My 2017 Happiness Project- Thanks Gretchen Rubin

When I skim over my journals from elementary school that were kept with the same irregularity that one would expect of a third grader, the thing that stands out to me is that most years I remembered to write down some resolutions for the upcoming year. In November of this year I read Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project and knew that my resolutions this year would be different. After I finished this book I texted my best friend and fiance and told them I had something that they were required to read. I also discovered Rubin’s podcast after finishing the book and now listen to Happier with Gretchen Rubin in the car.

Rubin broke her project in months with up to five resolutions per month. Each month she added the new resolutions to all of the old ones from previous months. Her months broke down into:

January- Boost Energy (Vitality)

February- Remember Love (Marriage)

March- Aim Higher (Work)

April- Lighten Up (Parenthood)

May- Be Serious About Play (Leisure)

June- Make Time for Friends (Friendship)

July- Buy Some Happiness (Money)

August- Contemplate the Heavens (Eternity)

September- Pursue a Passion (Books)

November- Keep a Contented Heart (Attitude)

December- Boot Camp Perfect (Happiness)

With this as my model, and some of her resolutions as a starting point for coming up with my own, I have determined that my resolutions will be based on the following categories:

January- Get Up and Move (Fitness)

In the month of January, it seemed appropriate to set the tone for my entire year of building my fitness routine. I started a running routine last fall that I hope to continue into the new year as well as adding a few other types of exercise.

  • 52 Week Hike Challenge
  • Develop a more regular yoga practice
  • Run 50 miles
  • Discover the gym at my apartment complex
  • Sign up for first half marathon

February- *Almost* Wedded Bliss (Engagement)

After being engaged for a full year now, it is finally time to get down to the nitty gritty wedding planning details. The only thing I have accomplished so far is a dress that I picked up earlier this week.

  • Pick a date and send save the dates
  • Book vendors
  • Pick out Bridesmaid dresses and suits for Groomsmen
  • Plan honeymoon
  • Work through a premarital workbook together

March- Hit the Books (Law School)

My second semester of law school promises to be as busy as the first. With a strong first semester out of the gate, no time to slack in round two!

  • Network with guest speakers
  • Become more involved in Women’s Law Organization
  • Continue study habits from first semester

April- In Other News (Blogging)

This blog is brand new and there are a million things that I want to spend time doing and changing and tweaking. I tried to narrow it down as best as I could to the main things I want to focus on with my blog this year.

  • 3-5 *quality* posts per week
  • An original image for each post
  • Using social media to promote my blog
  • 1,000 blog followers by the end of the year

May- School’s Out for Summer (Leisure)

With exams ending by the middle of May, I will hopefully have some down time between school and beginning my summer internship. I have very few summers left where I will get school breaks so I want to make the most of it!

  • Go see one movie per month
  • Go see live music at least once per month
  • Hit the used book store
  • Start an apartment herb garden

June- All My Friends Say (Friendship)

Let me start off my saying I have some incredible people in my life that I get to call friends. It is difficult sometimes to keep in touch as well as I would like because we are so far flung across the country. I want to put in place some systems that make it easier to keep in touch.

  • Buy an address book and fill it out
  • Send hand written letters once per month to three friends
  • Text your bridesmaids once per week
  • Remember birthdays
  • Make two new friends per month

July- Adventure Awaits (Travel)

Since I will be interning (hopefully in a different part of the country) I should have a whole new place to explore! I absolutely love to travel and cannot wait to see where I end up.

  • Get a passport (Ian too)
  • Get a card that has frequent flyer rewards
  • Hike two new state peaks (already finished AR and WV)
  • Take a road trip
  • Start a conversations with locals
  • One overnight backpacking trip

August- Reconnect (Religious Eternity)

I was raised Christian and still identify as such, however, I am always curious about deepening my understanding of my own religion as well as the religions of others.

  • One domestic service project
  • Do a bible study
  • Attend church once a month even when away from home
  • Read at least one book on Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism

September- Life Long Learning

One of the main reasons I started this blog is that I am one of the biggest nerds that ever lived. I love to research things that I know nothing about so I figured why not share what I find with other people. I also hope that someday, enough people will read this that they can give me different perspectives to even further expand my own. Even though this will be the start of my second year of law school, I want to make time for some learning goals that don’t have to do directly with the law.

  • VolunteerĀ at a women’s shelter
  • Continue to read opposition news coverage
  • Pitch to an independent journalism source
  • Volunteer with a child advocacy organization

October- Mind Over Matter (Mindfulness)

October is the last month before the holiday crunch where people can usually still carve out free time for themselves. I want to use my free time for some self-development.

  • Meditate
  • Start a food journal
  • Learn a new skill
  • Find 5 new recipes that are worth adding to your cook book

November- Share Positive Vibes (Positivity)

After almost a full year of cultivating positivity for myself, I hope to share some with others!

  • Write book reviews
  • Smile
  • Listen with all of your attention
  • Compliment genuinely
  • Ask how you can help

December- Bringing it all Together (Boot Camp)

The month where I see if I can make all of those resolutions from the year stick.

I can’t wait to update everyone on how my journey is going. Hopefully this blog will hold me accountable. If you have not made your resolutions yet don’t worry, you still have some time! Any resolutions that you would like to share? Maybe I will adopt them!

Happy New Year everyone- be safe and careful out tonight!

8 thoughts on “My 2017 Happiness Project- Thanks Gretchen Rubin

    1. I started off really slowly last August with no goals except to get out there 4-5 days a week and I think that helped. I really like using the Nike Run app because I can see how much my friends are running and it motivates me to get off the couch! I also did a lot of 5k races on Saturdays and did my first 10k. It is still weird when I try to think of myself as a “runner” though.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Impressive list there, Meghan. Best of success!
    I’ve not made any specific resolutions, but I did float some thoughts in my latest blog post. I am quite civically engaged, often times to the point of losing focus on self and health. I’m going to try to avoid so many different types of engagement and will narrow my focus on seeing more women elected to public office.
    All that AFTER marching in DC.

    Liked by 1 person

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