Book Review: The Happiness Project

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hi there! Remember, oh....6 months or so ago, when I said I was going to do book reviews?! And that The Happiness Project was going to be my first one?


Hadn't and didn't happen.

Until now!

Yup, I finished it! :) It actually only took me a little over a week to read, but obvs 6 months to get into.

I just couldn't get past the first few pages.
And after that, I was hooked.

Some initial thoughts:
  • I learned a lot and didn't really intend to. I started to read it as a non-fiction book, not realizing it also fell into the self help category. Now I have some practical tricks and tips to apply to my own life.
  • Unfortunately, the author's name is Gretchen. Not a bad name, right? But, every.single.time. I read it, I thought of that past Project Runway winner, Gretchen something or other. Not a bad designer really, but I really wanted Mandito to win!! Entirely random I know! But my brain makes very silly connections sometimes.
  • The author talks about memory keeping! My very favorite thing!
Now, please bear in mind that I am not a professional author or in anyway versed in the rules of proper English, grammar, and writing theory or technique. But I do, however, read a lot of books. And no, that does not make me an expert, but it does entitle to me an my humble opinion :)

I have to say that I think the book was very well written.
(Whatever that means)
  • Basically, it means that the grammar and sentence structure didn't drive me nuts.
  • That the flow was good and not choppy.
  • That she didn't jump around a lot and instead concentrated on saying what she wanted to say, then moved on the next thing.
  • My logical brain followed her logical train of thought.
And some of the things I learned were:

"Just by exercising twenty minutes a day three days a week for six weeks, persistently tired people boosted their energy."

"One minute rule: 'I didn't postpone any tasks that could be done in less than one minute."

"Along with the 'one-minute rule,' I observed the 'evening tidy-up' by taking ten minutes before bed to do simple tidying."

"Happy people work more hours each week--and they work more in their free time, too. They tend to be more cooperative, less self-centered, and more willing to help other people--and then, because they've helped others, others tend to help them."

"Research shows that the more elements make up your identity, the less threatening it is when one element is threatened."

"The days are long, but the years are short." (Scrapbooking Applicable)

"Studies show that recalling happy times helps boost happiness in the present. When people reminisce, they focus on positive memories, with the result that recalling the past amplifies the positive and minimizes the negative." (Scrapbooking Applicable)

"To eke out the most happiness from an experience, we must anticipate it, savor it as it unfolds, express happiness, and recall a happy memory." (Scrapbooking Applicable)

"One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy.
One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself."

"My most ambitious project for the month was to write a novel. In thirty days."

And these are just some of the things I took away from the book. I'd rather not go into detail about each one at the moment, but they are there for your to consider at your lesiure :)

All being said, we've now come to a new type of blog entry:

My own mini happiness project!

I don't want to tackle a year, but I would like to take on the summer :)

Here are my list of resolutions (in no particular order):
  1. Spend 20 minutes a day doing something creative (scrapbooking, journaling, photo editing, doodling, etc, etc!)
  2. Talk to each of my grandparents, once a month (simple I know! But also something I've been slacking about)
  3. Run/walk 100 miles over the months of June, July and August
  4. Send at least 31 cards to friends and loved ones
  5. Start a new habit (make my bed and hang up my clothes daily)
  6. Volunteer once a month
  7. Find a church
  8. Add to my savings and save for Hawaii ($1500)!
Oh, and ninth "invisible" resolution: blog the journey =)

I hope I can keep it up. Making the lists and working out the budgets is always the easy part. Actually doing the work is the hard part!! (Duh!)

But do stop back by to see how my Happiness Project is humming (hopefully!) along, and do also check out Gretchen Rubin's book: The Happiness Project.


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