My Happiness Project 2021 Introduction

I finally have the confidence in myself to make my own Happiness Project. Years before I read The Happiness Project, written by Gretchen Rubin, I always wondered ways to add more happiness in my life. So when my friend told me about this book a few years ago, I was mind blown, because I had a similar idea in mind. Little did I know this book was published in 2009, and I started thinking about this in 2012 for myself, and my own happiness. It is sort of like I subconsciously knew about this idea before I was even introduced to this amazing story.

My friend was telling me that each month, Gretchen focuses on a different area in her life, ranging from parenthood, finances, time for fun, and a career, etc. She found little ways to make her life more meaningful and happier by adding new habits to her daily life.

“What you do every day matters more, than what you do once in awhile.”

-Gretchen Rubin

I asked for this book for my birthday, since it was a month away at the time since my friend told me about it. I was lucky enough to receive it for my birthday. I read this book in 2014, but I reread it more slowly in 2015. I read a chapter every month, since each chapter was about how she slowly changed her habits each month, and what she learned. And then I reread it in 2016, so I can do this with my boyfriend, since he only knew about it, and hadn’t read it yet.

As you can, I have read this book a lot! And I took it with me everywhere. But that’s okay, it adds character to the book.

I now have the confidence and resources to do it this year. I am so excited!

I tried to do this last year, but we fell behind with our move, and the stress of the pandemic, so we didn’t make much progress.

Here are some of my commandants, they are similar to Gretchen Rubin’s commandants, but with my own twist.

Be Julianne

For those that may not know, my name is Julianne. And for me that means I should focus on what makes me happy. Not really listening to what people have something negative to me, which I haven’t really come across anyone that has had anything negative to say to me, or about me. It means doing things for myself, and not trying to appease anyone else.

Be More Spiritual

I would like to practice yoga, and mediation more regularly. I have been trying to do this one for a bit now. I am totally looking forward for this one!

Make Time For Reading

As of lately I have been trying to make time for reading, but some days it is more difficult than others. Sometimes it’s easier to just lay in bed, and play games on my phone. Instead of getting up to do yoga, or read a book.

Go on More Adventures

I hope that we are able to have a bit more freedom in the new year. I would love to make more time for adventures. I would love to travel the world as well. I would love to visit Bali, London, and Africa (because I love giraffes).

Have a Morning and Evening Routine

This will ensure that I have enough sleep, so I have no problem getting out of bed to start my day.

“Do What Ought to be Done” -Gretchen Rubin

I am borrowing this one from Gretchen Rubin. I really like this idea. It is so simple, yet so profound. It just reminds me that I shouldn’t put stuff off. I am glad I am one of those people that likes to get things done. Sometimes my boyfriend doesn’t, but I think this will help him.

What are some of your commandants for the new year?

Last year we were so ready! This is our binder for Our Happiness Project. The pages are in the inside need to be updated a bit, but I still love the design of this. The pages on the inside of the binder will be updated tomorrow. So I will definitely keep you posted later on tomorrow.

Here is a sneak peak of what you can expect for the upcoming year. And perhaps you’ll become inspired to make your own Happiness Project. I am super excited to begin this journey with all of you. Of course everyone’s Happiness Project is going to be different. At the moment, I’m not working, so maybe you might want to add a category strictly about your career, or perhaps you are parent, you can make resolutions to be more loving parent, or “new traditions” and adventures with your child(ren).

Monthly Resolutions

January: Boost Energy
February: Love And Relationships
March: Possessions
April: Finances
May: Exercise
June: Family and Friends
July: Adventure
August: Make Time For Fun
September: Mindfulness
October: Literature
November: Community Involvement
December: Minimalize Holiday Stress

Every first day of the month, I will talk about the resolutions I will make month. I am only going to add three, maybe four habits each month. On the last day of the month, I will go over my notes, and talk about the things I have learned about myself. I cannot wait to share this journey with everyone.

If you are inspired to make your own, please tag me, because I would love to read your posts. Although you don’t really need to make a binder out of your resolutions, like I have done. I’m a bit old school like that, where I prefer paper and pen to do certain things. I like being able to check things off on my to-do list.

