When the new year kicked in, I made some New Year's Resolutions . . . and shared them through a Ten on Tuesday blog post. The resolutions I wrote are not so much about doing things; they are much more about living my life.
My challenge, now, is . . . how to keep those resolutions!
This year, I want to be intentional and thoughtful about how I live my life. I understand that life really is limited; that I'm getting older; that time waits for no one. I know how easy it is to get caught up in the "sturm und drang" of everyday life. And I know that my life is really, really good . . . just as it is.
I know I have enough.
But, still. I feel this need to tweak my life. Not to change it, mind you. But to heighten my awareness of - and appreciation for - what's already there.
I picked up The Happiness Project, a book by writer Gretchen Rubin that chronicles her year-long adventure of inviting more happiness into her life. As I began reading in January, Gretchen's voice reached out and grabbed me. . .
"I didn't want to reject my life. I wanted to change my life withough changing my life, by finding more happiness in my own kitchen. I knew I wouldn't discover happiness in a faraway place or in unusual circumstances; it was right here, right now." (page 12; hardback edition)
I decided to launch my own Happiness Project during 2012. It fits nicely with my One Little Word project, actually, and it's a great way for me to keep connected to my earlier resolutions. I like the challenge of thinking about happiness in the context of my everyday life, and creating the space to invite more happiness into that same everyday life.
When Gretchen Rubin began her own Happiness Project, she first developed her own "overarching principles" (she called them her "Twelve Commandments") and "life lessons learned" (her "Secrets of Adulthood") to provide a framework for her year's work.
I already do this for myself in my journaling -- slightly different thought process, but very similar concept. So I enjoyed spending a couple of weeks in January developing my own lists; my own framework for my project ahead.
As I launch my own Happiness Project, allow me to share my own "overarching principles" and "life lessons learned":
My "Everyday Mantras" (words to live by, everyday):
- Love is all you need.
- I have enough.
- Pack lightly.
- Celebrate the ordinary.
- Just start.
- Let it be.
- Dance through life.
- Take delight.
- Practice kindness.
- Make it work.
- Color outside the lines.
My "Secrets of the Universe" (things I've learned to be true):
- There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.
- If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
- Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right.
- Take time to smell the roses.
- Eat an elephant one bite at a time.
- Tomorrow is another day.
- Apologize when you need to - and sometimes, even when you don't need to.
- Take responsibility for your actions; own your words.
- Not everyone thinks like you, and that's fine.
- Some people ARE jerks.
- You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Generally, it's not rocket science.
- Garbage in, garbage out.
- If you didn't wear it this year, you'll likely not wear it next year.
- Always verify your sources.
- Keep your head up.
- You'll never know what worse luck your bad luck saved you from.
- Good manners count.
- Flossing really does make a difference.
- There are many paths to the top of the mountain.
- You can lead a horse to water, but you can't do fuck-all if he wants to piss in it.
It was really interesting to spend some time thinking about these two lists -- a very grounding exercise that will serve me well as I strive to keep my resolutions.
What about you? I challenge you to think about your own "personal framework." What are your "overarching principles" for life? What life lessons have you learned over the years?