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December 8, 2009

Happy in 2010! Resolutions, Focus, Tips, and Best Practices

(image from Farouche on etsy.com)

I recently signed up to participate in Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project for 2010. The Happiness Project was the impetus for Gretchen’s new book coming out on Dec 29.

The book is an account of the year she spent test-driving studies and theories about how to be happier.

I’m all about best practices and love learning about studies so I know always knew the book would be for me. (I can’t wait to learn what is considered hogwash and what actually works!)

But right now I am also intrigued by resolutions and process. I know, the time of year is good for it, but I am also motivated by my experience from this last year.

For the first time, I made good resolutions! I had resolved to improve my grammar and to improve my posture. Is either perfect? Nope. But they’re better. And what’s more, it wasn’t a guilt-ridden, ‘set yourself up for failure experience. Instead, I simply focus on two concrete things I wanted to improve and took several steps to do so.

So for this next year, in addition to continuing my grammar and posture initiatives I would like to improve my blackberry boundaries. Specifically, I would like to insulate myself from my blackberry during certain hours. Right now, even if I know I won’t respond to any emails I see, I can find myself deliberately and absent-mindedly checking my blackberry at stupid times during the evening right up until I go to bed. The problem is that whatever emails are awaiting me kick my mind into gear and prevent me from truly relaxing, focusing on something else, or turning off work for a while. I would like to improve this by focus on it more and being more aware of my desired outcome and behavior.

I’m joining the happiness project because I think it will be a nice accompaniment to the book and also because I would like Gretchen’s help spotlighting other areas of my life to I can focus on them as well. I find the positive tone of Gretchen’s tips and writing to be appealing and I also appreciate that she her advice is of the “meet you were you are” type style. No one needs to start the year by heaping expectations and pressure on to their self.

So more about the project process:
Starting each month in 2010, Gretchen will propose an area of life to tackle, and once a week, over the next four weeks, she’ll suggest concrete, manageable resolutions to help you boost your happiness – and remind you to stick with them. She’s also going to do a series of short videos on the proposed resolutions and why they matter. Want to join us?

Right now she has the following topics slated:
December--Boot Camp Perfect

(This monthly focus reminds me of the awesome Give It Up! My Year of Learning to Live Better with Less by Mary Carlomagno)

I’m happy to share how it is going throughout the year! In the meantime, I’m excited for the book. And I'd love to know what you are resolving for the New Year! Tell us.

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