Thursday, September 30, 2010

Boost Energy: End of Month Summary

September is coming to a close and with it ends the first month of our happiness project.  As I look back over my resolutions chart I think I did alright, but not great.  In all honesty I’m disappointed in myself this month.  I feel like I didn’t excel at any one thing.  I really wanted to power through this month, to pass with flying colors.  Pass?  Yes.  Flying colors? Definitely not.

I keep reminding myself that I chose the hardest things for the first month.  People make new years resolutions to exercise and eat better every year and fail.  I tell myself these are big changes, that new habits are hard, but this type of thinking feels like I’m making excuses.  I know I can do better.


I did okay in the food department.  I brought my lunch to work almost every day, and when I didn’t I would get Subway.  Dinners are going alright too.  I really don’t mind cooking, and I don’t even miss eating out that much… I just miss the convenience of it.  Making dinners requires so much planning.  Plan your meals, plan your groceries, plan your meals around your workouts.  Sometimes it’s just so easy to order something.  No plan, no groceries, just a phone call.  It has been difficult to go from someone who doesn’t cook to someone that cooks dinner every night.  I think once I get a collection of meals that I like I can throw them into a rotation and not spend so much time looking for meal ideas.

Exercise.  It has been my biggest struggle this month.  I’ve been having a really difficult time getting a routine going.  I will pat myself on the pack for going, without fail, to yoga twice every week this month.  Mornings have been my second biggest struggle, especially this last week.  About mid-month I switched from getting up and walking my dog in the morning to getting up and working out in the mornings.  It was unsuccessful.  I think I did three workouts in the mornings.  I really want mornings to work, it’s the initial getting out of bed that’s the hardest part for me, I’m always convincing myself I have more time.  I’m not sure if it was easier to get up and walk the dog in the mornings because it’s not that difficult or because I was still riding the momentum of starting the Happiness Project.  Lying in my cozy bed is way more appealing than getting up and working out.  In that moment exercise is the last thing I want to do.  Once I get up and it’s too late to work out or even walk the dog I feel annoyed with myself.  I need a new strategy for mornings.

I’ve done well with walking.  Since my pedometer broke the night before the project started I decided to abandon the goal of 10 000 steps.  With the exception of a few days where I was running short on time in the morning I have been consistently walking to work.  Every weekday this month I have walked either to or from work (many days both) and on days when the weather was nice I have made the effort to take Slone for an extra long walk.

I think the two biggest things I need to work on are organization and accountability.  Organizing my meals and my workouts will help me be more effective.  Some ideas: 

  • print a weekly calendar and have my meals for each day on it, put on fridge
  • print a weekly calendar for workouts
  • have Sunday be my “prep for the upcoming week” day in which I make a new meal calendar, workout calendar, buy groceries and update my ipod 
  • do weekly progress posts on blog to add accountability
  • have regular discussions with Melissa about our progress
  • be more specific with goals (ex: only allowed to get credit for waking up at 7 if I get out of bed immediately, can only get credit for working out if I feel like I challenged myself)
  • create weekly themes, a specific set of goals I really want to focus on and be perfect with for that week (ex: try a new recipe every night this week, stretch every day during my lunch break this week)
  • move my resolutions chart out of my bedroom
  • choose bigger nagging tasks, list them somewhere visible and do one every week (my tasks list was more of a regular to do list, I was using small tasks to avoid bigger ones)
  • create rewards and consequences for meeting or not meeting certain goals

