“Each person’s happiness project will be unique, but it’s the rare person who can’t benefit from starting one,” writes Gretchen Rubin in her book, “The Happiness Project.”
So we are thrilled to start 2015 by sharing a year’s worth of Rubin’s tips to help guide you along your path.
January’s goal: Let’s start the year off right by boosting our energy!
Why? “When I feel energetic, I find it much easier to behave in ways that make me feel happy,” Rubin notes. Sounds logical.
- Go to sleep earlier. One study shows that getting an extra hour of sleep each night would do more for a person’s daily happiness than getting a $60,000 raise. Nevertheless, the average adult sleeps 6.9 hours during the week, 7.9 on the weekend — 20 percent less than in 1900. The result is a weakened immune system, impaired memory, and slower metabolism. Try getting an extra hour of sleep for a week, do you feel better?
- Exercise better. While 25 percent of Americans don’t get any exercise at all, studies show that exercising for 20 minutes a day, three days a week will boost your energy. Make it easy — and fun. A $20 pedometer will track your steps. Can you hit 10,000 a day?
- Toss, restore, and organize. Eliminating clutter can cut down on the amount of your housework by 40 percent, one study suggests. Start small and clean out your sock drawer. Remove everything but the relaxing stuff from the bedroom. (Yes, that includes the books, and definitely the computer.) Get rid of those old college textbooks. You’ll be hooked by how good it feels to clear away the clutter — and likely amazed at how much more energetic you feel!
- Tackle a nagging task. What’s at the top of your to-do list? If the list is too long, start over. What do you really need to do — today? This week? This month? Have a skin cancer test? Clean the windows? Back up your computer? Floss? Write it all down. Be strategic. Then cross off what you accomplish. And, Rubin adds, “I had to accept the fact that some nagging tasks would never be crossed off my list.”
- Act more energetic. To feel more energetic, Rubin says she applied one of her 12 Commandments: “Act the way I want to feel.” She admits, “Although a fake-it-until-you-make-it strategy may sound hokey, I found it extremely useful.” You just may, too!
Stay tuned for February’s tips on: Remember love.