As Happiness Project’s author, Gretchen Rubin spent one year consciously cultivating happiness. Each month, she tackled one specific aspect of life:

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 the Heavens
September: Pursue a Passion
October: Pay Attention
November: Keep a Contented Heart
December: Boot Camp Perfect

Each month there would be different resolutions such: ‘Go to Sleep Earlier’, ‘Exercise Better’, ‘Toss, Restore, Organize’, ‘Tackle a Nagging Task’, and ‘Act More Energetic“.

Gretchen’s style is warm and engaging. The Happiness Project includes an overview of research into happiness and well-being.

Selected quotes from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project:

“The most effective way to judge whether a particular course of action will make you happy in the future is to ask people who are following that course of action right now if they’re happy and assume that you’ll feel the same way.”

“You can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything you want”.

“One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.”

“Best is good, better is best.”

“Money doesn’t buy happiness the way good health doesn’t buy happiness. When money or health is a problem, you think of little else; when it’s not a problem, you don’t think much about it. Both money and health contribute to happiness mostly in the negative; the lack of them brings much more unhappiness than possessing them brings happiness.”

You hit a goal, but keep a resolution. “Run a marathon” makes a good goal. It’s specific, easy to measure success, and once you’ve done it, you’ve done it. “Sing in the morning” and “Exercise better” are better cast as resolutions. You won’t wake up one day and find that you’ve achieved it. It’s something you have to resolve to do every day, forever.

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