Over the past few days, how many times did you been asked, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?” Did you get that question about 100 times like me? Typically I am never ready for that question or I have only thought about it for a couple days to some sort of answer. But this year, this year I am actually prepared!
In the middle of 2011 I saw a story on a news program (don’t remember which one, sorry) about Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project. Gretchen shared how she realized that “time was passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” She was just running through each day without any focus or intent. When I heard that a light bulb came on and I realized I felt the same way. During this news piece Gretchen talked about how she came up with her Happiness Project; a year long adventure toward happiness by focusing on a different value each month and working toward accomplishing each months’ resolutions. She even documented this year long experiment in a book, appropriately titled, The Happiness Project and also on her blog with the same name.
After watching the story I was intrigued, I had to read it! It was within days that I was at the bookstore, two chapters in I told my friend Bev she had to read it and within a couple weeks I had finished it. Needless to say, I was inspired and motivated to create my own Happiness Project. I took the remainder of the year to do some research and then took some time to reflect on how to create my own plan. Like Gretchen I decided that I wanted to start on January 1st of the new year. It’s like starting with a clean slate and a fresh outlook. What I still had to figure out were the values I was going to focus on and the resolutions I wanted to accomplish for each value. I also had to overcome one of my largest obstacles, I have a full time job and 1st quarter is our busiest time of the year. My Happiness Project had to push me in a new direction but also making sure that my resolutions were attainable with a busy schedule.
Armed with months of reflection and multiple versions of the plan, I had finally narrowed it down and came up the official “Carolina 2012 Happiness Project.”
I am going to focusing on one value for 2012 . . . Energy/Vitality. Okay, I know, it’s two but one is the definition of the other and one was just not enough. For this value I created a number of resolutions that I want to achieve through out the year. The resolutions are all items that will help increase my energy (according to studies) and are based on my interests (or things that inspire me). My plan was to start with a couple and once I followed these resolutions 80% of the time I will add another to my daily/weekly life. Some of them include:
- Move (exercise) more
- Drink more water
- Tackle nagging tasks
- Go to sleep earlier
- Mindful eating/Eat Real Food
- Read everyday
- Cook more
- Take more photos
To kick off the year I am starting with 2 resolutions:
- Move 4 times per week for at least 30 minutes each time
- Drink 50 ounces of water per day
Then a week before the new year, I received an email from the Food Network Healthy Eats Blog to join them for the January Healthy Every Week Challenge. (I joined them for the September Brown Bag Challenge, a month of bring your lunch to work each weekday. Being apart of the challenge provided me the awareness of how easy it is to say “I’ll pick something up at work) The January Challenge will focus on healthy eating, but breaks it down into weekly goals:
Week 1: Eat Breakfast
Week 2: Eat More Whole Grains
Week3: Cook at Home
Week 4: Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Week 5: Stay On Track
The Healthy Eats Challenge was right in-line with my value of Energy and has weekly goals that were on my list. Talk about timing. I signed up to join the challenge immediately.
With my 2012 Happiness Value of Energy and my starting resolutions (move, drink more water and the Healthy Every Week Challenge) I am ready for a vivacious new year!