I used to work part-time in a bookstore. One of the perks of this job was that I was given access to advanced readers’ copies of many books. One book I happened to grab was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I was first attracted to the book because of the bright turquoise blue cover. Upon closer examination I deemed it a self-help book and stored it on the bottom bookshelf, the one I never look at. Because me…. puh-lease- I do not read self-help books.
Then last weekend I was partaking in a little Sunday afternoon blog reading and I happened to stumble upon this post by Amy from Just a Titch. Her post made me go find that book on the bottom shelf and check it out. In her book, Rubin decides to spend an entire year setting goals for herself in order to be happier and liver her life more fully. Each month she picked an area of her life to work on and set achievable goals to reach within that month. What I liked about this book was that the goals/resolutions she set were do-able and therefore they didn’t fall to the wayside like so many well-intentioned goals do.
So, yeah, I have decide to embark on my own happiness project. Me, who scoffs at self-help books. I even bought a journal to record my progress. I have drunk the Kool-Aid. I have decided t0 break it down into three major categories: Mind, Body, Soul. Cliche? Maybe, but when it comes down to it, for me that encompasses it all. This month I am focusing on mind. One of the first things Gretchen Rubin did was work on getting organized. Now I need to just say this about myself- I am an organizational freak. I like things in their place. Color coding makes me happy. I have evening routines, morning routines… these are the things that keep me functioning and sane. The idea of being even more organized made me a little giddy. Yes, I am a dork, but hey if you are looking for tarragon in my kitchen you will find it between the sage and thyme (I alphabetize my spices… I told you I am organized). I spent the weekend purging my kitchen and dining room. I scrubbed everything, I tackled the cabinets, the junk drawers, everything. About ten years ago I got on a big herbal remedy kick and I had jars and jars of herbs that I hadn’t used in ten years, that were no longer effective, tinctures that were rancid, oils that were way past their prime. Gone, gone, gone. It felt so good to rid myself of all that extra stuff, stuff I didn’t need, stuff that was just taking up space. The other HUGE thing I have taken on is what Rubin refers to as “the two minute rule”. The two minute rule is this- if it will take less than two minutes to do, do it NOW. Don’t put if off, do it immediately. I think of how many Sundays I have spent three or more hours doing all those things I could have done in two minutes or less during the week. This rule has already made me feel so much more efficient, so much less stressed about my mile long to do lists. Oh yes, did I mention that I also love lists? Speaking of which, I made a tentative list of how to tackle this bettering myself project. So far, this is what I have come up with.
Get organized, reduce stress and anxiety of “things I have to do”
1. Organize and purge rooms :
kitchen, dining room, bathroom, living room, bedroom, guest room, junk room (this one scares me)
2. Follow the 2 Minute Rule
3. Grade one stack of papers a night before I turn on the television
Feel better about my physical health
1. Exercise in some form (gym, running, hiking) at least 4 times a week
2. Drink more water
3. In bed by 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday night
Make more social plans, get a massage or something that makes me feel pretty, enjoy time outside with the dogs
1. Make plans to be with friends or family on Saturdays
2. Make an appointment at the spa
3. Take dogs somewhere (backyard does not count) at least once a week
Challenge myself intellectually, read more
1. Take a class
2. Read every night for at least a half hour before I go to sleep
This list may change as I go and I am okay with that. I will keep you posted on how this all goes, you can count on that!
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