Just short of one year ago, I started this blog as an attempt to chronicle my own Happiness Project. While I admittedly failed in my chronicle, I don’t think I completely failed in my project itself. As the year draws to a close, I recognize a number of changes I have made in my life that have contributed dramatically to my own happiness. And so, without further ado, the things I have learned in 2010 which also, coincidentally, are the things I hope to keep doing in 2011.
- Living alone is the single most important thing for me as an introvert. It’s not that I don’t love people… it’s that at the end of the day, coming home to an empty house and the knowledge that I don’t have to say another single word elicits a literal sigh of relief. Every. Single. Time.
- Clean eating makes my body happier. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my processed box of Whole Foods macaroni and cheese… but I don’t love the feeling of lethargy and cravings for more calories that I feel immediately after consuming it. The feeling of satisfaction and energy after a meal of whole foods is well worth the extra effort it takes to prepare.
- On a related note: I love cheese. Cheese does not love me. 2011 will probably be a year of finding more balance here.
- Following my dreams, even at the expense of uncertainty, is a major happiness booster.
- I am built for community. I love mine, and going out of my comfort zone to see the people in my community is worth it.
- Learning to lean on people is worth the risk.
- Boundaries are important. It is okay to set them, even when they are way overdue or sometimes cause initial pain.
- Money isn’t everything… but even though I budget well it is one of my biggest stressors. Going where I could make more money was a good decision, but continuing to budget will be important.
- I thrive on routine and predictability
- Planning each week ahead of time is really worth the investment of time. Not only am I more efficient each day, but it enables me to better live in each moment without worrying about what comes next.
And with this in mind, my New Year’s Resolutions:
- Enjoy this season of living alone. It is hopefully only an interlude before a return to family life.
- Buy whole foods. Eat whole foods. And enjoy the occasional indulgence.
- Find a way to cut down on the cheese in my diet… but really enjoy every bite I do eat.
- Make a list of new dreams now that I’ve achieved many of my old ones.
- Say yes to opportunities to spend time with the people I love.
- Be vulnerable… even when I don’t want to. Allow people to help.
- Be thoughtful about boundaries I am setting. And then stick to them.
- Use Mint.com to establish a new budget… and then enjoy the new-found freedom.
- Be more thoughtful about my routines… and then look forward to them each day.
- Lay out a plan for each week, stick to it, and avoid getting sucked into the television. That’s the one sure-fire plan buster for me!
Oh… and just a few I probably should do more of:
- Spend time reading the Word every morning. Every. Morning.
- Get more exercise.
Still to come – a 2011 “Bucket List!” What are your New Year’s Resolutions?