The Happiness Project

A chronicle of my attempts to test-drive every tip, principle and scientific study that promotes happiness

How Is Your Happiness Challenge Going?

How are you doing?

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Unbelievable as this is, the year 2011 is half over. If you've joined the 2011 Happiness Challenge, how are you doing?

If you've managed successfully to keep even one resolution, give yourself a big gold star. It's hard to make change; it takes mindfulness, self-knowledge, and self-mastery. I'm often surprised by how hard it is to make even a change that's pleasant, like my resolutions to Read more or to Jump. Why is it so hard to push myself to do something that I like doing? And yet it is.

Have you followed any resolutions that have made a particular difference to your happiness? I’m always so curious to hear what people have tried, and what has worked. For instance, to my surprise, one of the resolutions I most often hear mentioned is…Make your bed! This is such a small action, but somehow, it seems to make a difference to a lot of people. Go figure.

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How have you kept yourself accountable? I use my Resolutions Chart (email me at gretchenrubin1 at gmail dot com if you want to see a copy). Some people use the Happiness Project Toolbox. Some people start Happiness Project groups. What has worked for you? Accountability is so important; without accountability, it's easy to make big plans for change but then end up abandoning them.

Have your tried resolutions that didn’t work? Or that you just couldn’t stick with? I’ve tried to Keep a food journal several times, and for some reason, I just can’t keep that resolution. One of the most challenging, and also most popular resolutions, is the resolution is to Get more exercise. I labored for years to get myself into the habit of regular exercise.

It's thrilling to see that more than 10,000 people have joined the 2011 Happiness Challenge. If you haven't signed up, join now. Studies show that taking an action, like signing up, will help you hold yourself accountable for your resolutions. And it doesn't matter when you start; the important thing is to get started. Each week, here, I post ideas for resolutions that you might want to undertake for your own happiness project. I also post a weekly video with proposed resolutions.

I'm so interested to hear about people's experiences with their own resolutions. What has and hasn't worked for you, in your happiness project?

* I was fascinated by this List of most common surnames, by country. Turns out that Smith really is the most common surname in the United States (1.006%).

* If you like the blog, you'll love the book! Please consider The Happiness Project (can't resist mentioning: #1 New York Times bestseller).
Order your copy.
Read sample chapters.
Watch the one-minute book video.
Listen to a sample of the audiobook.

Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, a book and a blog about her adventures learning to be happier.

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