The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
3.5 Stars, rounded to 4
After a pretty rough year in 2013, I decided that 2014 was going to be different. I wasn't going to let my emotions and situations outside of my control get the best of me anymore. I declared that I would be happy in 2014. So I thought, what better way than to start by reading a memoir by someone who did just that, dedicated an entire year on increasing her happiness.
I had first come across this book a couple years ago at my local library. I was intrigued, but didn't feel I had the time to read it then, so I put it on my large list of books I wanted to get to someday and then promptly forgot about it. I was reminded of it later, when I saw the e-book on sale at Barnes & Noble. I knew this wasn't a book I wanted to forget about again, so I purchased. It still sat there in my queue for several months, but at least seeing it in the list insured that I really would read it.
While it wasn't anything ground-breaking, I'm glad I did. The book is broken up by months, each one dedicated to a resolution geared towards improving happiness - energy, play, attitude, money, etc. Each resolution had smaller goals within them, nag less, go to sleep earlier, make new friends, be polite. The books is packed with quotes by philosophers, scientists, psychologists, and memoirists. This is all fairly standard stuff, and yet I found it inspiring. It made me think of what I want to accomplish this year in a more concrete fashion than "I will be happy." It makes me want to create an action plan, and while my own happiness project will be distinctly my own, this book has proved to be a great place from which to start.