Going after happiness…..  

What is the foundation of happiness?  How do I create an environment, in my home, my physical body, my work life, where the environment supports, encourages and celebrates happiness?  How do I impact my personal attitude toward daily living?  What are the key elements for growth?

In the book I was gifted, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, she begins with breaking down her happiness goals into 11 distinct areas to improve with the end goal of being happier in mind.  She would focus on one each month, with December being the overall Happiness month.

Twelve seemed like a lot to me, yet I did like the idea of having several areas of focus, and putting my attention on them one at a time.

my happiness projectA few weeks ago on the Celtic holiday of Imbolc, I spent some time with women friends discerning what seeds I wanted to plant in the New Year.  Just like you plan a garden, we looked at how we plan our lives.  That day, I saw what was missing the most most for me… good boundaries.  I have a plentiful, abundant and joyous life, but at times my life runs me instead of my running it.  Being out of control doesn’t gain me happiness.  In fact, I lose sleep, start eating crappy food, exercise less, worry more and in general become more irritable and not as fun to be around.  Yet, when I keep good personal boundaries, like saying no to things that really don’t serve me or don’t interest me, I get just the opposite effect.  Being happier for me, had to include finding my boundaries.

My life also doesn’t lend itself well to a regimented schedule.  I can decide I am going to exercise every day at 6AM but a client’s Board meeting across town, or a late night client or Board meeting the night before, makes such rigidity challenging and doesn’t make me happier.

On the other hand, scheduling every detail of my life, like a 10 minute medication every day, gets tedious, but then without it, those things that are most beneficial are easy to lose sight of. 

I decided my first and most important goal in my quest for happiness was to look at my daily routine and find a way to get those things I know really are foundational to my wellbeing in my daily schedule.

I have a lot of great daily habits  like brushing my teeth, flossing, eating great food and some really great periodic habits, like a massage every 3 weeks, walks with the dogs anytime the weather and my schedule allow, spending regular time with friends, volunteering in a way that matters are part of my life.  But other things I really find boost my energy,  like daily meditation, weight training, and daily yoga, have always been elusive for me. They fall by the “too busy and something has to go” wayside.

Breaking all this down, brings me to the first boundary I want to solidify, my schedule.  There has to be a way to be flexible, but be rigid enough to take care of myself at the same time.

To read all My Happiness Project posts click here.