one week down, a lifetime to go

written by alison

Seven days into project “make yourself happy” & I’m thrilled with the results. Each day I am more productive, creative and relaxed. None of those things were what I thought I’d gain with this¬†experiment, but I welcome them.

What did I expect?

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t have any expectations. Just a goal – more joy in everyday life. It’s not the first time that I’ve set a goal without expectations. (Can someone say triathlon or quitting my day job?) I’m positive it won’t be the last.

So what can you gain by giving yourself 20 minutes of happiness? Whatever you want. But that’s the trick, you have to want it.

If you don’t want it enough to spend a handful of minutes taking care of you, try putting a pen in your mouth. The act of forcing a smile on your face has been scientifically proven to improve your mood. Don’t believe me? Just ask Derek Halpern.

Using momentum.

Just like the way the simple act of smiling can impact your day, I’m going to use the acts I’ve strung together this week to impact my month. From there, they will impact my summer, then my year. The sky is the limit.

This isn’t about creating a new habit or breaking old ones. To me this is about a change in perceived self value. Self care is one of the first things to go when someone is stressed, sad, upset, etc. Keeping that at the top of my priority list shows that I am invested in my well-being.

I invite you to invest in yourself. Right now. Think of one thing that would make you smile/feel good/hold your head a little higher – then do it. It can be getting drinks with new friends, painting your toenails, reading the book you loved as a kid, playing basketball, dunking an oreo in a glass of milk. Don’t make excuses, make magic & joy happen. You won’t regret it.

Curious about what today’s moment of happiness was? Allowing my pup on the couch. It’s normally a big no-no, but rules were meant to be broken. Other moments included a mojito on a weeknight with friends, a sweaty workout, and working from my lawn chair. All relatively simple, but very beneficial.

PS – 402 words. I have no doubt I edited out at least 200 before hitting “publish” – writing was tough with a cute dog next to me.