Tag Archives: self-improvement projects

Happiness Project Update 25: I’m Still Keeping The Snooze Button

15 May

Apparently everyone has a set of inherent rules that help them get through the day. Sometimes you’ve had them so long you don’t even remember making the list, you just keep the rules because they have been working for you … sort of.

And then it hits you … you’re the female version of George Costanza except you’re in your thirties and  you’ve got hair. Gray hair, a multitude of gray sneaking in, the bad kind. The stressful kind. So maybe you need to examine these rules a bit closer. Part of this whole Happiness Project challenge involves mindfulness and I couldn’t go forward without examining some of my rules.

Image via happiness-project.com

Image via happiness-project.com

I know I’m a Chapstick type of chick, but I’m still a complex human being. I’ve got layers. So my list was a little long. But I narrowed down the rules that could use some tweaking. But could I? I’ve had them for a while. They were rules, right? Dude … then I realized. This is not Monopoly, you can totally change the rules. These were the contenders.

Hit the snooze button.

Finish the to-do list.

Hurry. Hurry. Hurry.

Calm down.

At first they seem pretty good. Finishing my to-do list was necessary. It gave me umph! at the end of the day. A high-five for crossing everything off my list. Victorious at the end of a very tiring day. And of course I had to be in hurry, how else could I finish the list. Hurry to be on time. Hurry to finish working out. Hurry reading this book. Hurry  I only had 24 hours. But then I thought if I had all these things to do why would I hit the snooze button in the mornings? It’s just taking time away from finishing the list. Am I sleeping longer? Yes, but then I’m in a hurry because I snoozed it. Then there’s the calm down, effect. I realized that sometimes you need to feel a little rage. Case in point my run-in with the personal space hijackers at the beach. Calming down is not necessarily what you want to hear or feel at the time. Just feel it. Repressing emotions just lead to crazy later.

That is what I learned after a brief review.

But the most eye-opening examination happened to be the one that Gretchen Rubin gave me. Apparently she agreed with me about the hurry, hurry, hurry. It’s not very constructive and it’s probably more stressful. So she gave me an idea.

Instead of hurry, hurry, hurry. Try “I have plenty of time for the things that are important to me,” even if I hit the snooze button.

“By questioning my True Rules instead of applying them unthinkingly, I could make sure I applied them only when they’d guide me to decisions that reflected my true priorities … By mindfully deciding how to act in line with my values instead of mindlessly applying my rules, I was better able to make the decisions that supported my happiness.” — Gretchen Rubin

And so with this advice I added a few new rules to my list courtesy of Rubin’s chapter on mindfulness in hopes that more happiness and less craziness comes pouring in.

 

First thing is first (as in when the plane is going down, grab the oxygen mask and put it on yourself first before helping anybody else … you can’t help if you’re not breathing).

Down with boredom.

Get some work done everyday.

Choose the bigger life.

People succeed in groups.

 

But I’m still keeping the snooze button, sometimes you really need it.

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Ready or Not Self-Improvement Projects, Bucket Lists, Yearly Goals, Plans, and Guidelines A.K.A. Resolutions … Here We Come

2 Jan

Deep thoughts, late nights, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cheesecake, bags of Pirate Booty Popcorn, and Hawaiian chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

What brought on this onslaught of high fat, high calorie salty and sweet food no-nos?

Resolutions.

I’m not a big fan of that word. Too much pressure. I like to call them plans, goals, life guidelines, hopes, self-improvements projects, or lists.

 

“I have now spent fifty-five years in resolving; having, from the earliest time almost that I can remember, been forming schemes of a better life. I have done nothing. The need of doing, therefore, is pressing, since the time of doing is short…” –Samuel Johnson

 

I was scanning the Word Press world and a lot of bloggers out there were talking about resolutions or plans for the new year. The thing is I already made plans, life guidelines, hopes, goals, self-improvements projects, and lists in the middle of the year and I’m rolling them over. I’m sticking to the completion of my Happiness Project and trying to scratch adventures off my Bucket List. But I can say that I am adding a few new goals and self-improvement projects in the hopes of continuing to add “life” to my life.

Time is short and although I can’t avoid all the crappiness that life throws at me, I want to be able to squeeze the juice out of all the lemons it throws my way. So I may have added a couple of other goals and life guidelines for 2013 … Plans to finish writing my second book, plans to continue participating in triathlons, and plans to participate in roller derby classes are among a few of them.

But making all these new 2013 guidelines, made me reflect on the two that I made last year. I didn’t announce them to the world, just to myself and two other friends. One: Start a blog. Write everyday. Two: Be happy for one day. All day. Not just bits and pieces  … but all day. Dusk ’til dawn. And I’m happy to say that both of these two resolutions were completed successfully. Well technically, I have a couple more days to go on one of the “resolutions,” but overall I’ve done well.

They sound pretty simple, but with all the craziness that comes with life it wasn’t that easy. But a couple of pieces of advice helped me out.

 

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Image via happiness-project.com

 

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Image via happiness-project.com

Small steps. Small steps everyday toward a big goal was the way to go for me, maybe not for everyone, but yes for me. And expectations … fun is better than stressing out over perfect outcome. I’m hoping I remember the same advice this year.

But in all this resolution, goal setting, self-improvement me, me, me talk I failed to think of my kids and what if any experiences or goals they might want in 2013. I mean I plan all kinds of adventures and activities for them, but hadn’t really asked what do you want? Other than LEGOLAND, of course. So I’ve added a 2013 “Sandbox List” for my kids this year. I’m sure my four-year old will speak for both of them. And although my daughter can’t really speak clearly and tell me what she wants,  considering that she’s only one, her smiles and laughter tell me she enjoys the ride.

So the Guats are off … Ready or not self-improvement projects, bucket lists, yearly goals, plans, or guidelines A.K.A. resolutions … 2013 here we come.