My Own Happiness Project

Good morning!

Is anyone else incredibly happy it’s the weekend? We don’t have much on our agenda, which is a-okay by me. My plan for the day is to get a workout in, read, organize the nursery a bit, go to Cody’s basketball game, make a yummy dinner, and work on some behind the scenes blog stuff that I keep pushing to the side. Speaking of blog stuff, you may notice that the format and organization of things are a little different this morning. If something doesn’t look right or isn’t working for you, please let me know!

As I mentioned several weeks ago, I started reading The Happiness Project after seeing it on a few different blogs. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into other than the fact that the book sounded intriguing to me. My degree is in psychology so anything pertaining to this particular topic typically peaks my interest. I won’t go into super detail about what the book all entails, but I would encourage you to read more of a detailed review on Peanut Butter Fingers.

A short synopsis of the book:

“In this lively and compelling account, Rubin (the author) chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.”

Overall I really enjoyed this book. There were chapters and parts that I didn’t relate to much, but there were also several parts that I felt like I could’ve written myself. The concept and ideas of the book were compelling, made me think, and often gave me a good chuckle. There’s always areas and ways we can improve our life and our happiness, and I think this book really challenges that and makes you think outside the box. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone and anyone.


Now for my own happiness project! Gretchen Rubin organized her happiness project in such a way that she focused on a general area of her life each month (i.e. marriage, work, parenthood, etc) and worked toward a few specific goals within that area. Rather than plan out my happiness project for the entire year in detail, I’m simply made a list of things I want to work on this year that I believe will lead me to an even happier and fulfilling life. That being said, I don’t want to come off as being unhappy or discontent with my current life. I’m incredibly blessed and happy, but I also believe there’s always areas in which we can improve.Within each of the overarching goals on my list, I made a few specific goals to help me fulfill the overarching goal.  

My Happiness Project

(in no particular order)

1. Go outside of my comfort zone

  • Talk to strangers and meet new people
  • Get my group fitness instructor certification (after baby of course)
  • Start or join a mom’s group

2. Grow my relationship with God

  • Be more consistent with my devotions & prayer time
  • Participate in She Reads Truth daily
  • Stay plugged in to church activities

3. Make more of an effort with friends

  • Hang out with friends at least twice a month
  • Call long distance friends every couple weeks
  • Text/email/Facebook friends when I’m thinking about them

4. Be a better wife

  • Use positive reinforcement rather than nagging
  • Greet him at the door every time he comes home from work
  • Do more of “the little things” (i.e. love notes in his lunch, etc.)

5. Grow my blog

  • Be more active with Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram
  • Research and improve photography skills
  • Consistently respond to comments and emails from readers

6. Stay organized

  • Everything has a place – if not, find a place for it or throw it out
  • Implementing the “one minute rule” – if it takes one minute or less to do, do it right then & there (i.e. filing a bill, putting away my shoes, etc)
  • Purchase organizers for drawers, closets, etc. to make better use of the room we have

7. Be more positive

  • “Fake it ‘til you make it”
  • Smile more often
  • Remind myself of the good that comes out (of whatever I’m not wanting to do)

8. Be the best mama I can be

  • Read and research parenting, babies, etc.
  • Make Hunter a priority, but also make time for myself
  • Don’t be too hard on myself

9. Grow my knowledge

  • Read a book 30 minutes per day
  • Research things I’m unsure about
  • Find new blogs to read that are in different genres

10. Keep healthy

  • Stay away from processed foods
  • Don’t be too strict with myself (with food AND exercise)
  • Run a half marathon (after baby)

Some of the above goals are open doors into some of my struggles and flaws, but it’s refreshing to write it out and share with you. A few of the goals are some that I don’t necessarily think I do a bad job at, but they are areas of my life that are very important to me and I want to continue to improve myself in those areas.

Alright, I think that’s enough of my babbling for one day! Have an awesome Saturday!


  • Have you read The Happiness Project? Thoughts?
  • What are some things that you would include in YOUR happiness project?
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  1. says

    I think what you wrote under #8, “don’t be too hard on myself,” is so important to SO many aspects of life (whether it be work, school, relationships, fitness, nutrition, etc). I could benefit from this one, as well :)

  2. says

    I LOVED this book! And I’m so happy to hear you’re putting these ideas to practice! I like how everything is put out like this. All these things are awesome to be constantly working on. I think I’m going to steal some of your ideas and put them to use;) It never hurts to be more happier in life!

  3. says

    What a cool idea! I especially like the area you have for Cody and remembering to greet him when he comes home from work. Oh how we can take those little moments for granted over time! (Not that I have a husband who comes home to me or anything 😉 )

  4. says

    Love your happiness ideas! Those are awesome ones girl and makes me happy!

