Last year’s holiday in Las Vegas brought me more happiness than you will ever know. We were there to celebrate my beautiful sister’s birthday (and oh we celebrated!) and I don't think I've ever had quite so much fun in my entire life.
I am very lucky that my sister is also my best friend. We will always have a ridiculous amount of fun wherever in the World we are, but for two girls who love glitz, glam, razzamataz and showbiz, going to Las Vegas was like returning to the Mothership.
Obviously, what happens in Vegas….stays in Vegas! But on the (fuzzy headed) trip home I popped into the Airport bookshop and stumbled across a little gem.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (New York Times Bestseller)
I’ll be honest, sleep was my priority on the flight home. It was something we failed to do whilst in Sin City! But as soon as I started to read, I was inspired.
Gretchen Rubin decided to dedicate a year to happiness and wrote about it – The Happiness Project (Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun)
The book is so well written and researched but as someone who identifies as a generally happy person I wondered what, if anything, The Happiness Project could bring to my life.
A WHOLE LOT!
I won’t spoil the pleasure of reading the book for yourselves, but two small simple steps that I have tried to implement into my day-to-day since reading the book are
1. Be Gretchen (Or in my case, Be Kate. Or in your case, Be You!)
I’m always me. But sometimes I do things I don’t really want to or have to do in order to please people or to appear to be something that I’m not. I think we’ve all done this. Sometimes you need to be a chameleon, but knowing yourself and what makes you really happy to your core is the key to ‘Being Kate’.
Which will make me happier? Reading a book on political history and appearing incredibly intelligent OR reading a slushy romantic novel that is fluff and frivilous. Be Kate – read the fluff!
Which will make me happier? Listening to a band whom I’ve never heard of and I’m not really fond of (…but they are REALLY COOL) OR putting my cheesiest mix of musicals on my ipod and cranking it up? Be Kate – belt out that cheddar!
I guess the point is, finding out what makes you happiest and doing it without being afraid of being who you really are. Chances are – if you’re happier – people will like you more anyway!
Be Gretchen. Be Kate. Be You.
2. The Evening Tidy Up
In our house, if I don’t do it – it doesn’t get done (and yes I am fully aware that I sound like my mother when I say that, but its true) I’m a working single mum and I have endless lists of things to do, places to be, tasks to complete – like most people, life is BUSY.
Mornings are pretty chaotic. There are packed lunches to be made, PE kits to be found, sheet music, rugby boots, football shinpads, a trumpet, presentations to prepare for…..sometimes I could SCREAM with exasperation over everything I have to remember. Sometimes I have SCREAMED with exasperation over forgetting something I was supposed to remember.
The Evening tidy-up is simple. This is not earth-shattering stuff. But boy does it make a difference.
You take 10 minutes before bedtime to tidy-up, organise and prepare for the next day.
Easy. Do-able. Effective.
Those 10 minutes will become your best friend.
You may still (sometimes) scream in the mornings, but your house will be tidy and organised as you do so *grin*
These two tiny simple things have undoubtedly brought more happiness into my world (and I thought there wasn’t room for any more happiness. Secret of Adulthood : There is ALWAYS room for more happiness)
There are loads more golden gems, but I’ll let you discover them for yourself.
Read this book. Start your own happiness project.
What makes you happy?