Today is special for a few reasons. Today is my birthday. Today I am going away for the weekend with a friend to do our Christmas shopping and to tick something off my bucket list. Today I am also launching my Happiness Project. When this post is published I’ll probably be on the motorway but I have spent weeks planning this, so in theory everything should still go smoothly!
I’m launching my Happiness Project today because it is my birthday. Happiness projects generally last a year, so mine will start today and end on my 25th birthday. I really want to make my 24th year a great one and I’m hoping this project will help me do that!
All of this started when I read The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin. The idea behind a Happiness Project is that for each month of the year you choose an area of your life that you want to focus on. Then for each area you come up with a few goals or resolutions that you think will boost your happiness. I have spent weeks planning mine and I’m finally happy with them! I’ll reveal my resolutions month by month but here is my list of the areas I will be focusing on:
- November- Personal Space
- December- Gratitude
- January- Attitude
- February- Personal Growth
- March- Express Yourself
- April- Reading
- May- Relationships
- June- Leisure
- July- Body
- August- Explore
- September- Spiritual
- October- Create Happy Memories
- November 15- Evaluate and Review
The monthly resolutions will replace my “little steps” posts, although in essence they are the same thing, goals for the month. We are exactly halfway through November, so I made sure that this months resolutions can be completed in the remaining 15 days. Here they are:
- Declutter. I am going to go through my room, my drawers, my wardrobe and get rid of anything thats broken, doesn’t fit or that I don’t use. There’s something very satisfying about decluttering!
- Organise. Everything that I keep will be sorted and organised. Day to day life is so much easier when you can find things!
- Refresh room. My room was redecorated a couple of years ago, there is nothing wrong with it but I think a new quilt cover and a couple of new photo frames would freshen it up. I spend a lot of time in my room, so I might as well make it a nice place to be.
Those are my resolutions, pretty easy to start with but I only have half a month this time! As well as my resolutions, I’ll be referring to my Commandments. I wrote them a few months ago, after deciding that a full blown Happiness Project wasn’t right for me at the time. I realise now that I was wrong, pursuing happiness is just as important as tackling my anxiety. One effects the other, being happy means I am more resilient when I face anxiety and tackling anxiety helps make me happy. Commandments are principles which we try to live by. Here is a reminder of mine.
My 12 Commandments
- Be Hayley. I borrowed this one from Gretchen. I admit that I care too much about what other people think, I am going to make a big effort to be myself. I am a bit childish, I recently took up loom bands and bought myself The Lego Movie. Cue strange looks from my parents. So I’m childish, why is that portrayed as such a bad thing? There are worse traits to have! Plus how many times have you heard someone say “I wish I was a kid again”? Exactly.
- Let it go. This is also on Gretchen’s list but it is on mine for a different reason. It is to do with the song from Frozen. I really identify with the lyrics. For years I kept my anxiety a secret “Don’t let them in, don’t let them see, be the good girl you always have to be.” Then suddenly it was out in the open and everyone knew, “Don’t let them know… But know they know!” It is still my impulse to hide my anxiety. I am trying to learn to let my family and friends in, they know now so I may as well let it go.
- I can handle it. A lot of my anxiety attacks center around me feeling that I can’t handle a situation. Yet when I force myself to face my fear, I usually find that Ican handle it. So now every time I am nervous about a situation I stand in front of my mirror, look myself in the eyes and say “I can handle it!” like a mantra until I start to believe it.
- Just get on with it. We all have things in life that we don’t look forward to. I tell myself that the sooner I start, the sooner I’m finished. Just get on with it!
- Take responsibility. A line of The Happiness Project really struck me. “If you’re willing to take the blame, people will give you the responsibility.” Do I always take responsibility when I should? Sometimes I worry that I use my anxiety. I decided not to put myself into a situation because of my anxiety but was I reallyworried that it would be too much for me? Or did I just not want to and my anxiety was a handy excuse to tell myself to give up the opportunity?
- Don’t over-think. I over-think a lot. It is a big problem for me, one that I am trying to work through.
- Little steps add up. There isn’t a quick way to overcome anxiety or any mental health condition. Sometimes it feels like I’m not progressing fast enough. I must remember, little steps add up!
- Take it in. To quote The Happiness Project again, “The days are long but the years are short.” I want to appreciate the here and now. I don’t want life to pass me by. That is my motivation for overcoming my anxiety.
- Listen to your body. It knows best! During my recovery I am making sure that I take time for self care and that I listen to my body. If it tells me I am pushing myself too hard I need to respect that.
- Patience is a virtue. I don’t really need to explain this one ha!
- Guilt is wasted energy. We are human. We make mistakes. Dwelling on what we could/should have done differently isn’t going to change that.
- Go with the flow. Sometimes opportunities present themselves or plans will change for the better. Don’t question or calculate. Go with the flow.
I think that covers everything for now! Hope everyone has I great weekend, I’ll be back Sunday evening =)