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


So it's the end of the first month- boost energy- I think I did a pretty good job! The truth is, this was kind of my fly away month. I have a really good energy level already and I think that my main goal was going to bed earlier and I am VERY proud to report that during the work week I only went to bed past 10:30pm 4 times! This is huge for me!! I am a night owl and being in bed and ready to sleep at that hour used to be completely insane. I found it did make a difference, I had more energy during the day.
Drinking water----H2O....I don't like you. I have come to the realization that I really hate water. It's just SO BORING! And when it gets warm it tastes like minerals and metal. Gross. I attempted adding crystal light barely dissolves and also, when warm, tastes like shit. So it's something that is forced, and I will continue to not let myself leave work until an entire 600mL bottle of water is gone. Tonight I had soccer, so I drank a lot of working, but you're burning a lot too so I don't really think it counts.
Vitamins....I have done a terrible job at taking a multi vitamin. And to be honest, I don't really know why I put this in my happiness project. I have never had a deficiency, and never been told I need B6 or Vitamin C, so why change it up now!? So I'm cutting this out. I don't feel like it would really benefit me.
Yoga. Due to the fact that i'm so active with sports, I have been away for a couple Sunday Yoga classes, but I do have my Biggest Loser yoga video that I have subbed in a couple times so I definitely did yoga at least 4 times this month (or once a week) which was my goal. I am always going to want yoga in my life and will continue to try and do it once a week. Plus my yoga instructor, Dawson, is super hot so it's really just a bonus. :)

I am getting apprehensive going into October. I think "Attitude Adjustment" month is going to be VERY testing for both Kirby and I. We feed off each others sarcasm, we enjoy gossiping together, we both allow the other to be in a pissy mood if we feel like that fact that we're both trying to be happy and less judgmental should prove to be VERY interesting. I'm very much looking forward to hopefully not....well being such a ....ummm...bitch? haha. I guess I can sometimes be a bitch. A co-worker of mine once told me that when I walked into the room where she was it looked like I had a huge sign on my forehead that says "GO AWAY!" is the worst thing anyone has ever said to me. The LAST thing in the world I want to be is unapproachable?! Gross. What a terrible trait. So i'm looking forward to "smiling when I walk into a room" to hopefully say "Hello! I am glad to be here!" Not "F**K OFF I HATE YOU!" haha which is never really what i'm thinking....well....sometimes :)

So far Happy and getting Happier by the day,

P.S. My nagging task this month is 100% to get a damn battery for my camera so I can take pictures and add them to my my posts so Kirby stops making me feel inferior :) KIDDING. I love your pictorials Kirb-a-licious

Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich, be still my heart

Wendy's Spicy Chicken

Dear Spicy Chicken,

I miss you, like the deserts miss the rain.

Today I have been craving fast food.  Spicy chicken you are my #1.  Honorable mention goes to:

  • KFC Big Crunch Combo with Supreme Fries
  • Burger King Chicken Tendercrisp
  • McDonalds Big Mac & Southwest Chicken

This got me to thinking about food and how it affects me, or how I think it affects me.  I have this mentality that I can eat whatever I want.  I think this started when I began my pre-teen growth spurt; I could put back a lot of food and never gain weight.  The funny thing is, this continued well into my adult years; I guess I’ve just been one of those lucky people with a high metabolism.  I used to wonder if the way I thought about food was a self-fulfilling prophecy, that I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight because I genuinely believed I could.  Sometimes I wonder if I had been someone who stressed out over food, felt guilty and paranoid about my poor food choices, would it have affected me differently?  If I convinced myself that it would make me fat if I ate fast food on a regular basis, would it have?

I realize this isn’t a foolproof theory, that I have probably been affected in unseen ways by my eating habits, vitamin deficiencies, or digestive problems perhaps.  Sometimes I wonder if it affected my skin, but then I think about how the first six years of bad skin occurred when I lived at home in a small town with no chain restaurants.  My mother made dinner every night, we didn’t drink many pop drinks, but I did drink a ton of milk…  Ok I am getting off track, my point is I do believe on some level that the way in which you perceive food can affect you.

If I think I can eat whatever I want then why have I given up fast food?  Like I said, it’s not a foolproof theory.  Here are my main motivations for changing my diet:

1. My main goal is boost energy.  I’m hoping a healthier diet will have a positive effect on my energy levels/mood.
2. They say your metabolism starts slowing down at 25.  I am 25.
3. Fast food is fake cheap.  The $$ add up.
4. I would like to learn how to cook.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Fine Fall Day

Resolution = Walk
Here are some pictures of my walk home from work.

