• December 2015

December Happiness: Be Boot-Camp Perfect

This month we offer the 12th and final installment of Gretchen Rubin’s year-long Happiness Project.

Since January 2015, we have been bringing you monthly articles that summarize each of her chapters. (See links to those at the end of this article below.)

This month, she invites us to follow all of your resolutions, all of the time.

Daunting? Yes, says Rubin.

“For a month, I tidied, I cleared, I organized, I turned off the light. I sang in the morning, I laughed out loud, I acknowledged people’s feelings, I left things unsaid. I blogged, I asked for help, I pushed myself, I showed up, I went off the path. I wrote in my one-sentence journal. I met with my writers’ strategy group and my children’s literature reading group. I listened to my hypnosis tape. I didn’t eat any fake food. I bought needful things.”

And, she says she failed to do these things as well.

“As hard as I tried during Boot-Camp Perfect, I still didn’t manage to keep all my resolutions,” she admits. “After all these months, I was still astonished at how effectively these resolutions worked to make me happy, whenever I did faithfully keep them.”

What’s her biggest take-away?

Rubin shares: “After all my research, I found out what I knew all along — I could change my life without changing my life. When I made the effort to reach out for them, I found that the ruby slippers had been on my feet all along.”

12 Months of Inspiration from “The Happiness Project:”

January’s resolution focuses on Vitality: Boost Your Energy

  • Go to sleep earlier
  • Exercise better
  • Toss, restore, and organize
  • Tackle a nagging task
  • Act more energetic

February’s advice regarding Marriage: Remember Love

  • Quit nagging
  • Don’t expect praise or appreciation
  • Hug
  • Fight right
  • No dumping
  • Give proofs of love

March’s goals about Work: Aim Higher

  • Launch a blog
  • Enjoy the fun of failure
  • Ask for help
  • Work smart
  • Enjoy now

April’s insights are on Parenting: Lighten Up

  • Sing in the morning
  • Acknowledge the reality of people’s feelings
  • Be a treasure-house of happy memories
  • Take time for projects

May is time to: Be Serious About Play

  • Find more fun
  • Take time to be silly
  • Go off the path
  • Start a collection

June was the perfect opportunity to: Make Time for Friends

  • Remember birthdays
  • Be generous
  • Show up
  • If you gossip, say something nice
  • Make three new friends

July focused on the best thing we can use our money for: Buy Some Happiness

  • Indulge in a modest splurge
  • Buy needful things
  • Spend out
  • Give up something

In August, we take a spiritual turn and: Contemplate the Heavens

  • Read memoirs of catastrophe
  • Keep a gratitude notebook
  • Imitate a spiritual master

In September, Rubin encouraged us to go deeper into ourselves to: Pursue a Passion

  • Write a novel
  • Make time
  • Forget about results
  • Master a new technology

In October, we focused on mindfulness: Pay Attention

  • Meditate on koans
  • Examine “True Rules”
  • Stimulate the mind in new ways
  • Keep a food diary

Aspire to get an attitude adjustment in November: Keep a Contented Heart

  • Laugh out loud
  • Use good manners
  • Give positive reviews
  • Find an area of refuge

Last but not least is December’s goal: Be Boot-Camp Perfect

  • Follow all of your resolutions, all of the time.


Learn more about Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project in the December 2014 issue of Be Inkandescent magazine.