Last July, we launched our Caregiving Happiness Project. Each month for one year, we committed to taking actions relating to one word: Plan, Replace, Space, Join, Resolve, Let Go, Quiet, Teach, Learn, Rejoice, Save, Say.
We began our project after I read “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. In her book, Rubin challenges herself to find greater happiness in her ordinary life. She chooses to make adjustments that affect her day-to-day existence in order to achieve and sustain the feeling of happiness. She does this so that when a crisis occurs (she worries about the future health of her husband), she’ll have learned the tools to stay happy.
She’s about finding happiness before the crisis.
What about after the crisis, I thought? Can a happiness project help increase happiness then? Can tools and techniques be learned after the crisis to increase happiness?
I think we found out during our first year that we can! And, it really was some small changes that can cause a greater feeling of happiness. I replaced plastic bags with canvas bags during my trips to the grocery store and am so happy I did! I joined a church in my neighborhood and now volunteer as a reader. I’m so glad I did! I had a great time resolving and ended that month so happy with the changes.
So, why end a good thing? We’re continuing into Year Two. Every month for the next year, we’ll change a habit, start a ritual, begin anew.
If you joined our Happiness Project last year and would like to continue, great! You are all set. You’ll receive an email from me tomorrow with the first word of our second year and some suggested ways to implement that word into your day.
If you would like to join us, terrific! Here’s what to do:
1. Complete a short survey. We’re measuring your happiness and whether or not your happiness affects your health (we’re measuring your health by your weight and blood pressure so be sure to have these numbers).
2. Apply a new tool, idea or behavior each month to your daily routine. Here’s our list of planned actions (not necessarily in order) for Year Two: Walk, Connect, Organize, Remove, Move, Share, Connect, Read, Write, Ask, Understand, Forgive, Create. The goal at the end of each month is to turn an effective action into a helpful habit.
3. Stick with us for 12 months. But, life happens. Just let me know if you have to withdraw.
4. Do your best because that’s all this is about: How can you be at your best during a difficult time of your life?
5. Share your experiences each month on Caregiving.com. Each month, we’ll discuss the action. We’d love for you tell us: What’s working? What’s not? If you’d like, you can keep a journal of your experiences with our happiness project.
1. A monthly email with an action, plus suggestions and resources, to take during the month. The action will serve only as a guide–you choose how to interpret and apply each action.
2. The opportunity to share this experience with a community of other family caregivers.
3. A discount (10%) off coaching services with me. You can choose to schedule a 30-minute coaching session at the discounted rate of $67.50 as often as needed throughout our project. Stuck in a month? Schedule a coaching session to get unstuck.
Questions? Feel free to email me.
Thanks for joining us!
- Your Caregiving Journey airs Wednesday (June 29) at 9 a.m. CT (10 a.m. ET, 7 a.m. PT). Kristin will tell us how she keeps her caree safe in the house so she can go outside to garden. Listen live (or download the podcast) here.
- What’s caregiving like for you? I’ll share the results of our 2011 Annual Family Caregiver Survey on Wednesday (June 29) in a webinar taking place at 11 a.m. CT (Noon ET, 9 a.m. PT). To join the webinar, just go here on June 29 at 11 a.m. CT.