Stephen Ave           Stephen Ave          Stephen Ave

Stephen Ave           Stephen Ave          Stephen Ave

8th Ave

Monday, September 27, 2010

One Fine Fall Day

One of my resolutions this month is to walk more.  The weather has cleared up and we now have had some very nice fall days so I thought I’d take some pictures on my walk with my dog.

fall-walk1          fall-walk6          fall-walk8

Friday, September 24, 2010

The downside of Yoga

The downside of being more aware of your body is that you are more aware of everything that’s wrong with your body.  Yoga makes you very aware of your posture, which muscles are tight and how good your balance is.  Last Sunday at Karma yoga the girl sitting in front of me is what I like to call a bendy straw.  It is my personal opinion that if you get to the level that this girl was at you should not be going to the intermediate classes anymore, you should only go to super advanced classes because all you’re doing is showing off and making everyone else look bad.  She could take every posture above and beyond, bending herself into all kinds of pretzel shapes.  And the crazy part was that she was one of those super tall and thin Amazon types with long blond hair, I swear the girl was probably 6’3”.  She was one of the most flexible people I have ever seen.  Even though it made me feel pretty inadequate, it was something to aspire to.
Hot Yoga
I AM NOT FLEXIBLE.  To be honest, I can’t even sit cross legged properly.  I’m always jealous of other people in hot yoga class because the front wall is mirrored floor to ceiling (so you can see everyone all at once) and when we are sitting with our legs crossed and most people have their knees on the floor or they have their feet pulled in over their knees and then there’s me, trying to sit with my legs crossed, knees sticking way up.  In hot yoga the other night we did this pose, called Gomukhasana (I think) and it looked something like this:
Gomokhasana, cow faced pose
I could not do it.  The goal is to align your knees one on top of the other, feet out to the side and have both sides of your bum remain on the floor.  I simply could not do it, I couldn’t even come close to getting my butt to sit flat on the floor.  Before I lived with Melissa I lived with a friend of mine, let’s call her Runts.  Runts is now a physiotherapist but was in school when we were roommates.  Runts and her physio friends all had to practice on each other during school everyday so when they would be studying for exams I would sometimes be offered up as a guinea pig, someone new to practice on.  This, like yoga, makes you very aware of what’s wrong with your body.  “Hmm, that’s weird”, is not something you want to hear from someone studying the human body.  Runts told me that when I leaned backwards I bent from the middle of my back instead of my hips, that the triangular bone at the base of my spine was more angled than most people’s (I think she referred to it as mutated) which gave me a deeper curve in my lower back and that I had very little movement in my hips and ankles.  I can now see that she was right about how crappy all my joints are, thanks Runts and yoga.  I’ve always been grateful that I never injured my knees.  I don’t think I know a single person my age that is or was an athlete that hasn’t done some significant damage to their knees.  So knees, since I’ve taken such excellent care of you over the years how about you work properly.  New yoga goal = joint flexibility = bendy straw.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Tonight I am going to hot yoga.  One night throughout the week I go to hot yoga at Tri-Yoga.  I will be going to the Yang-Yin class.  The first half is traditional hot yoga and the second half is a much slower pace with a focus on increasing flexibility, holding the postures for a longer period of time.
Every Sunday I go to Karma Yoga at Yoga Passage which costs an enormous sum of $2.00.  This class has been very busy the past couple weeks which makes me nervous that it will be packed all winter.  I like the cost, but I don’t like being in a room so packed that you have to stagger your mats so that you don’t smack arms with the person beside you when doing poses.  I keep trying to get a picture at hot yoga but the room is like a sauna and the pictures keep coming out blurry so here are a few from Karma yoga.yoga2

I quite enjoy going to yoga.  I like going to a class where someone tells you what to do, and then when you feel like you can’t hold a certain pose long enough you look over and see someone twice your age doing it and you think oh crap well now I have to.  If Karma yoga gets too busy to be enjoyable I will have to look into doing some other sort of class once in a while.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Monday – Fresh Start

I had a rough few days at the mid month point, but I think I have turned it around.  I was feeling very blah and unmotivated.  I was definitely losing momentum and decided I needed a pick me up so yesterday I went and bought myself new runners!  This purchase was long overdue, my other runners were in rough shape.  The new runners will be my inside shoes that can only be worn in the gym.  Yesterday I went to the gym after dinner to try them out.  They are Reebok Easy Tones, but the ones made more for running than walking.  They take a little getting used to but I like them.


