga retreat in this work.  Still, the book is fairly light and definitely inspiring.  In an appendix at the end, she offers a step-by-step approach to making your own little happiness project.  There can be nothing wrong with that, right?

I did so, and am hoping to put it into place throughout the month (and hopefully throughout the year, if I can stick with it!)  Here is mine, and if you visit her website (or snag the book from you library!) you can make your own.

My Happiness Project:  1/13/11 – 2/13/12


What makes you feel good?

·        Reading

·        cooking

·        baking

·        writing

·        learning

·        time with loved ones

·        animals

·         discovering new things I enjoy

·         hearing others’ experiences

·        exercise, health & nutrition

·         warmth

·         Traditions

·        Volunteer work

What makes you feel bad?

·        Rushing

·        Not having a plan

·        Speaking with too sharp a tongue/snapping

·        Not getting enough “me-time”

·        Feeling overtired

·        Not being creative enough with what I do (aka just sitting on the couch, or watching a movie for the tenth night in a row)

·        Feeling like I don’t have a challenge or hobby

·        Feeling insufficient or as though I am ‘expected’ to be doing something other than what I am

·        Worry over money

·        Worry over similar hard-to-control things

·        Acting grumpy or ungrateful towards those I love

·        Obsessing

·        Wanting perfection

·        Being overtly and continuously controlling

What doesn’t feel right?

·        Not getting along with my family, specifically loss of touch with my mom

·        Not quite yet having a perfect balance between “me-time” and “Ryan-time”

·        Not currently pursuing my field of interest

·        Having a job that is not particularly lucrative/gratifying in terms of what I want my future to be

·        Living somewhere cold, brrrr

·        My body/eating habits & outlook

What in your life is a source of growth?

Trying to explore my wants to figure out my next steps and my future – also sometimes a source of feeling bad because I don’t know the answers yet


·        I will say “thank you” more, be kinder, and notice the little things

·        I will bite my tongue, think twice, count to ten, and not snap.

·        I will focus on being healthy

·        I will treat myself and occasionally indulge

·        I will worship my body and care for it well – I get only one and I am lucky to have it.

·        I will give more compliments, smiles, and general affection

·        I will not make negative remarks, complain, or backbite.  If I have nothing nice to say on a topic or about a person, I will say nothing at all

·        If I am interested in something, I will let myself do it

·        I will give more

·        I will get back to those things which once brought me pleasure – chances are, they still will

·        I will be more energetic and bubbly

·        I will take things one moment at a time, not think to the future, or try to nail things down to an exact time slot – this way, I can truly enjoy them

·        I will give and show more love and laughter

·        I will counter negative thoughts with positive ones

·        I will do things the right way the first time

·        I will give myself and others more credit and slack

·        I will express my wants and needs nicely


1.      Give more love – to my boyfriend, cat, the cashier at the grocery, myself

2.      Be more grateful, especially for the things which often go unnoticed

3.      Take nothing for granted

4.      Money is paper

5.      Within you and without you

6.      Do not over-think, obsess, or in other ways be totally neurotic.  Breathe

7.      Break your plans

8.      To thine ownself be true

9.      Read more write more

10.  Indulge in a few things

11.  Discover the new

12.  Take compliments, praise, and other little acts of good from others and be truly sincerely thankful.  These are the smallest and largest gifts

13.  Give up some control.  Let others do things for you

14.  Say sorry

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