Amy Clark

My New Year’s Goal: Get Happy!


It is rare that I set aside an entire entry to just one book, but today I wanted to share with you a fantastic book that I have been reading that is paving the way to my New Year’s goal this year.

I received an advance copy of Gretchen Rubin’s, “The Happiness Project,” for review and was so anxious to dive into this book after enjoying Gretchen’s blog and newsletter for quite some time. Any book that embarks on a journey to get happier is already a surefire winner in my book.

Gretchen decided for one entire year she would see how she could live a happier life. She spent a great deal of research going into what makes one happy from the great Aristotle to the more current (while still great) Oprah and shares her scientific findings for what makes people really happy. Amidst all of the research, she shares her own journey month-by-month of ways that she chooses to make her life happier and how it benefits herself and her family.

This journey resonated with me. I would consider myself to be a relatively happy person. I was always the girl that people remark, “You always have a smile on your face.” Most people don’t know that it is because I have always thought that smiling exudes a confidence that I didn’t always have and, at times, a bit of insecurity. I want people to like me so if I smile at them… in my opinion, it is harder for them to dislike me. Despite the underlying reasons, I keep a smile on my face and try to be a happy person. I think I am a pretty happy person just by nature. I am always the one in the family who can cheer others up when they are down and rely on my total clown and sarcasm to get through sad situations in life.

That said, I truly want to have an appreciation for the little things in life. I don’t want my life to pass me by with reflection on how great it was, but how I never realized it. I want to be a happy mom. A happy wife. A happy friend. A happy daughter. A happy sister. A place of general happiness on the internet. I want that for myself and I want it for those around me.

Gretchen and her personality seem so much like my own. The good qualities that I like about myself were within Gretchen. She is driven, goal-oriented, and generally happy.

There were also the qualities in there that I don’t necessarily love about myself- the need for others to recognize all of the great stuff I do, the nagging that I can do to others when I want things done, the type-A behaviors that drive other people crazy.

Because Gretchen and her personality throughout this book remind me so much of myself, I want to replicate her happiness project (minus all of that research) and see if there are ways that I can improve my general happiness levels.

She approached the project by creating general personal commandments for herself and then made goals each month with specific things she would like to improve upon.

Because I want to attempt to replicate her happiness project, these were the categories that she had each month. If you had other goals in mind each month, you could create your own set of goals and personal commandments for your own project using her Happiness Toolbox.

January- Boost Energy
February- Remember Love
March- Aim Higher
April- Lighten Up
May- Be Serious About Play
June- Make Time for Friends
July- Buy Some Happiness
August- Contemplate Heaven
September- Pursue a Passion
October- Pay Attention
November- Keep a Contented Heart
December- Boot Camp Perfect

After deciding what I wanted to tackle, I had to create a list of commandments for myself and general guidelines that I wanted to remember when tackling each month. In this list, you can witness both my personal strengths and weaknesses.

me, happy at my husband’s holiday party
Personal Commandments for Amy

Be Amy.

Avoid negative talk, negative people, and my focus on the negative.

Diagnose the problem and find the solution.

Let it go.

Spend wisely.

Try it.

Expect less.

I can only change me.

Say no to the things I really don’t want to do.

Pay it forward.

Celebrate more.

Lighten up.

It can’t always be perfect.

Being someone who has done a few 30 Day Challenges in her life, I felt like this project would be perfect for me. I know that my happiness can truly benefit those around me and I don’t know many people who would knock a girl for trying to add a little more happiness to her life!

This year, I am making my resolution to get happier by taking action and sharing it with you!

If you want to complete a happiness project, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Gretchen’s book, read her blog, and visit her Happiness Toolbox. You can sign up and start your own happiness project today!

I will be reporting back here what unfolds during my happiness journey. My true wish is that it will be a life-changing experience that will benefit those I love most!


What are your New Year’s resolutions this year?

Published January 04, 2010 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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