The gym was very busy last night so this morning I got up at 7 and went to the gym first thing and it was empty!  Empty gym = amazing!  Now in the morning when I am trying to convince myself to get up I’ll think, if you go to the gym now you can have it all to yourself.  It feels pretty good to have my workout done before my work day has even started.

Last night after my workout I decided to do some baking.  I made banana muffins and threw in some peanut butter cookies for my sweet tooth.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting Organized

IMG_7256 by Alleh Lindquist

Things I learned from Jillian Michaels about exercise today:

I am a Balanced Oxidizer.  I should be eating 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat.  Whatever that means.

Working the upper and lower body in rapid succession pushes the blood back and forth which allows you to burn twice as many calories.

You always want to train the muscles from largest to smallest.

Circuit training: performing a series of selected exercises or activities in a sequence as rapidly as possible.
Interval training: short, high-intensity cardio exercise alternated with longer periods of lower-intensity cardio.
Supersetting: an advanced training method in which you do two exercises, one after the other, with no rest in between.  It’s best to combine two exercises in the same muscle group if you want to get definition.

My Info:

BMR (basal metabolic rate) = 1444.35 calories
BMI (body mass index) = 20.52 (normal is between 18.5 – 25.9)
Body Fat = 21% ? (online calculators aren’t really very accurate, I would need to get measured)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crappy Weather

Gray Skies by Jenny Munro The weather has been miserable all summer the past several days.  I have had to give the dog a mini bath each morning after our walk because she is a wet and muddy mess.  Living downtown = limited areas of grass.  On our morning walk the first thing my dog Slone does is pee in the planting beds beside my building.  Which is cool but they need to be re-mulched and are more like dirt now, and by dirt I mean mud since it has rained almost every morning.  Slone isn’t even excited about mornings anymore.  Today she just sat and stared at me as I dangled the leash, as if to say “Yeah I don’t think so, it’s cold and wet”.

The weather is also ruining my last few chances to wake up to natural sunlight.  It’s hard enough for me to wake up, it’s even harder to wake up in the dark.  Oh miserable winter.  I’m pretty sure I’m one of those SAD (seasonal affective disorder) people, but I must not be a pawn to my moods.

I’ve tried to figure out why I am avoiding getting organized this month.  Yesterday I did the most pathetic work out and decided I don’t like working out so late in the evening.  The only reason I even gave myself credit for it was because I made time for it, even if I didn’t try at all.  I couldn’t narrow it down to any one thing, so I’ll chalk it up to laziness lack of motivation. 

Today I’ve been searching for fitness inspiration online.  I have been looking at other people’s blogs and find them fascinating.  There are a lot of fantastic bloggers out there.  I think I have been spending too much energy thinking about future month’s goals.  If I want to read blogs then I should be adding fitness blogs to the mix.  Jag’s Fitness Blog was a good one I found today.  There’s also A Year of Daily Exercise but the girl doesn’t post as regularly as I would like her to.  I’ve also found several blogs of people who have documented their journey in weight loss.  These are hit or miss for me.  I’m not really interested in weight loss since my weight has never been a big problem for me.

I’ve been reading about calories a little bit.  I typed my info into one of those online calorie counters today.  I don’t really want to lose weight but I played along and said that I wanted to lose 5 lbs in the next two months, put in my stats, and it told me that I should be eating 1,563 calories a day in order to reach my goal weight.  I have no concept of how much food that is but it’s interesting to know.

