As I’ve mentioned several times now I’ve read and loved The Happiness Project. I found the book great because it has an approach that allows it to relate to each reader. Every person reading can bring some sort of new happiness into their life.
Gretchen Rubin’s approach to her project resonated the most with me throughout the book. I know, of all the things she touched on all I take away is how she organized it. Many of the things she said in her book were enlightening, however the way she tackled small goals each month and tracked her progress is what is going to be the most applicable to my life.
I am one of those people who constantly makes resolutions. It’s almost sad how often I try to improve myself and my surroundings. I’m pretty sure I’ve been trying to eat healthy and exercise every day for the past two years. Most days are a failure in regards to those goals.
It’s in those failures I found clarity in Rubin’s approach. No person can tackle every goal all at once and succeed at each of them. Yes, this is something I already knew, but for some reason I constantly took the all at once approach.
If I had a dollar for every time I intended to go to the gym and then didn’t, I would have a lot more money in the bank than I do right now. I joined a gym and had this crazy notion that I would go every day Monday through Friday. Feel free to take a moment and laugh out loud.
It was so silly of me to have all these goals for myself and think I could accomplish them all at once. The Happiness Project has shown me I should tackle up to four a month and track my success daily. I decided to rearrange my room and bulletin board to create my goals for this month.
For my goals I am using two that were new year resolutions (one of which I was struggling with) and two new ones.
1) No soda. I have a major problem with drinking lots and lots of Coca Cola. I love it way too much. For new years Carl and I decided to quit the habit and we’ve been doing pretty well.
2) No fast food without Carl. This may sound strange but it’s a good plan. I also have a major problem with fast food. It add to my soda addiction. Because I drive around so much to all my dance classes I end up getting fast food like it’s going out of style. If I only get fast food when Carl and I decide to have it for dinner it cuts back my intake exponentially.
3) Go to the gym twice a week. I’ve already said I fail at going to the gym. Going to the gym five days a week was just too much, especially since my gym isn’t near my house. It’s a 15-20 minute drive to the gym depending on traffic. It’s a fantastic gym with a lot of classes though. The issue with the distance is I barely can afford gas to get to work, much less the gym. With a goal of going twice a week I get a decent amount of exercise in, putting my membership to good use without using too much gas.
4) Don’t let myself get hungry. This may sound like a strange goal, but it will drastically improve everyone’s quality of life. Especially Carl’s. A fun fact about me is I turn into a tyrannosaurus rex when I’m hungry. Imagine a t-rex trying to eat a hamburger when it’s super duper hungry and that’s what I’m like. It’s shameful. So I’m gonna work to not let myself get so hungry that I become mean and moody.
I’m using a post it note for each month and a highlighter color to correspond for each goal. Each day I achieve the goal I mark the day with the appropriate highlighter. If it sounds a little OCD and crazy it’s probably because it is and I kinda am those things.
As you can see below I failed at not getting hungry yesterday. It was actually then that I decided it should be a goal. I haven’t marked today yet with my success but I succeeded at all goals, except the gym, but I am going to class tomorrow and Friday.
How do you go about achieving goals and resolutions?