I am reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, and I have to say it’s been a while since something resonated with me that much.  Her “epiphany” is one that has happened for me several times over the past few years, but I was too complacent, tired, stressed, and worried (all or some of the above) to do anything about it.  Sure, I make New Year’s Resolutions with the best of them.  I make elaborate to do lists (in spreadsheets, on Remember the Milk…)  Heck, I have even done a month-by–month implementation plan for my resolutions – January is usually about exercise and losing weight, February about clearing paper clutter… You get my drift.

Like the author, I have a wonderful life.  I have a husband who loves me (most of the time.)  I have a little boy that gets more adorable by the day (speaking in sentences!  making rude noises! teasing! making jokes!)  I have a great job, that I (mostly) enjoy.  My family is loving and supportive.  We will have plenty of adventure in our lives this coming year with a new baby and an international move.  I am generally happy.

Honestly though, there are things life that sap my energy and joy.  The clutter/general mess in my house.  The overflowing inbox at my office.  The never-ending financial papers everywhere.  The guilt of not spending enough time with my family.  The very very long to-do list that never seems to get done.

So in December (why wait for January after all?) I will start my own Happiness Project.  And December will be all about establishing a few routines and making a few changes that I hope will start to reduce my stress, and like Gretchen’s January project, restore my energy.

Here’s the list:
December – Reduce Sources of Stress

  • Make the bed.
  • Take a walk (third trimester is not kind right now, so 10-15 minutes will count)
  • Reduce work inbox to zero.
  • Declutter 15 minutes every day.
  • Deal with finances and paperwork for 15 minutes every day
  • Be kind.
  • Celebrate Christmas.
  • Write one sentence in my gratitude journal daily.

Today’s happiness?  My son opening his very first Christmas stocking (handmade by his Grandmother of course) and finding a soft toy Christmas moose.  Pretty cute.