Also, after Slone’s less than enthusiastic response to going for a walk this morning, I think I should give some serious thought to working out in the mornings instead.  I think Slone prefers to go out after I get home from work, and I would rather go for a walk than work out after dinner.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Progress Report

A week has passed and so far no huge revelations to report. 
I’ve been doing quite well with my resolutions.  I have scratched several small nagging tasks off my to do list, finally made a trip to the dentist, go to yoga twice a week, walk my dog in the mornings and I have brought my lunch to work everyday.

I can already see some minor flaws in my resolution chart.  The way I’ve set up is that every day if I do something I get a black X and if I don’t a red X, but some resolutions aren’t meant do be done every day.  For example, I have decided that I should work out 5 times a week, so what happens on the two days that I don’t work out each week?  I get a red X?  A red X is supposed to mark a failure, but it wasn’t my goal to work out every day so for the moment I am leaving non-workout days blank.  Same with nagging tasks, they are supposed to be something more involved than the items on a regular to do list.  I never intended to be tackling a huge nagging task every day!  I’ve decided to switch to a list of nagging tasks kept next to my chart that I scratch off as I do them instead of having it as a category on the chart.

It may seem like I’m over thinking these things, but Gretchen refers to her resolutions chart as one of the most important factors in the success of her happiness project.  The accountability it brings through the constant daily visual of your goals was an invaluable source of motivation to her.  I think making the most accurate and efficient system possible (for me) is important.

I have been thinking about my fitness goals, and I think I’m not trying hard enough.  I don’t mean that I’m not exerting myself; I’m referring more to my lack of planning.  One of the things I admired about Gretchen’s happiness project was all the preparation she did like making lists, researching tons of books for her various resolutions, strategizing, etc.

My main goal toward fitness right now is to make it feel like part of my daily routine, time wise.  It’s more of a scheduling goal at the moment.  What about actual fitness goals?  What do I want to accomplish?  I haven’t tried to learn enough.  For example I don’t know anything about calories.  I was talking to Melissa in the kitchen a few days before we started and I said that I have no idea how many calories are in anything.  I could not name the calorie count a single food item.  Mel turned and looked at me with the kind of bewildered expression you might expect see if you asked someone what the internet was.

Now maybe I’m not giving my original goals enough credit; changing your habits is hard and so is making new ones.  I just hate the running commentary in my head that I’m not being effective in my work out.  I hate feeling like my lack of knowledge is causing me to waste my time.  This is the one month where fitness is my only resolution, there’s no better time than now to really focus on it, get organized from the start.

Cause really, at the end of the day, what’s the point is spending this much time every week working on fitness if I’m only giving it a half assed attempt?  In a couple months when I look in the mirror and go, “Whaa?  No change?” and get annoyed at what a waste of time this is and start slacking off, begin to feel tired and draggy again and… you see where this is going.

So, for now I am simply trying to make working out a part of my regular routine.  Create the mindset that I cannot shut down and be a waste of space once I get home from work, that I must workout right away.  Every month to come I will evaluate my fitness goals and make changes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mmm Breakfast

I do love me some breakfast.  

Breakfast is hands down my favorite meal, next in line would be candy meal… but I have had to go on an extended vacation from candy meal.  You might say I took her to a farm where she has lots of room to run and play.  I’ve decided that if I want to eat sweets I need to make them myself.  Melissa tells me this is a dumb idea because now I’m going to be eating all that extra butter and white flour, but I fire back saying that candy is accessible, I eat it every day, I’m not about to bake a cake every day.  Mel then gives me one of those looks and goes back to what she’s doing.  Mostly I think she doesn’t want me to make some delicious dessert and then leave it on the counter to tempt her.  Whether it’s any better for me or not I think it will reduce the frequency of my sugar intake. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Early Bird

