January Recap: The Happiness Project

This year I have started my very own Happiness Project. This entails focusing on one area of growth for every month of the year. At the end of this year, we will see if it has had an impact on my personal happiness. If you are interested in starting your own project, make sure you check out my original post that explains more about the concept.

First Month: Health & Wellness

I decided that for the start of my year, I wanted to focus my time and energy on my physical health. I have battled chronic pain for 3 years and I hoped to get a better handle on my health this month.

So how did January treat me? Well, I DO feel happier, but I wouldn’t say it is because I feel better physically.

What worked:

  • I started following a strict sleeping schedule. I made sure to start winding down by 8pm, with the goal of being asleep by 10pm. I then woke up every morning at 7am. This was the highlight of my month. It felt great to go to bed at a decent time and not spend hours on end scrolling through my phone when I should be sleeping. Waking up at 7am turned out to be the best way to start this year. The feeling I got by being up and working before the sun came up is indescribable. I was able to increase my productivity and get in some much needed self care.
  • My blue light blocking glasses aided in my sleeping routine. I immediately noticed that I got tired much faster when I wore them at night. They made it easy to transition into sleep. You can grab a pair for yourself here.
  • For the most part, I stuck to my goal of daily yoga. I did miss a day or two when I worked long hours on set, but overall I was determined to add it to my routine. Yoga and stretching always helps me cope with my Fibromyalgia pain and I plan to keep it a staple for the rest of the year.
  • I DRANK SO MUCH WATER! My new water bottle stayed in my view throughout the day. I have been saying I want to drink more water for years, but I finally put those thoughts into action.

What I could have done better:

  • I didn’t stick with my no dairy/grains. I am an extremely healthy eater to begin with though, so I didn’t take it too personally. Having struggled with an eating disorder in the past, I wanted to make sure I didn’t take this one as seriously. I try to do everything in moderation now. I am going to keep working on eating less processed foods to see if that helps improve my physical pain.
  • I did not make it to the gym 5x a week, but I did make it there pretty consistently. When I wasn’t able to drive to the gym, I made it a point to do a quick workout at home.

In the end, my sleep didn’t improve like I was hoping. Sometimes you can do all the “right” things, and your body just won’t cooperate. My husband and I are going to be looking into seeing a sleep specialist in the future.

If this month taught me anything, it is to give myself grace. I am such a Type A person, so naturally I want to do everything perfectly. Around week two, I began to get down on myself. All that positive self talk seemed to go out the window. How could I not stick to all my goals perfectly? Surely I can do anything for 31 days? But ya’ll, this is life. Things don’t always go exactly how we plan them, and THAT IS OKAY. We are all doing the best we can, and IT IS good enough.

Instead of focusing on what we are doing “wrong”, we should be focusing on all the good things we are doing for ourselves. I finally stuck to drinking more water. I was disciplined and stuck to a healthy sleep routine. I treated my body with love and gave it the stretching and exercise it needed. So do I feel happier?

Absolutely.

How did the first month of your happiness project go? It isn’t too late to start in February!  I would love to have more friends join me on this journey.

Wishing you health and happiness in 2019!

 

29 Comments

  1. I have better organized for this year, so January has been a good month or at least slowly I am achieving it. The physical activity I still have aside, or my children were ill at home or me, typical in winter season. Hope in February I can work on it.

    1. That’s great that you have been able to be more organized. I hope your kiddos feel better soon. It feels like everyone is getting sick this time of year:(

  2. Last year, I made a resolution to go to bed early and get enough sleep… sadly, no matter how hard I tried and what I did, by inner owl never lets me fall asleep sooner than around midnight. I’m alright with that and I’d be happy to both end and start my day later… but life and job and responsibilities are a thing, and so is an alarm set for 5:30am every day :/ 6 hours of sleep a day it is ;(

    1. Ugh:( I am so sorry Alphe! That sounds so hard. Have you tried blue light blocking glasses? I found that they helped me wind down a little. Praying you get good sleep soon!

    2. Hm, no, but I’ve tried not using any type of screens at all for a long time before bedtime – didn’t help. It just seems that my biological clock can’t be fooled 😉

  3. I like that my Fitbit shows my sleep patterns–I didn’t really realize how little sleep I was getting. I need to work on a routine like yours–I can’t go to bed at 6 p.m. to get up at 5:00 a.m. though. It just won’t work.

    1. Yeah, that schedule wouldn’t be very manageable :/ I found the blue light glasses did help my sleep though! I am going to look into a fitbit. i have been wanting on for years:)

  4. Love the name “Happiness project”. Glad you choose to be healthy and fit to start this wonderful year and following it .

  5. This is so perfect and I will be joining. I think that January I wanted to write more for myself. Now I just need to find 11 more things to keep up with for a month. I can do this, right? Thanks!

  6. This is such an amazing post! I used to deal with chronic pain as well. Did so for almost 10 years until I finally started going to a chiropractor. It took almost 2 years of chiropractor and massage therapy to manage it and stress was a huge factor of it all, along with some injuries I incurred.

    1. Thank you so much! Do you still see a chiropractor? I’ve been wondering if it would be something I would have to keep up long term.

  7. This is great! So awesome to see your progress and I hope you continue to see great things happen in your life! Keep up the mindfulness.

  8. I never even knew about the happiness project. I love it! One of my goals for this year was to date my husband more and we did go out on a date this month which is awesome. I need more sleep but my little ones aren’t allowing it right now. I’m working on accepting that somehow 🙂

  9. I am impressed that you are sticking with your goals for the most part. I noticed the blue light was an issue for me too. I switch it to amber at night so it doesn’t keep me up.

  10. Well done on meeting some of your goals. 100% commitment is needed to fully realize them. Good luck with the rest of the year.

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