Holidaze

How to clean up from Christmas. Every year we find ourselves all stressed out, in a mess from all of the extra stuff we got. And sometimes, not to sound ungrateful, we don’t need all of these things.

But here are some simple solutions to help you out. Although some of these tips would have been helpful last week. But that’s okay, we can still fix this. And some of these tips help out with every day lives.

These tasks may seem daunting at first, but it really shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, which is probably the length of your TV show.

Clean Your House as Much as You Can Before Leaving

Whenever you leave the house to go to a family gathering, especially those where you know you will be accepting gifts.

Sort Each Gift Bag

Once you come back from the event, you can bring to go through each bag. Perhaps you have gotten a duplicate, you can always give it back to another person, where you know they would appreciate it, too. Although please don’t give it back to the person who originally got it for you. Or perhaps you don’t like a gift. You can always donate it, too.

Assign a Home For Every Object

Keep like items together. Put books on the bookshelf, or on a coffee table, or a desk, because maybe you want to read it right away.

Sweep and Mop

Once you have finished a good sweep and mop will be a good idea. Or even a vacuum for all of the glitter from the gift bags.

Relax

Sit back and relax, reward yourself with a book, or a TV show.

How to Have a Merry but Stress Less Christmas

I know this is a bit late. But I know they are some people out there that start Christmas shopping right after Christmas, for the sales, and whatever else. Shopping is an addiction. I hope this helps other have a more cheerful Christmas with less stress, and more money in your pockets. These ideas can be applied to birthday presents, too.

Everyone knows how stressful Christmas can be. And yet, everyone we swear next year will be different, it will be less stressful. But the cycle just continues and things become more extravagant than the year prior.

If you are sort of in a holidaze from the stress, or from the mess of Christmas. I have solutions for you!

Cut Back on Gift Giving

Instead of going into thousands of dollars in debt, like some do. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can have a family discussion via Zoom, or Skype, depending on your restrictions. What I am trying to do is keep it simple as possible, but still enjoyable for others.

Buy them the following;

  • Something they want
  • Something they need
  • Something to wear
  • Something to read

That way you just only need to buy four things for everyone, instead of your typical pile of gifts. This is a good solution if you are looking for ways to cut back on buying some many presents for everyone.

Or another solution is to have everyone pitch in money for one big present.

Cut Back On Presents

Or perhaps you want to cut back on presents completely. That way you just enjoy each other’s company. Perhaps it has become too much hauling all of these presents to peoples’ houses. Or maybe you just don’t want to buy people actual presents, and objects. Then perhaps an idea for you would be to give people an experience. I hope things are different next year, where more things are more available for us to do.

Some ideas of experiences are,

  • Concert tickets
  • Movie/Plays/Stand up comedy, etc.
  • Spa Outing
  • Wine tasting (depending on the age of the recipient)
  • Other festivals if they are too young, or don’t drink

Give Others Your Time

Another solution is to give others your time, it’s free!

Perhaps you can offer a sibling, or a friend, or a neighbour a night off from their kids, so they can enjoy a night out. Or perhaps you know how to cook this delicious meal, you can teach someone else to make it. Or you know how to crochet, or knit, you can always offer to teach someone else how to do that.

By cutting back on giving out presents you don’t have to wrap any presents, which is a plus, too. Less work to do. And it also helps the environment, since most places don’t allow wrapping paper to be recycled, so all of that just ends up in a landfill. If you are still handing out gifts, perhaps you can use dish clothes, or scarves, or a blanket, instead.

Secret Santa

Secret Santa is when you put names in a hat, and you secretly place names of everyone in the group. Each person pulls out a name from the hat. That is who they are supposed to shop for. You would have a discussed budget, of how much money you want to spend, and you have to stay under that amount. You can discuss some things you would like to receive for Christmas, and your Secret Santa will buy you some of those things for you.

