Good Read: The Happiness Project

happiness-projectEarlier this year, I joined a fun book club. When asked to join, my first response was “I’m not really a book club kind of girl.” And my friend’s response was, “Oh – we just get together and drink wine.” Now that I could get into.

The first book on the docket was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I was totally intrigued because I’m always into real life stories, I like the self-help genre, and it seemed relatable. And it totally was. One of the first lines that really grabbed me was this: “How can I discipline myself to feel grateful for my ordinary day?” Who wouldn’t want to accomplish that?? Another good one: “Aim for a higher standard of behavior.”

I won’t give away any spoilers, but a couple of things in that book have totally impacted my life. That seems extreme to say, but it’s true. The first “Happiness” take away that I literally use everyday is…

“Don’t postpone any task that can be done in less than one minute.”

I adhere to this advice (sometimes actually saying it out loud) and it makes a big difference in my day. Once I put My Girl to bed, I don’t have a dozen small projects to get to; I’ve completed them as the day progressed. Which obviously means I have an extra 15 minutes of Real Housewives watching. Whoop!

My other big take away is to make a list of nagging projects that you always think, “Oh – I should really do that” but you actually never do and you totally forget about it until you have another fleeting reminder to get it done. I made a list of about 20 constantly-neglected things and placed it prominently on my refrigerator – and a month later, everything had been completed. I felt so accomplished and, honestly, less stressed. Having the list constantly right in front of my nose kept me motivated to be productive when I had an extra 20 minutes in my day. And a lot of those things could be accomplished while watching Real Housewives. Double whoop!

I haven’t made a full-on Happiness Project for myself, but I may. And I really do intend to incorporate some other ideas of hers into my life – like raiding my closet, treating my husband to a full week of nothing but niceness, becoming a recorder of my family’s memories.

If you’re interested in The Happiness Project, give her website a good look.

And since I love a good quote, so I’ll leave you with one last one from Ms. Rubin: “I have a healthy, affectionate little girl, and I want my actions as a parent to rise to the level of that good fortune.”

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4 thoughts on “Good Read: The Happiness Project

  1. neatasyouplease May 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm Reply

    I love that quote about the one minute rule! I loved that book, it was a real eye-opener. I own it now. I really need to start a “book club” with a lot of wine too 😉

    • Whitney Williams May 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm Reply

      It seems outrageous to say it’s life changing, but it kind of is! And maybe we can invent some kind of virtual book club revolving around wine?? Genius.

      Thanks for stopping by! – Whitney

      • neatasyouplease May 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm

        Oh my gosh, yes!! Haha. Have you been on Goodreads.com before?! It’s my saving grace when it comes to my terrible memory with what books I’ve read. And you can make “Groups” where you can share books! This should be a thing…because I read you like real-life books and that’s almost all I read, too!

      • Whitney Williams May 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm

        Thanks for the tip!

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