I’m currently listening to a great Audible book called The Happiness Project and although I’ll be honest, it’s a little difficult to get into a first, Gretchen Rubin, the author, explains a really simple way of bringing more happiness into your life. Are you ready for this ground-breaking piece of wisdom?
Make a list of things that make you truly happy. Make another list of things in your life that don’t make you truly happy. Work on ways in which to cut down the second list so you have more time to work on the first.
Pretty obvious right?
It sounds obvious, but how often do you find yourself doing something you’d much prefer not to, just because you feel like you should, or you don’t want to let someone down, or you’re scared you’ll be judged if you don’t. I know I do.
In the book Gretchen picks 12 aspects of her life that increase her happiness levels – one for each month of the year if you like – and every month she works on one particular area to try and lead a happier and more fulfilled life.
There’s definitely been an overarching theme to 2017 for me personally, and that’s becoming a much happier person within myself. I think finding myself in my thirties and excepting who I was and what I’d become was a turning point, but like everyone, there are still areas of my life which I need to work on to become even more content. I spend too much time worrying about what other people think. I agree to go to events and then spend the lead up feeling anxious and not really wanting to go. I’ve let too much sugar slip back into my diet. I will happily spend £20 on crap in Asda but say no when I start to consider getting a cleaner because I despise the weekly clean so much.
Today, however, I wanted to share with you five parts of my life which currently make me happy and that I really want to schedule the time to do more of.
Things That Make Me Happy
Being Creative – photography, blogging, styling, writing and designing are all aspects of my life that make me truly happy. I was a creative child, went to a performing arts school, moved on to art college before going to university to study journalism. But I want to increase this so in October I’m treating myself to a photography course for my birthday to really master my Olympus Pen E-PL7. I’m also in the middle of a little secret project ready for launch in November which I’m really excited about.
Spending Time With Friends & Family – August was a great month for me because I finally got my weekends back after cutting down my hours at work to be able to blog through the week. Spending time with the friends I love has been good for my soul, and I’ve made much more of an effort to speak to them on an almost daily basis – even those who live on the other side of the world in Australia. Sometimes life can become so busy, we forget to invest time in our friendships, but life would be a much duller place without those people around so follow this simple rule and you’ll be instantly happier. Make. The. Time. That’s also true of family – trust me, the day will come when you wish you’d spent more time together so just do it. Invite them over for dinner. Go to the park with your niece or nephew. Stop saying yes to dates with friends or family that drain you. Make memories with the right people.
Going on dates – OK, so I have slightly mixed feelings about this one but I wanted to include it anyway as it’s something I’m making a conscious effort to work on from now on. When you have a shit date, then there’s no coming back from that. But when you go on an amazing one and instantly hit it off with that person, it’s such a great feeling. It’s basically all you want to talk about the next day at work, and you do the standard “oh my god, this guy is sooooo lush *insert eggplant emoji” text in the toilet to your best friend. I don’t date anymore. I’ve become super lazy in the love department and I’m well aware I need to shake it off, come out of my comfort zone and make an effort with guys. Not every date is going to be horrific. I hope. So that’s what I’m going to do. Yes. Yes, I am.
Discovering New Places – When I have something nice to wear and when I’m feeling good about myself, I like nothing better than going out with friends for a mojito or food – hello, new potential places to meet said dates above. But, for the last couple of months, I’ve put social plans aside because saving money had to come first (screw you massive car insurance bill). From now on though, I’ve made the decision to specifically budget money so I can make plans at least once a week – let’s call it the “find Vickie a husband fund”. It doesn’t always have to be an expensive outing either – I’m determined to find new free places to visit in and around Leeds so if you have any ideas hit me up in the comments below. I also want to travel more, whether that be abroad or to new cities in the UK, and I’m happy to say I’m already living by that rule by booking a random trip to Ibiza tomorrow and heading over to Dublin with my girlfriends in November. I’m hoping 2018 brings many more travel opportunities.
Treating Myself Right – I think the main ingredient of feeling truly happy is being comfortable in your own skin. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve started to let old habits slip back in and not take care of my body as much as I should be doing. We all know that when we eat the right things and fill our bodies with endorphins from exercise we feel like we could basically take over the world. And that’s how I want to feel again. I want to feel how Caroline Flack does when she struts into that Love Island Villa – if you watched it, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Out with the crap and in with the vegetables and yoga people.
I didn’t want this to be one of those cheesy Happy Lists, but more of a “what I’m going to work on” kind of posts. What’s the one thing you want to work on to become a happier person? Time management? Body confidence? Moving from a bad job, apartment or relationship? Let me know below because I’m pretty sure at one point or another I’ve felt the same.