Today, 6 days in, the first day after the long weekend and I overslept.  I think I dragged myself out of bed at 8:15 when I had to work at 9.  Luckily I only live about a 20 minute walk/10 minute train ride from work so it’s still possible to be on time.  What wasn’t possible was keeping my resolutions that morning; my first act that morning was to put a big red X through my resolution to wake up at 7.  As I looked around the room I thought, “You’re unorganized”.  I was supposed to get up and take the dog out first thing, clearly that wasn’t happening.  I was supposed to make breakfast at home, so I threw a banana in my bad as a last ditch effort to salvage some of my morning routine.  I hadn’t taken the time to pick out an outfit the night before, nor had I made myself something for lunch.  I scrambled to throw together something to eat, if I didn’t eat breakfast and didn't make myself something for lunch I couldn’t justify giving myself credit for the resolutions to eat healthy meals.
Due to the time crunch I was in that morning I took the train since it’s faster than walking.  I thought my days would feel very go-go-go with all the walking and working out, but taking the dog for her walk in the morning left only my workout for the evening.  It’s a great feeling to be walking home from work and realize the dog has already gone for her walk today and that some extra time in the evening is available. Except that today I overslept so I’d have to go for a huge walk with the dog after work to make up for not walking to work, and I’d have to work out which would make my evening feel very full. 
As I was walking up to the train, half asleep and feeling totally grumpy the importance of this month’s goal was obvious to me.  My attitude was horrible as I made my way to work, had anyone tried to talk to me I probably would’ve ignored them, not that anyone would’ve approached me I’m sure the sour look on my face was enough to keep people away.  Next month is about attitude, and I’m sure it will be a lot easier to smile and say hello if I’m not half asleep and ready to rip someone’s head off.  Also, by not accomplishing some of my fitness goals in the morning and having to spend extra time in the evening made me feel resentful of my resolutions.  A routine is very important; I don’t want my life to feel consumed by my resolutions to boost energy.  As I add in more and more resolutions I’m going to need the extra time in the evenings to work on those so I simply have to get my mornings running smoothly.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happiness Project Begins!

Sooo I'm day 2 into my Happiness Project and so far so good! My first month is also dedicated to "Boosting Energy" but because i've spent my life being a pretty active with sports and hitting the gym, I decided to focus more on good health and emotional energy. For this I decided to start off with some attainable goals that would push me to feel very successful during my first month of Happiness, to give me that catapult to get through the more trying months (ahem...working on my "attitude" haha). So my 5 goals for this month are:
- take a multivitamin weekly
-drink at least 600mL of water a day AT work
-be in bed by 10:30pm on week nights
-go to yoga once a week at least (internal peace of mind)
-gym 5 days a week (softball doesn't count)

I'm very excited for my boosting energy month! I think this is a step in the right direction of having a very healthy lifestyle...during the week at least...I'm going to work on the weekends later!
Also, Kirby and I both compiled lists of things, nagging tasks, we want to get through. I plan to keep an ongoing list and try to tackle at least one nagging task a month. I'm happy to report that day 2 into my happiness project, I tacked "go to the eye doctor" which I haven't done in.....ever? I felt like I needed glasses....the doctor told me that I have 20/20 vision and don't need glasses!!!! Have I always not needed glasses or has the magic of the happiness project enhanced my vision??? CARROTS! Just one of those unsolved mysteries I guess.

-Melissa...happy as a clam!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happiness Project Begins!

Happiness Project September 2010 – September 2011 begins! In the first month of Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project she focused on boosting energy. We think that is good logic so for our first month we are both going to do the same. To keep us motivated have created a resolution chart to keep track of our daily progress that we are going to keep out in the open to fuel healthy competition between roommates.

In addition to being someone that doesn’t work out...ever, I am also a chronic over sleeper, fast food junkie, and sugar addict. As excited as I am to start my Happiness Project I have been nervous about this first month; it’s going to be a lifestyle overhaul for me.

To tackle physical energy I have created the following resolutions:
  • wake up every day at 7:00 am
  • eat breakfast at home everyday
  • eat healthy meals (no fast food)
  • work out 5 times a week
  • aim for 10 000 steps a day
  • drink more water and take a multivitamin
Initially, I only planned on doing the 10 000 steps a day for the first month because the winters here are very cold and I knew that it wasn’t a habit I was going to stick with once the weather gets cold. Last night I went to get my pedometer out and it was broken. I’d wanted to put my actual step count up every day so now I’m not sure if I should go out and get another one or just try to walk more.

