Rachel's Reviews > The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
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Apr 07, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012
Read from March 27 to April 03, 2012

This was another book that was selected for book club. I had heard of it/seen it around, so I was looking forward to reading the book once the selection was announced.

Rubin realized one day that life was passing her by, and that she was not utilizing her time each day in a way that made her happiest. This book chronicles the year she worked on her happiness project, with each chapter outlining her progress toward each of her goals and the research she did on happiness. Rubin also highlighted which goals she enjoyed and planned to continue, and which were a fun experiment but didn't increase her happiness.

As a self-professed goal setter, I was really intrigued by the premise of this book. I also wondered if there were things I could be doing in my own life to make me happier. A great strength of this book it its opportunities to self-reflect. For example, Rubin reminds readers that things we enjoyed doing when we were kids are likely things that we would still enjoy doing as adults. It made me think about things I used to enjoy doing that I don't do anymore. I've been inspired to make time to do some of those things once again (and in fact did so earlier this week!). As a mother, Rubin discussed things she did to enhance her relationships with her daughters. While I don't plan to have kids myself, it did help me brainstorm some things I hope to do with my my nieces (and potential future nephews!) as they get older.

Since I currently set goals and work toward them, I am not sure how many of her strategies I will incorporate into my own busy life. However, for those who do not already set goals, and who are looking to find more inner happiness, I think this book will be a great start to get ideas. I perused her website after reading the book, and there are lots of resources on it to help others start happiness projects, established meet-up groups around the country where people get together to discuss their progress toward their happiness projects, etc. It's definitely a great idea, and The Happiness Project is a great way to spend some time remembering -- and exploring -- what makes us happy and working toward incorporating those things into our lives.
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