It’s the first Monday in October, so I thought this was a good day to start the Happiness Project.
I know you’re thinking… October? That’s a weird month to start. Why not January?
Why does January have to be when everyone makes their resolutions? I want to start now, so I should follow that! If I wait, I might lose my motivation.
Don’t wait for January to make changes. If you want to make changes in your life – start now. Do this with me!
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Gretchen starts off with BOOSTING ENERGY, which I think is the perfect way to start!
In a virtuous circle, research shows, being happy energizes you, and at the same time, having more energy makes it easier for you to engage in activities – like socializing and exercise – that boost happiness. Studies also show that when you feel energetic, your self esteem rises. Feeling tired, on the other hand, makes everything seem arduous. An activity that you’d ordinarily find fun, like putting up holiday decorations, feels difficult, and a more demanding task, like learning a new software program, feels overwhelming. – Gretchen Rubin
Boosting energy doesn’t just have to do with energy drinks and lots of Starbucks, but actually changing the way you live to bring more energy into each day. It’s not about making resolutions. It is about changing your lifestyle.
Here’s how things usually go for me:
I’ll do a deep cleaning in my room, and then let it clutter up over the next 6 months until I get the urge to declutter again. I’ll go on a juice fast and feel amazing. I’ll eat healthier for the next few months, and then flip flop back to some bad eating habits. I don’t want to just do a cleanse or reset – I want to actually instill a happiness lifestyle change. I also want tactics to bounce back quick after an inevitable fuck up.
Another problem of mine is that I take on too much at once, but I think that having a month to do this, and map it out will give me a head start.
Whenever I’m not doing a million things, and I’m able to easily fit in yoga, I have more clarity and inspiration. It also makes the annoying things way more tolerable. I make better decisions, and I’m a better person and friend. If I’m completely overwhelmed, I tend to be less responsive, and want to be left alone.
Here’s what I will work on for the month of October to boost energy….
Add more exercise to my life: This is in addition to my yoga practice. My yoga practice is intense, but I need to add more to my routine. Since I’m an Ashtanga practitioner, I do the same sequence each day. I absolutely love it, but when I hit a plateau – it can be soul sucking. I think having more options in my life could help. I’m going to mix it up with walking, barre, and spin.
Daily yoga: This is my normal practice, but it’s been difficult to get back into it since I had my surgery. Even if my practice is just a few sun salutations or a few postures that my body’s calling for – I would like get back to 6 days a week.
10 minutes of daily meditation: Whenever I make the time for meditation, it always makes for a better day. It’s just that I’ve never been able to keep it up unless I force myself into it by enrolling in a silent meditation retreat. I know that 10 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, but it sure as hell makes a difference!
Yoga classes: Go to a yoga class at least once a week. I get used to practicing alone, but I think it’s also really important to practice with people. When you’re with people, you can feed of their energy, and you don’t have to worry about outside distractions from your phone or email. When you’re at home, you’ll deal with different issues in your mind, and also have to really work on keeping your focus within. It’s good to balance it out.
Friends: I’m going to only surround myself with positive people, good people, and people that I admire. I really believe that we are the accumulation of the people we spend the most time with, and just one energy vampire or negative person can cancel that all out. I’m going to do my best to only surround myself with sweetness and sunshine.
I need to eat better. Earlier this month I decided to give up dairy, but I didn’t stick to it. I don’t eat a lot dairy anyways, but I was still cheating pretty often. So, I’m nixing that. Instead I’m just going to eat better and more fresh. Here’s what I mean…
- Cook fresh & healthy meals.
- No eating dinners out, or ordering in, during the week unless it’s date night.
- Stop eating when I’m full.
- Eat something green every day.
- No junk food. On the weekends when I work my part time job, I tend to eat tons of snack foods, which makes me feel like crap. Those days are done!
Dishes: These need to be done every night before bed.
Bed: I’m making this sucker every morning.
Laundry: Clothes need to be folded and put away after laundry is complete. No more living out of the dryer!
Clean: Do a deep clean of my home & then come up with a plan to never let it get out of control again. I have a paper problem. I don’t know what to do with all of the papers that build up through mail or important files I need to keep. It just piles up and goes in a drawer. I don’t want to have a bunch of miscellaneous things sit in a garage, and I don’t want to have a junk drawer. I really want to be a clean and organized person, so I’m gonna make this happen!
I seriously need to sleep better. I always say I need 8 hours of sleep, and then I stay up so late working on websites, or watch Netflix. I know there’s a lot of different research and opinions on sleep, but most people still say that 8 hours of sleep is the best.
The most successful people make sure they get 8 hours of sleep, and start everyday with some sort of exercise ritual whether it’s running, meditation, or yoga. When I can be on the cycle of the earth, I function wayyyyy better! So, I’m going to take this month to instill this habit.
Tackle Tasks & Some Misc. Goals:
- Tackle nagging tasks like making doctors appts, paying bills, or cleaning the desktop to my computer.
- Develop a love affair with money. This means balancing a checkbook, trying new ways to make money, changing my money mindset.
- Say no when something doesn’t serve me!
- Keep a to do list in Basecamp and tackle it!
- No more context switching!
I know this seems like a lot, but I really don’t think it will be too hard. I think the toughest for me will be the deep clean and getting the 10 minutes of daily meditation, and committing to sleep. I am also going to start by focusing on one area at a time. I’m also going to forgive myself if I screw up a little, but then just pick up right where I left off. I’m also not going to become obsessive. If Mark and I are watching a movie, then I might do a 7 hour sleep instead of 8 hours, and of course give myself cheat time on the weekend when we go out for drinks.
Once I publish this blog post, I am going to create a schedule to make sure this all happens.
What’s your energy month going to look like? If you could pick one thing to change and work on this month, what would it be?
Lots of kisses & hugs,