I can’t believe it. We’re already halfway through the first month of 2017! I’m proud to say that even though I’ve wanted to give up and not stick to my daily training, that I have done it. It hasn’t been easy to convince myself, and without my husband I would have stopped six days in.
To start 2017, I decided that my Happiness was important. I started my own Happiness Project, with 12 Happiness Commandments that would guide me on my journey through this year.
1.Give with Grace
With so much selfishness in the world, I felt it was important to make sure I am able to give with grace. I foresee myself struggling the most with this one, as I work to put others above myself.
2. Talk less, Smile more
Taking a lesson from Aaron Burr in the Broadway Smash Hamilton, I’m going to try to talk less and smile more – meaning that I’m going to try and keep the negativity at bay and smile about the good things. As Burr says “Fools who run their mouths often wind up dead.”
3. Think Good Thoughts
Thoughts can destroy you – if you give them the power. I fight battles inside my own head so many times a day I’m often exhausted by the time I get home. So I’m going to make an honest effort to not give power to the bad thoughts, and instead take control with good, helpful, meaningful thoughts.
4. Forgive my misgivings
Learning for forgive is the hardest and most-complicated lesson in life. Forgiving someone else is often a long process of coming to terms with how that person may have harmed you or someone you love. But forgiving someone else is not nearly as hard as forgiving yourself.
5. Keep in contact
I’m horrible at keeping in touch. Despite my best efforts, and the promises I make to myself that I will be a better friend and reach out more – I don’t. It’s not that I don’t like my friends, because I cherish them deeply. I’m just a horrible introvert who has a hard time reaching out. So, I’m going to make sure that I make an effort to talk more, and talk often with the people I care about most.
6. Forget the phone
I’ll admit it – I’m a phone addict. So I’m making an effort to leave the phone behind and not be a slave to the screen. I have an hour of “no phone” where I put it down and I’m not allowed to look at it or respond. I also have started to leave it at my desk during office meetings so there is absolutely no temptation to look at it.
7. Expand my mind
This covers a few different areas. Devotion/Meditation and reading. Escape the world we live and discover a new world. This year I’m hoping to read four books and stay on top of my magazine subscriptions – so far, so good!
8. Create everyday
This has to do mostly with crafting, but it also applies to writing, or anything creative. I want to make sure I’m allowing myself to be free and create something that goes beyond my immediate self.
9. Let music live
Music has always been a major part of my life. I even ran my Marathon in the name of it. I’ve decided to spend more time at the piano in 2017, and try to learn three songs.
10. Run my race
I would be remiss if I didn’t add something running related. This is a reminder to myself that I need to run my race – and my life. I choose how I respond to the changes. I choose how to move forward.
11. Shine in the sunshine
I want to spend more time outside in 2017, enjoying the beautiful planet that we live on. This is a perfect Happiness Commandment, because it benefits not only my body, but also my mind as well.
12. Stretch my body
I couldn’t go without adding another workout-related commandment. Getting stronger overall is something that is very important to me this year. I want my whole body to be strong, not just my legs. I’ve started January with the #CosmoButtChallenge – and IT HURTS.
So far, I can report that I am feeling more positive and even happier than I did at the end of 2016. There’s still more work to do, but I’m confident that eventually I’ll be in a much better place at the end of this year than I was a few weeks ago.
If you want to get in on the fun – start by putting together your Happiness Commandments and get into the action on Instagram using the hashtag #Happier2017