Don’t be a Michael Scott

I don’t know how many of you watch The Office, but there was this one Christmas episode, where they did Secret Santa, they had a $20 limit. Michael bought a $400 iPod, and got mad because Phyllis was Michael’s Secret Santa, and she knitted him an oven mitt. Please don’t be that guy that overspends on Christmas, especially when you know this person doesn’t have a lot of money. You don’t want the other person to feel bad that you didn’t get as many presents as much as you had given them.

Respect Their Wishes

Sometimes people say they don’t want any gifts. Please know they really mean no gifts. Some people realize they are already happy with everything they already have, and would not have someone go out and spend money on them. There is no secret language to “No gifts”, that isn’t their way to trick you, and making you wonder if they actually mean. Or if it means they just “don’t know yet”. If someone tells you no gifts, please honour their wish.

Shoe Box Ideas

I just heard of this idea not too long ago. You can fill a shoe box, filled with envelopes with different gift cards to different occasions for each month. You can only open an envelope on the first day of the month, and you make plans sometime throughout the month to do that activity. This works great for children, because they get the activity and the anticipation of not knowing which adventure they will be partaking in. I think that is an amazing idea. And if you can’t afford to buy all of the gift cards at once, you can just write a letter and letting them about each activity. That way you just have to budget this in once a month, instead of having to come up with x amount of money before Christmas.

Or another idea is that you can ask other people for money, or ask for mini hygiene products, and perhaps a backpack they no longer use (but it’s still in good condition). You can fill up a backpack with toothbrushes, toothpaste, money, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, etc. You can give this to a homeless person, or to a shelter. I suggest using the traveler size of things, so it is easier for them to carry around, and you can fit more stuff in the bag.

Christmas doesn’t have to cost a fortune to be memorable. Christmas is about helping others, spread love, and happiness. We should begin to refrain ourselves from the commercialization, that we have suddenly allowed to be the norm of Christmas.

Reached My Goal For 2020

I am so happy and proud of myself!

A few months ago, I wanted to have 15,000 views as my yearly total of views. And I am so happy to report that I have reached my goal! Thank you so much for all of the love, likes, comments, and positive words. It means more than anyone will ever know.

Please continue showing your love for me and for my blog in the following year. Cheers!

Welcoming 2021

Photo Credit: Facebook, Twisted Angel

May all of our struggles turn into the flowers we were wishing for. I hope we are given the strength, to overcome anything in the new year.

Always remember that you are enough. Everything you do, for yourself, and for others is appreciated, and enough. We all matter, and we all make a difference, so don’t think of yourself as anything less.

2020 Review

In my opinion, December went by too fast, so it is difficult for me to pinpoint what exactly I have learned from December. So instead of writing a post about the things I have learned in December, I am going to talk about the things I have learned in 2020.

I have learned that I am capable to make changes in my life. I can leave things behind that don’t make me happy. For instance my job was not making me happy. I felt undervalued, and underappreciated. I knew I could something better in my life. Now I am focusing on the things that make me happy. Right now that is my blog. I still have a dream about becoming an author. I have been using this time to brainstorm ideas for a story, that can be turned into a novel, one day.

I have learned that memories are in our hearts, not in our things. It’s okay to let go of things. In fact, letting go of things, it can add value to someone else. This is known as the Subtraction, Addition. When we subtract our belongings, we have added more value of space that we can finally use for the things that add joy in our lives. I love helping others, so being able to part with some of my things, like sweaters, various shirts, I was able to help other people who may not have been able to afford these things.

In a pandemic, we weren’t missing the things we couldn’t buy, we were missing our families, friends, hugs. We were restricted from going over to other people’s houses. We missed out on birthdays, holidays, and other festivities.

From the pandemic, it also taught us that we should cherish every moment, and every person in our lives. We may never know when it is our last shared memory, moment with each other. We never know how much time is left, so it is important that we live our lives. We shouldn’t be wasting our valuable time on things that don’t necessarily matter. How many times have you told yourself, “I wished I had more time.”? Really look into yourself, and evaluate how you have been spending your time. Did you just binge watch a new show? All of those hours could have done something beneficial, like crossing something off your to-do list. Watching TV is cool, but it should be used as a reward for getting something done, not as something to do, to either pass the time, or avoid doing something.