    I have not read that book, but maybe I should download it on my kindle 😉

    Happy weekend! <3

  5. says

    Love it all! And I seriously want to read this book even more now.

    Gotta say – the read and research parenting thing. Good thing to consider, but remember that you will always know yourself and your family and your baby best. I got caught up in reading up at first when M was little and then realized it was a waste of time (in a way). It’s still good to know important info and get ideas from reputable sources, but don’t put pressure on yourself to do that too much. I did and it didn’t do anything for me. Just had to get that out there. :)

    • Ashley says

      Thank you so much for the advice! I’ve already been feeling a little overwhelmed by all the various theories and beliefs out there. You’re right though, you just have to do what’s best for you and your family.

  6. says

    I’ve heard that’s a great read! I will keep this one in mind because I just finished my last book and am in need of something fresh. Have a great relaxing weekend!

  7. says

    I haven’t read it but I think I need too! I’d include a lot of what you have! Making more time for friends and making an effort to meet new people as well as being more proactive with the blogging. I’ll have to go peruse Amazon now to see if I can get a copy to Ireland!

  8. says

    Love this list! I never read the Happiness Project, but I kind of did the same idea for my resolutions this year, making one resolution each month. This way, I could make a lot of goals like this but take the time to focus on each one for a month. Some of my goals include getting up/going to bed on time, reading 12 books this year, focus on my marriage, run another half-marathon, etc.

    How are you planning on accomplishing these goals? All at once or by making certain ones a priority first? Just curious!

  9. says

    I just started reading your blog a little bit ago and I love it! I really like your version of the Happiness Project! I am doing a year long devotion right now and blogging about it and I just love it! It really makes you think more about your everyday actions! Good Luck and I look forward to reading more!

  10. says

    Great goals! I found that it’s even better to print them off and post them in places you see every day. (fridge, medicine cabinet, inside a book that you are reading as your book marker…this way you are reminded of the goals). You will be a great mom. Just the fact that you are talking about it and wanting to be a great mom is a great start!

  11. says

    I haven’t read “The Happiness Project”, but ironically it was mentioned in an “Organize Your Life” seminar I attended today. Maybe that’s a sign I need to read it :)

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has a “more effort with friends” goal. That is one of the things on my 2013 work-on list. Amazing how easy it is to put friends on the back burner sometime :/

  12. says

    Sounds like you have some great goals! I can’t highlight enough how awesome joining a mom’s group can be. You have instant connections with other women and your child has a chance to interact with other children. I’ve met some of my best friends through moms groups! I hope you find one you really love!

  13. says

    I am currently reading the book and I love it! It really tackles my mind with different questions and makes me think what things make me happy and which bring the anxiety and annoyment. For example, as a scientist I should read a lot of papers. Since in the lab I don’t get so much free time to read them, I love packing myself a weekend paper to read at home. While reading this book I could explain to my boyfriend that bringing work home (but only an hour or two over the weekend) and having it done actually makes me happy (and when I’m happy he will be happy too :) ). Knowing that there is a pile at my desk in the lab will just make me nervous and annoyed the whole weekend and next week.

  14. says

    I LOVED this book! I really liked everything you put on your “Happiness Project” and it closely resembles mine. This month, I’m focusing on organization and decluttering. So far, so good. Good luck on your’s!!

  15. says

    I think it’s great that you were inspired to embark on your own happiness project. I don’t know if you visited her blog, but she has free print-outs etc. that you can use to help keep track of how you’re doing with your resolutions. I made a few of my own this year (I may add to it) and I’ve been using them to keep track. It’s great because otherwise I think it’d be easy for me to forget what I want to do!

  16. says

    I loved the Happiness Project. I found so many things to be so true and helpful. I definitely follow her 10-minute-cleanup rule. Every night I just make sure everything is tidy and put away. Those 10 minutes of cleaning up makes the next morning so much less stressful!

  17. says

    I just started this book a week ago (sadly don’t get much time to read!) but am really enjoying it. A lot of your goals are very similar to mine. We’re already 2 weeks into January and I haven’t even been able to get my goals wrapped into a blog post yet. Good thing both can coincide and I will get it done this week.

  18. says

    I am starting my own Happiness Project for my 30th birthday and I really liked your ideas. The book is a great starting point to begin thinking of your own Happiness Project, but I agree with you that I couldn’t relate to everything she wrote. I just started a blog and I’m trying to make an effort to read other people’s blogs to get ideas and become more connected to the blogging community. From what I’ve seen so far, I really like your blog. Do you have any tips or tricks for a successful blogging experience?


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