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Happiness as a project

February 7, 2012

by Olivia Rossi, RN, MSN, ACSM
Your Personal Trainer

“. . . and the pursuit of happiness.” So it was declared and so it was written.

How do you pursue your happiness? Have you ever thought about making it a project? That’s what Gretchen Rubin did when she decided to dedicate a year to her own pursuit of happiness. And so it was written, The Happiness Project. It’s a small book packed with ideas, suggestions and resolutions—her resolutions with a blueprint to craft your own. An excerpt from her opening paragraph sets the stage:

A “happiness project” is an approach to changing your life. First, it is the
preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and
engagement . . . Second is the making of resolutions, when you identify the
concrete actions that will boost your happiness.

This is a good time of year to resolve, review and renew. You may have already started some resolutions or perhaps you still have some on-going from last year. A resolution is a change and every change takes time. Make one change at a time and give yourself time to do it.

Last year I wrote an article about “Moving Out of a Funk.” I told you about my “two bucket theory of life;” my “stress” bucket and my “peace of mind” bucket. It fits right in with the “Happiness Project” idea. My “peace of mind” bucket is my “happiness” bucket. Deleting items from my “stress” bucket adds to my “peace of mind” or “happiness” bucket.

I’d like to leave you with an acronym I came up with for five of my resolutions for this year. I plan to make them part of my own happiness project. The acronym is PEACE:

P is for “Play”
I resolve to add a little play to each day. On my way home from my run today I stopped at a park and played on the swing for a minute.

E is for “Enlighten”
I resolve to learn something new . . . I started by reading “The Happiness Project.”

A is for “Activate”
I resolve to continue to activate my body and my brain. I’ve gone back to ice skating! I grew up skating at Berkeley Iceland.

C is for “Change”
It’s time for a new hair-do! I may even change the way I sign off once in awhile—a friend at work calls me Liv.

E is for “Encourage”
I resolve to encourage others in their pursuit of happiness and peace of mind by sending cards of support the old-fashioned way, via snail mail.

The pursuit of happiness is a journey. Take one step at a time. I encourage you to read “The Happiness Project” and come up with your own resolutions. Make it a journey, make it a project, enjoy it . . .

Liv . . . and be happy!

Olivia Rossi, RN, MSN
Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, ACSM
Certified Personal Trainer, ACSM

Image: Copyright Charles Schultz “Peanuts”
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Discuss this article

Lea February 7, 2012

Happiness project. Sounds like a job that will not dissapoint. A marvelous notion.

Julie Thomas February 7, 2012

Without the play you are left with all work. I experienced this last year. I did the extar hours at work, I did the side projects and the volunteering and family duties and cleaned and kept up the house and yard. But where was the play, the fun, the vacation. Next time I am going to trade in an unkept lawn for a day for myself. Just for myself.

No name February 7, 2012

If you could add another principle “S”, then the acronym could be spelled ESCAPE.

Just Me February 7, 2012

Spring is almost hear, so put PEACE into your new season. Spring represents change and play and activity. Let’s all join in.

Cindy February 9, 2012

We all should give this a look.

Olivia February 10, 2012

Dear No name, I did think of another principle which could add to your acronym of “ESCAPE” and it fits right in with it: Solitude. Find some time for it. You can make your own resolutions, your own acronyms and have a little fun in the process by scrambling the letters to form a new word! Sounds like play to me!

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