Quitting My Happiness Project to be Happier

Back in March, when I was still in Ireland and thus equal parts exhilerated with life and deeply depressed, I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and immediately decided to embark on my own happiness project. I mapped out ten months of goals, starting in April 2013: everything from going to bed earlier, prioritizing experiences over possessions, giving people the benefit of the doubt, initiating plans, going into nature. There were a lot of goals, and I was excited about getting started.

November is the eighth month of this project of mine, and I’m calling it quits.

Yup. I am abandoning my happiness project, and here’s why:

It’s not making me happy!

I spend a lot of time tracking my life already: my 101 in 1001 project, this blog, my gratitude journal, my one line a day journal. That’s a lot of things to keep up with. And a lot of the time, it doesn’t feel like I’m living my life so much as documenting it, and living it so it can be documented.

That’s not happiness.

I look at my goals, and how often I fail at them, how often my columns are full of more x’s than checks, and it stresses me out. It makes me feel like I am failing. It is most certainly not contributing to my happiness.

So I am throwing away my happy colored papers, filled with admirable goals, full of the shorthand of my successes and failures. I am throwing them away and I am going to focus on things in the moment, living my life by the priorities I set out, not by a handful of different goals for each month, moving on every thirty days to the next thing that is supposed to make me more happy.

The more I focus on my happiness, the less happy I feel.

So out it goes.

I’d rather live my life than constantly be analyzing it, wondering whether or not I’m happy.

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Jessica can most often be found with her nose in a book, or writing her newest short story/screenplay/novel, but she also has a passion for travel, child-care & development, psychology, feminism (and other forms of equality), and making the world a better place in general. Email Me