Start Your Own Happiness Project

Alright, the cat is out of the bag I suppose. I am a giant book nerd. In the last year and a half, I have read 160 books. I always get asked 2 questions:

1. “How do you find the time!?” You can find the answer to that here.

2. “What books do you recommend?” I could recommend SO MANY books, but I’ll start with my recommendations for one of my favorite genres: Self help. Self help books can get a pretty bad reputation of being corny, but I find them to be a helpful map to finding happiness and peace in the midst of chaos. Here are some of my must reads:

  • You Are A Badass
  • The Untethered Soul
  • Present Over Perfect
  • The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
  • Girl, Wash Your Face
  • Self Compassion
  • Unf*ck Yourself

Although I love these, one book to me stands out above the rest, possibly because I love challenging myself and setting goals. That book is “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin.

Start Your Own Happiness Project

I’m sure you’ve seen the cover of this book at every Barnes and Noble, and I’m sure, just like I did, you’ve passed it by without giving it a good look. I’ve made my way through a lot of self improvement books, so I finally caved and decided it was time to give this one a try.

The Premise

Gretchen decided that for each month of the year she would focus on one goal that she believed might enrich her life. She would spend that month putting her time and energy into that one area. At the end of the year, she wanted to see if she was any happier. Spoiler alert: It worked. She found happiness.

It’s one of those books that makes you feel like you can do anything. Start over. Pursue your dream. Become the person you’ve been trying to be. I am still picking my monthly goals for 2019, but here are some ideas that I am considering.

Monthly Ideas

  • Friendship
  • Overall Wellness(mind, body, soul)
  • Gratitude
  • Finances
  • Writing
  • Try new things/hobbies
  • Marriage
  • Kindness
  • Attitude
  • Forgiveness
  • Play
  • Get involved in the community
  • Spirituality
  • Positive words

If you have limited time and can only read one self improvement book, I highly recommend reading this and investing in yourself. Whenever a new year rolls around, many people make a long list of things that they want for the coming year. Somehow we are confused as to why we become resolution drop outs within the first month. Perhaps, it’s because we are trying to tackle 20 things all at once. We finally give up and say, “Eh, there is always next year.”

I love Gretchen Rubin’s approach because it is about focusing on one thing at a time. It is about pouring all of yourself into whatever month you are in.

Let’s Do This!

Throughout 2019 I will be updating you all on my personal Happiness Project! I have found that connecting with others who are also pursuing their goals is helpful, so I have created a Facebook group where we can share our wins and progress.

Also, if you haven’t read The Happiness Project yet, you can find it here.

What are some of your dreams for 2019? Will you take the challenge and start your own happiness project? Comment and let me know what some of your monthly goals might be!

  1. Thank you for this book recommendation. Though I’m a skeptic when it comes to self-help books, this one sounds easy-peasy and lighter in tone. Would check it out. Would love to read more about your monthly achievements in 2019 <3.

  2. Wow, I’m super-impressed with the number of books you’ve read in 18 months!

    I’ve heard about ‘The Happiness Project’ here and there but never got around to reading it. You’ve made me really want to now! Thanks for the review and other recommendations. 🙂

  3. This is an interestign concept, which aligns perfectly with my personal motto to focus on what’s in front of you so as to not become overwhelmed with all there is to do in life. I will definitely take a look at this book, maybe on Libby!! Thanks for the recommendation.

    1. I didn’t know that she had a podcast! Definitely going to check it out

  4. Well you’ve convinced me! I will be getting this book as soon as possible, it sounds awesome! Great post!

  5. Thanks for the summary! I very rarely find time to read, but I always love it when I find a good book. This one sounds like a good one!

  6. Interesting approach. I guess it can work for some indeed. I’m just hoping after dedicating each month to one goal they just don’t drop it 😉 I know some people would… Anyway, I love the idea generally! And might consider too 🙂

  7. I gotta get my hands on this book — I’ve heard of it before but it sounds like something I’d love. Thanks for the inspiration

  8. Great article!

    This book sounds really good. I do see this book every time I’m at the bookstore in fact,LoL. Based on what you’ve said about it definitely going to pick up a copy the next time I’m at the bookstore.

  9. The Happiness Project is one that I have kept looking at too but never reading. I actually even have it on my shelf! Now I just need to make a plan to READ it! Sounds like it’s a great read. Thanks for the recommendation. I have read a few of the other books on your list and they are great.

  10. I’m not a big reader to be honest but I think I could really get into this book! I like the idea of a happiness project as well!

    1. It is really wonderful! It feels a lot more attainable than typical resolutions:)

    1. Thank you! I haven’t decided the full order yet, but here are the months I am thinking: Hobbies, Faith, Marriage, Friendship, Give Back, Work, Forgiveness, Things that scare me, Gratitude, Be Present, Letting go/forgiveness

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