I have also learned that it is important to make time for the things that matter. We should focus on the things like reading a book, exercising, and eating more healthy. These activities will add longevity, and keep your mind active.

I learned that is important to save up, and set some money aside for an emergency fund. Paying off debt helps, too. I have been making a budget on a monthly basis, which is really necessary to do, especially this year, and next year.

I have been having a lot of time to go after my dreams, which is something I take seriously. I can’t wait to spend more time making my dreams and goals come true.

As badly as 2020 was for us, I think we should also focus on the things we have learnt from 2020, and carry it forward to 2021.

Thankful Thursdays #27 – December 31st, 2020

I cannot believe this is the last Thankful Thursday of the year. But don’t worry I will definitely keep on posting this every Thursday in the new year. I really enjoy writing these posts.

I have a lot to be grateful for this week. I would love to hear about what everyone is grateful this week, and even throughout the year, too.

Here is my list.

  1. I had a lovely Christmas. My roommate made us steaks and baked potatoes, with a Caesar salad. It was really delicious. It was a fun night considering we couldn’t really see our families with the new restrictions.
  2. Disney+ released a new movie called Soul, it was an amazing film. It’s about discovering your purpose in your life. I loved watching that movie. I feel extra inspired to start the year off with having watched that movie. I can’t wait to watch the new series on Netflix called Bridgerton. Especially since Shonda Rhimes produced the show. It is based off a book series.
  3. My boyfriend and I enjoyed four days of watching football. It was even better, because our team won.
  4. I briefly saw my family for an exchange outside of our house, maintaining our distance from one another. I got a bunch of cool stuff, stuff I needed like body wash, a candle, money, and gift cards.
  5. Our room is all clean for the new year’s arrival. That is always exciting. đŸ™‚

Day 192 of 192

Wow! This is it! I am so proud of myself for finishing this project. I am about to ring in the new year with 192 less items than I would have. And I was able to help other people in the process. It’s a liberating feeling knowing that I did this.

Not everyone knows this, but I have had my things spread out in three other houses, four if you include the actual place I live at currently. Now, I only have things in three houses. My goal for the year was to bring it down to one, but I had to refrain from these houses because of the pandemic. But hopefully by the end of next year, I’ll only have my things in my house, the one I live at.

I still feel like there’s a few more things to give away. I hope I also inspired other people to go through their belongings, too.

This decluttering journey inspired me to write a short story, which is something I was planning to work on in the new year. That’s really exciting.

But here it is! Item number 192. It isn’t a big reveal, but it is still something.

I found this item in a container of my belongings. I have kept this way longer than I needed to. I plan on giving these to my Grandma, because I am sure she knows someone who would appreciate this.

WWW Wednesdays – December 30th, 2020

Unfortunately I have been busy getting my house ready for the new year, so I haven’t been able to finish reading these books. I like to do a thorough clean for my house, so it’s ready for 2021.

Let’s talk books! This is a post where I talk all about books by answering the following questions…

  1. What have I finished reading?
  2. What am I currently reading?
  3. What will I be reading next?

I would love to know what everyone is reading! đŸ™‚

  1. What have I finished reading?

Nothing, recently, unfortunately.

2. What am I currently reading?

And

I started reading this on Christmas Eve, but I haven’t picked it up since then. So far it is a cute story.

3. What will I be reading next?

I have actually been meaning to read this book sometime throughout 2020, because of the Roarin’ 20’s. So it seems fitting that I start with 2021 with this book. I can’t wait to read it. I have seen the movie though. I really enjoyed it.

Day 191 of 192

This item is from Wednesday.

I bought this book at a school book fair. I used to love those so much. I bought a lot of cool books from those school book fairs.

I still love the Magic School Bus, but I think my niece will like this book. I can’t wait for her to start watching all of the classics from when her mom and myself were younger. My sister and I loved Princess Diaries, Matilda, and Recess as well as other classics like that.

I am trying to give my niece a lot of books, because I think it is important for her to have a big library. I can tell that she is really going to like reading a lot of books.