My Happiness Project

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I have been noticing lately that I don’t always have my usual happy outlook.  It’s taken a little bit of time to come to this realization, because it’s not like I woke up one day and was just generally grumpy.  Rather, I’ve been noticing that I’ve started approaching challenges in my life not from the positive outlook that I value so highly, but from a panicky, pessimistic area of my brain that frankly I didn’t even know I possessed.

Eek.

This has come to a head in the past two days, when literally everything that has happened has just served to make me sadder.  I decided this morning that I seriously needed to do something to turn this trend around; even though I’m certainly not depressed, and have a pretty good outlook most of the time, I felt it was a good time to do something.  Going through being an actor while having a pessimistic personality sounds like the eighth circle of hell to me.

So, first baby step: I bought The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  I’ve been seeing this book on the shelf for years, and needed something new on my Nook, so I bought it.  And after literally a chapter, I’m obsessed.  It is all about planning a realistic, schedule-focused approached to making yourself just a little bit happier, and therefore more effective.  Since I’m obssessed with organizing, this was my perfect guidebook.

Rubin made a 12 month calendar with a different focus for every month, and goals within those focuses.  I think I’m going to do a similar thing on a smaller scale.  Her focuses are also, to me, very abstract, and I might expirement with doing more concrete things.  For example, her first focus in the book is Energy.  I think I am going to work with that idea, but under the umbrella of wellness.  So here is my first week of the first month of this plan!

Focus One: Wellness

First Goal: Fitness and Moderation

I have a fitness section of this blog for a reason. I find that I am happiest when I am working out, eating healthy, and feeling generally in good health.  I like being fit.  I don’t neccesarily enjoy being skinny, but unfortunately, in such an image-focused industry, it is important to maintain a healthy physique.  Sometimes, this drives me crazy.  Especially this year.  I want to eat what I want to eat, no matter how unhealthy.  I hate having to get my butt in gear and go to the gym, even though I feel good once I’m done.

So I decided to begin my first Wellness goal with a refocusing of my life on fitness and moderation in my eating.  This isn’t a diet, and it really isn’t an excercise plan.  One of the tenants of this project is finding out what really makes you happy, so I’m gonna work from there.  Here are a few guidelines for this first week (and from now on!)

-I will work out at least four times a week for twenty minutes, doing some kind of cardio I actually enjoy. 

-I will do daily yoga or stretching, preferably in the morning or right before bed, to center myself.

-I will eat what I want, in moderation.  That means no more days of splurging followed by a day of salad.  A healthy, balanced diet is healthier than yo-yoing!

I’m going to admit to this: I’m kind of giving myself an easy start to this project.  I don’t live a sedintary lifestyle by any means; here at the school, I move a lot more than my state school counterparts, and I’m also dancing and rehearsing every day.  But I know that I would feel happier being at a better fitness level, so that’s what I’m going to work towards.  With food as well, I’m not as bad as I might be.  I usually do eat a very balanced diet, but I’ve gotten into the habit of rewarding myself with some kind of sneaky treat (a candy bar, a milkshake) that I then immediately feel bad about.  It would be better to work in moderation all the time, rather than feeling unneccesary guilt about rewarding myself with food (as that immortal Pinterest pin says: “I will not reward myself with food.  I am not a dog.”)

So there you have it!  I’m actually very excited about this adventure, and I really think it will help me refocus and revitalize my life!

Find the book at Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/happiness-project-gretchen-craft-rubin/1101357622?ean=9780061583261

Visit Gretchen Rubin’s website and blog here:

http://www.happiness-project.com/

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