I picked up a copy of The Happiness Project from our Little Free Library at school. I read the first chapter and found it to be mostly annoying. I think it’s a classic case of not liking the narrator because she reminds me of what I don’t like about myself.
I want to be the kind of person who finds the right balance between identifying the things I want to improve while simultaneously celebrating who I am and where I am in the moment. I do believe that striving and growing are worthwhile endeavors, but I don’t want to be so consumed with striving and growing (which is inherently deficit-based) that I lose site of how far I’ve come or how much gratitude I have for the present moment.
The first chapter left me pretty overwhelmed since many of the things she decides to tackle are also things that I want to tackle in my life. I decided to go back to an approach I tried a couple years ago: I want to focus on one resolution at a time until that resolution becomes a habit.
And I want to be really intentional about which goals I pick. I know that daily and weekly habits are an investment. And I’m already investing in so many things right now. Parenting! Work! My marriage!
I don’t want to pick something that isn’t really necessary. I want to pick things that will genuinely and sincerely make my life better for the rest of my life, if I do them religiously on a daily or weekly basis.
There is a whole list of things I want to make habits. Drink enough water every day! Exercise regularly! Take my vitamins daily! Practice gratitude each night!
I’m tempted to pick more than one thing. But I shouldn’t. I should isolate one thing and make it a habit before I add the next thing.
For my first habit, I think I’m going to pick drinking enough water every day. My goal is to drink at least 80 ounces. I’ve chosen that amount because it’s what I personally need to feel hydrated.
In practical terms, 80 ounces is two of my water bottles. What holds me back from drinking enough water each day? I’m good at bringing my water bottle to school, but I don’t necessarily fill it up. So the first step is to fill it up first thing in the morning. The next step is to make sure I take a couple sips every time I return to my desk. That would ensure that I’m getting through my bottles.
And if I struggle to make time during the day, I need to prioritize it at night. I need to stop being lazy and actually fill up my water bottle and then drink it while I work in the evenings.
In terms of accountability, I think I’m going to mark our big calendar each day that I complete this task. My goal is to make this a habit by doing it for at least 21 days straight.