Four years ago, I started the coolest self-help project by writing one sentence a day. All I had to do was ask myself, “What made me happy today?”
It’s hard to define happiness as a whole. Why should you always look at the bigger picture when it’s the everyday moments that create the bigger picture? Authors write self-help books, blogs, and speak at motivational tours just to guide others who feel like their lives are missing that “happiness” factor, when this method is much easier.
It’s a great goal that people are seeking to find happiness in their lives. The issue is that they’re not defining happiness by looking at the “little things” that affect their daily lives by instead solely focusing on the bigger picture.
For the past 4 years, I’ve kept track of my daily happiness through a one-sentence journal called “The Happiness Project.” created by Gretchen Rubin. My sister gave me it to me for my 20th birthday because I was an avid journal writer and this was different from paragraph-length entries.
Here’s how the Happiness Project works: The book is 365 pages, one for each day of the year, with 5 entry lines on each page. Each entry line counts as that day of the year, so by the time you finish your book, you should have 5 years of your happiest memories.
I like to write in my journal right before bed (I kept it on my nightstand.) It’s a great way to reflect on how someone might’ve impacted your day or how YOU might’ve made someone else’s. Writing in my journal has given me purpose by making every day count. That may sound really cheesy, but it’s true.
What I like most about this concept is that it focuses on your happiness on a micro level rather than focusing on the bigger picture events in your life – ex: getting married, finding a new job, buying a house. Don’t get me wrong, those are great accomplishments to be proud of! #goals
This journal is the epitome of the phrase, “It’s the small things that matter.” May all you did was hold the door open for someone, but that small action made the difference to someone else. You’ll find happiness is not defined as by how much you have, but how much you have to give.
What’s also really cool is looking back on the memories that happened on that same day in previous years. It’s a great feeling to read about the goals you accomplished, the people you spent time with, and being able to compare that to your present life.
Another thing to note is that no matter how shitty your day was, the journal forces you to find that one slice of goodness that trumps everything else. You’ll notice your mindset will change because you begin to concentrate your energy on the positive aspects of your life rather than the negative.
I encourage everyone to keep a Happiness Project journal, even if it’s just writing in an old-fashion journal on a regular basis. My sister bought mine at Marshall’s, but there’s plenty available here.
Write to me with your thoughts on happiness!