In addition to physical energy I am going to work on mental energy by tackling nagging tasks. Unfinished or nagging tasks drain mental energy because they are constantly on your mind, which makes you feel guilty for having not completed them. I will be posting with updates on my progress throughout the month and Melissa and I will both be posting at the end of every month to summarize how we did.

About Me and My Happiness Project

The first time I saw the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin in the bookstore I read a line on the cover about trying to sing in the mornings, and like the skeptic I am, rolled my eyes and put it back.  Several months later I saw it on a bestsellers list and decided to give it a second look. 

I felt I was living a life with a lot of negativity.  I’d had a crappy few years that broke down what I once thought was a strong sense of self.  I finally feel like I’m back at a point where I’m willing to put in the effort to make myself happier.  For a long time I avoided doing things that I thought I should be doing simply because it felt fake.  Trying to be friendly and upbeat or going out of my way to attend a social event when all I felt like doing was crawling into bed and watching a movie felt fake.  I wanted to feel authentic, to do things because I had a genuine desire to do them as opposed to “you know you should”.  I thought that good times and bad times come and go and if I waited it out eventually I’d start to feel good again.  Turns out happiness isn’t like the weather, if you want a change in your life or yourself you better start making changes.  I knew I could do better and the Happiness Project gave me a system for making these changes that was attainable.  As I read through the book I thought, I could do this, I SHOULD do this.  And so I am, or we are.

Melissa and I are embarking on our own Happiness Projects, dedicating a year to living happier lives.  Each month we will add in another category of resolutions to the mix, keeping track of our progress on charts and in this blog.

About Me and my Happiness Project

     Many months ago I was speaking to my lovely roommate, Kirby, trying to convince her of the importance of reading. I had recently read the “Something Blue” and “Something Borrowed” books and just fell in love with being able to get immersed into a story, and something that wasn’t my everyday life. I also found reading a lovely way to help knock myself into slumber, as lying in bed at night allowed my mind to run away with my own insecurities and feelings about the trials and tribulations I had been experiencing. A few short months later I came home from what was a particularly trying day at work, to find Kirby curled up on the couch reading! The next day she was done her book and told me how inspired she was by the author’s story. At the time I was reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” but decided to take a hiatus to read what had to be an amazing book to keep Kirby so engaged for 48 hours! As I read Gretchen’s “The Happiness Project” and learned of Kirby’s intentions to do her own Happiness Project I felt like there was no better time to work on myself. In the past 2 years of my life I’ve managed to overcome a crippling breakup, a landlord try to get me fired from my job, a lay off, unemployment, a sprained ankle, fallen friendships, and multiple blows to my ego that left me wondering who I am, what is my purpose, and where do I go from here?

     As I’ve finally started to see that light at the end of the tunnel which began with a new job that gladly took all of my focus, and a commitment to getting back into shape, I was on the path to really knowing me, and loving being in my own skin. While reading “The Happiness Project” I decided that I didn’t just want to be a “new and improved” version of Melissa, I wanted to be the best Melissa possible! The starting point was to list my faults….the one’s I know I have, the one’s other’s have told me I have and the one’s I have, that other people like, but that I don’t think are necessarily the best life choices (no more ‘hand grenades’ at Hudson’s Taphouse for me guys!) At 25 I feel like I have a fairly good idea of where I want to go, and how to get there, I just need a plan. So here I go, dedicating the next 365 days of my life to becoming the best version of myself possible. Why wait until I’m 40 and having a slightly mid-life realization when I can fix things now, and learn to appreciate every day while I have all the independence in the world. A year ago I wanted to get the words “carpe diem” tattooed on my wrist. I want to make that tattoo be a life practice instead of something that I think sounds cool. I want to seize the day. I want to not take things for granted. I want all the people in my life that I love to know I love and appreciate them. And most importantly, I want to be sitting in a rocking chair, on a porch, watching a sunset, in about 60 years and know that I didn’t waste anytime being unhappy. I didn’t waste a single day not loving every breath I took.