This quote got me to thinking about my Happiness Project. Do I believe that in order to be happy I need to accomplish monthly goals?
Absolutely not. But to focus each month on doing something that makes me happy, sure does increase my happiness. How do I know this? I am almost two years into these little happiness projects and I am witness that it is working for me.
August: Online Parenting Class
This month I am participating in a class that came with the purchase of a new book I read called Beautiful Babies. After looking at the elements of the course, I am interested in the videos and “Bringing it Home” Assignments in each lesson. There is a workbook that goes with the course but that isn’t something that would bring me happiness 🙂 Thinking about the arrival of baby #3, I am amazed at what I have learned since baby #1 was born. Over the course of over four years the information I’ve read and learned from other mama friends is priceless. I am trying my best to keep up with my pregnancy journal, taking belly pictures, etc. with this baby to keep the three babies equal and as fair as possible. I am not reading as many pregnancy books as I did with my other two children (this may be because I’ve read all of them by now!) I am looking forward to learning more through this new and unfamiliar course.
July: Exercise Challenge
Follow-Up: I did it (I do have two days left so up to this point, I did it!) Every single arm challenge (including the suggested rest days) minus one set of push ups and one set of biceps. Dave started off doing them with me and as you can see in the picture, he had an extra 20 lb. challenge on him! I do not see a difference in my arms which is a bummer but Dave does which is great! It was REALLY hard near the end of the month with the challenge but I stuck to it. I like when I commit to something and I follow through. It gives me those personal brownie points we all need every once in awhile.
June: 35 of My Favorite Things
Follow-Up: I listed 35 things (in honor of my 35th birthday in May) that make me happy to complete in June. Here’s the list. I did almost everything. Sitting in the sun and doing nothing did not get crossed off my list. I’ve come to realize that as a working from home, mother of two, sitting in the sun and doing nothing is unrealistic. I like to be busy and this was the old me who loved laying out in the sun. Now, if I am sitting in the sun, it makes me happy to be reading for enjoyment or work—to be productive.
May: Pursue My Hobby
Follow-Up: I completed a four week class from Jessica Sprague called Portraiture 101. I also watched one-hour of an online workshop but it wasn’t speaking to me so I didn’t watch the entire clip over at Creative Live. It felt really good to be challenged behind the lens and to capture our everyday moments with my fancy Nikon and not just my iPhone! We had a journaling assignment where we created an artist statement. I also got a fun camera bag for my birthday!
April: Going Green
Follow-Up: Our family had a green smoothie every single day this month except for one! It was one day in Florida and I couldn’t find a restaurant on the run to make me a green drink. 29/30 days, not bad. Will we keep it up? Sure! Everyday? I don’t think that’s necessary. Here’s what I found out: Prepping ahead of time and making up your smoothies in bags in the freezer saves you a ton of time. The recipes make enough for our entire family and sometimes we have an 8oz drink left over. I keep this in the fridge and it is good for up to 24 hours. My blender is not the quality blender to be using for making smoothies every day but I am not ready to spend close to $500 for a Vitamix. I will put up with our current blender until it gives out on us!
These were my favorite recipes from Simple Green Smoothies:
” serves 2 ”
1 ½ cups spinach, fresh
½ cup cilantro, fresh
2 cups water
1 lime, peeled
1 inch ginger, fresh
BERRY PROTEIN BASH
2 cups spinach, fresh
2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
1 cups strawberries
1 cup blueberries, frozen
1/2 cup almonds*
*soak overnight in water before blending
Peach Coconut Dream
2 cups spinach, fresh
1 cup coconut water
2 cups Grapes, freeze overnight
You can find out more about this Simple Green Smoothie Challenge here.
Follow-up This month I wanted to grow in a few areas in regards to work.
1. Read Pinterest Savvy by Melissa Taylor and create five things I learned from the book that I am going to put to use. These are the five things I learned about: Verify my website (check), comment on pins (I haven’t done this yet), pin my videos (check), create a board and invite others to pin on it (check), after you follow someone new pin some of their stuff (check).
2.Google+ -I am on it, my profile is set, I’ve joined communities and circles but I am not sold on this platform yet.
3. Sponsorships-A HUGE thank you to my web girl and my graphic designer for helping me to get the advertisement up and running!
4. Thank you to my intern Karelyn for your support in our super successful Twitter Party! We had over thirty people join in the conversation. There were women from Hawaii, India and Singapore! We also had almost 200 entries for our Kindle Giveaway on Pinterest. It was a great month of new marketing adventures.
February: Clean Up & Clear Out
Follow-up This month I wanted to clean or organize something every day of the month. I also wanted to tackle a task that I had been thinking about for a very long time.
1. The clean up was good! I liked having a small task each day. I got a bit behind when we took our family trip.
2. I wrote the letters. Letters to my loved ones in case anything unexpected were to ever happen. Creepy, yes. Something I’ve always wanted to do though.
Follow-up This month I wanted to learn something new. I committed to doing this in three ways.
1. Learn to load the dishwasher. Check. It still doesn’t look professional but with all the plastic servingware I am getting in there, I am not sure that’s possible. Thanks to my pal Erica, I am able to fit more into my dishwasher with some organization!
2. UPDATE: April–this is a hard goal for me!!!! Learn about the instrument I play. Play the piano twice a week. My phone reminder was fun. Every Wednesday and Sunday morning it reminded me to play the piano. I wasn’t always able to stop what I was doing to practice. I will continue to work on this goal!
3. Learn to share my love. I participated in the Happier at Home 21 Day Relationship Challenge. I signed up for this challenge to learn some new, creative ways to show my appreciation to those I love in my life. I don’t see my home lacking in love but why not learn more about vulnerability and authenticity? My favorite things I learned: Don’t keep score, create a threshold ritual, and kiss in the morning and at night.
One Little Word:
I have followed Ali Edwards project “One Little Word” for two years now. My word for 2011 was Peace and my word for 2012 was Balance. I’ve never taken her class but I have incorporated my word into my monthly goals/wishes/resolutions. Here’s how to come up with a word (from Ali). My word for 2013 is Grace.
Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2013?
It can be something tangible or intangible. It can be a thought, a feeling, or an emotion. It can be singular or plural. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you. This is not your mother’s word or your spouse’s word or your child’s word”this is YOUR word.
One little word can have big meaning in your life if you allow yourself to be open to the possibilities. And here’s one thing that is totally interesting: sometimes a word will pop into your brain and it will not make any sense to you right now. Give it some time. Let it percolate a bit. I have often found that our heart speaks to us in very unique ways. Maybe this is a word you need to hear but just aren’t ready for it yet.
Again, be open to the possibilities.