“I’ve decided to be happy because it’s good for my health.”- Voltaire
As 2019 is upon us, many start thinking about the New Year’s resolutions they would like to make. Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project gave me the idea to dedicate each month of the next year to an area of my life and to try out things that add to my overall happiness. If something has an added benefit it gets taken over into the next month, in December I will try out all things that make me happier. 2019 brings quite a few challenges for me as I have to hand in my thesis and I have my state exam for medicine coming up in October, and the harder the challenges are the more important it is that we look after ourselves. December gives me the opportunity to test out integrating all these things into work life as I start my practical year in November, and can make adjustments according to shifts and being on-call.
Gretchen Rubin dedicated her year to: vitality, marriage, work, parenthood, leisure, friendship, money, eternity, books (as her passion), mindfulness, attitude, and for December then happiness. She packed quite a few things under one topic such as vitality: sleep, exercise, declutter, nagging tasks and acting more energetic, but I fear too many things in one month would be overwhelming and cause me to abandon the project. I have a few things I do every now and again, such as yoga or meditate, and would love to build a sustainable practice, which is known to bring the best long-term benefits. One thing I have kept from 2018 is regularly practicing gratitude (in form of my gratitude jar).
Here are the things I would like to try out and focus on in the next months:
March: Build a lasting meditation practise
May: Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning– build a morning routine
October: Books and other lost hobbies
December: Trying out integrating everything
Some of the books I will be reading/ trying out this year:
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
- The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker
- (I recommend his book The More of Less which already has had a profound impact on several areas of my life)
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
- The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
- The plant-based Cookbook by Deliciously Ella
- The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by the Dalai Lama
- The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Another challenge of mine is for the coming year is not to buy any new books- which is extremely hard for me. I have so many books that I have been planning to read and try out, that now I have created the opportunity to do so!