Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Days to a Happier Life - Day 1

Well here goes my first attempt at writing a 31 Days Series -  31 Days to a Happier Life.

This is a series that started over at The Nesting Place, and is now a staple on many wonderful blogs throughout the month of October. Per The Nester's Blog post - "31 Days is an online writing challenge where we all link up on day one and then write about a topic of our choice every day in October."

I think this will be good writing practice for me, but more importantly, an establishment of a real plan to being happier, a focus study on what makes me happier, and key pointers on how to implement it permanently into my life.

Me and my girls.

What is Happiness?

noun: happiness; plural noun: happinesses
the state of being happy.
"she struggled to find happiness in her life"
synonyms:pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness, merriment, gaiety, joy, joyfulness, joviality, jollity, glee, delight, good spirits, lightheartedness, well-being, enjoyment;

“HAPPINESS is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

This Emotional Life on PBS has a really interesting study on happiness - I really like this list they came up with for some emotions attached to happiness. I think this will be a good list to work with as we progress through the next 31 days:

Some of the positive emotions that psychologists are studying:
  • Gratitude
  • Serenity
  • Joy
  • Interest
  • Hope
  • Pride
  • Amusement
  • Inspiration
  • Awe
  • Love

Here is a cute video from Coca Cola - Coca-Cola Happiness Truck Philippines.  I love seeing people being happy!

Am I happy?

Well, overall yes, and no. There are definitely areas of my life that need improvement, and areas where I have made progress and am currently happy. But I think I do need a good boost in the general happiness factor. And striving for more happiness is never a bad thing, right?! I tend to think that if I am happier the people around me might be happier as a result. If I'm less stressful, more attentive and loving, I know my family would really appreciate that, and in turn be happier, more loving, and less stressful. At least it is worth a shot!

The funniest horse pic ever! From Little One's birthday party.

What makes me happy?

Here is where the process starts. Write a list of all the things that make you happy. Big or small. Daily things or once a year things. Physical, material, emotional, spiritual, superficial. It doesn't matter, just make a list.

I will also share any links, videos, etc I find along the way that may help define happiness, or pinpoint how to be happier. is the start of my list (maybe this will be something we can add to each day):

  • Reading
  • Art
  • Crafts
  • Antiquing
  • My Family 
  • Hearing my kids laugh
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Sharing
  • Opening my blinds in the morning to let the sunlight in
  • Light
  • Clean House
  • Organization
  • Good Friends
  • Learning new things
  • Yoga
  • Exercising
  • Quiet moments
  • Comfy bed
  • Sunsets
  • Snuggling with my girls
  • Laughing
  • Listening to music
  • Pinterest 
  • Projects that get done :)
  • Dreaming
  • Stars
  • Fireworks
  • Space (physical)
  • Space (mental)
  • My time with God (devotionals, prayer time, quiet listening)

Okay, that is at least a start. As we progress through I'm sure I will add more little things to this list, because I think happiness can be found in those little moments, as well as in the big moments too. I don't think it is really possible to be 100% happy all the time, but I think it is important to find out what makes you happy so, when you need it, you will have a list available to reference for those times when a mood hits and trying to get out of that funk is hard. Having a list of little things helps as a step up out of the funk and into the sunlight of happiness.

I LOVE this video about The Science of Happiness - An Experiment in Gratitude - this really started me thinking about my own happiness and gave me the idea behind this 31 Day Series (even though it is rather funny that this video made me bawl my eyes out!!).

So where to from here? 
  • Happiness List - I'm going to write my list out and post it onto my bulletin board so it is easier for me to add to as I think about things that make me happy. Focus on the good things that you currently have in your life, not things that would make you happy that you don't have - they may lead to frustration this early on. We are not at the change stage, just the focus stage and figuring out stage of our happiness journey. 
  • Goal Settings - next up will be goal setting and how that will be important in order to implement our happy list back into our lives (or into our lives more intentionally). 

The beach (in Australia - my home country).

I am really looking forward to writing this 31 Days Series about Happiness and hope you will be inspired along the way. If you have any suggestions or feedback or comments please feel free to leave me a comment - I would love to hear from you :)

My sweet sister.

“THOUSANDS of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared” – Buddha



  1. Thank you for sharing that video about the Happiness Project! I thought about that all day!