31 Days of Happiness Hacks

Happiness Hacks - Sunshine ParentingWelcome to 31 Days of Happiness Hacks!

This morning when I flipped to October in my calendar, I got the same satisfying feeling I get every month. I love the concept of a clean slate, a fresh start. On the first of each month, I say to myself:
• “This month, I can do something NEW!”
• “I can be a BETTER PERSON!”
• “I can keep my calendar all in the same color pen!”

I know, I’m a bit unrealistic. I probably could say something like, “Wow, you’re doing great just the way you are. Keep up the good work!” But that’s not how I roll.

I often think about how I can become one of those disciplined people who has something (besides drinking coffee) that I do EVERY SINGLE DAY. I have a lot of things I do most days, but very few things that I consistently do every day. Coffee. That’s the only thing.

My calendar has a column that says “Goals” down the right-hand side. The goal I wrote today was “Write – Make a Habit.” That’s all I put. I’ve spent years reading about how writers write, and I know that my sporadic writing habit is not what I really want for myself. That was the goal I wrote down at 6:30 am, before leaving for my son’s (too early) Saturday morning soccer game.

Scrolling through my Facebook feed on the way home from soccer, I saw a post from Jami Amerin of “Sacred Grounds, Sticky Floors” about the #write31days challenge. I had never heard of it before that moment, and I started researching Write 31 Days.

I knew I had to do this challenge. My usual writing practice is to spend a lot of time researching and drafting and editing and tweaking (yes, I have a teeny perfectionist issue – Brene Brown is helping me work on it), and for that reason, I have not published much of what I have written.

Today’s the day – it’s the first day of the challenge. I’m writing fast. Right now. And then I’m going to quickly create a graphic that will look cute (I hope). And then I’ll post this without re-reading and re-reading it.

When pondering what I want to write about for the next 31 days, I kept circling back to a topic I’ve been covering off and on for the past few years – what the heck I can do to live this one crazy, short life as well as possible.

That’s too long of a title for my series, though, so I settled on “Happiness Hacks.” The difference between this month’s writing and my “normal” writing is that I am going to make myself actually DO what I write. My challenge for the next 31 days is to practice one happiness hack and write about it every day. By the end of this month, not only will I have fulfilled my writing goal, but I will also have a better handle on my own well-being, which has been suffering a bit lately.

Today’s happiness hack is starting this 31-day challenge by writing this post. I’ve set a goal for myself and made one step towards reaching it.

Happiness Hack #1How about you? Is there something that you want to do every day this month that might make you feel happier? I’d love to hear what you are going to try, and if you share it with me, it could really help me get ideas for my 30 remaining happiness hacks! Email me or comment here if you have ideas.

This will be a month of discovery for me. Discovering what makes other people happy and what works for me. Hopefully something I write about resonates with someone else, and we all, together, can become just a little bit happier. Because while I have some challenges in my life right now, I also know that I can make little daily choices that make me feel better.

For my regular email subscribers, I’m sending you this first post, but I will not be emailing out my posts every day, because I don’t want to fill your email feed with that much of me. I’ll still be sending out my usual weekly posts via email. If you’d like to follow along and read some or all of my #write31days posts, please come back to this post or visit me on feeds on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll be sharing all the posts there.

Here’s to 31 Days of Happiness Hacks! Let’s get happier, friends!

Happiness Hacks Daily Index:
Day 1: (You are here!) Set a goal and take the first step towards reaching it.
Day 2: Run Happy
Day 3: A Clean Desk
Day 4: Volunteer
Day 5: Say “YES” to a Spontaneous Event
Day 6: Send a Card
Day 7: Gift an Experience
Day 8: Hug Your People
Day 9: Gather Around the Table
Day 10: Finish a Project
Day 11: Plan a Trip
Day 12: Wednesday Date Night
Day 13: Coffee with a Friend
Day 14: Re-Read a Favorite Book
Day 15: Laugh
Day 16: Two Minute Activities
Day 17: Walk my Dog
Day 18: Celebrate my Daughter
Day 19: Create a “Refuel” List
Day 20: Happiness 9-1-1 Playlist
Day 21: A Strong “No”
Day 22: Remembering
Day 23: Go to a Party
Day 24: Inspirational Quotes
Day 25: Two “To Do”s
Day 26: Listen to a Podcast
Day 27: Stop and Celebrate
Day 28: Finding my Lane
Day 29: Quick Get-Away
Day 30: Reading Binge
Day 31: Feeling Thankful

This post is part of my 31 Days of Happiness Hacks series for the Write 31 Days challenge.
Check back here for future posts!

 

Sunshine

I'm blessed to have five great kids (ages 13-23) call me “Mom.” As a summer camp director for the past 30 years, I've also had the privilege of working with thousands of kids, college-age counselors, and parents. I follow the latest research and trends on parenting, education, and children’s development and love to share what I learn!

16 Comments
  1. I love your ideas and intent behind this series! My main goal in participating in this year’s #write31days is to build a daily writing habit, as well. Hopefully we can encourage each other. 🙂

  2. Also, have you read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin? I really enjoyed it and think it fits well with your theme.

    1. Oh yes! Read it & loved it. Also her Better than Before (about habits) is fantastic! I’ll for sure try some of her ideas. Happy writing!

    1. Thank you, Jami. I am truly inspired by your writing style. Your humor, combined with the reality of this crazy, hard life, are awesome. You’re my sister’s favorite blogger, and that’s how I found you. 🙂

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