The memoir starts out with Gretchen on a bus wondering whether she is truly happy, and if so, is she as happy as she could be. She realizes that the days are long, and the years are short, so she sets out on a mission to change small things in her life in order to add more happiness to her daily life. She maps out a 12 month plan, where each month she tackled a new area of her life that could use some improvements, such as having more energy, her relationship with her husband, children, and friends, following her passion, and gaining more spirituality. In each of these specific areas she breaks them down into smaller tasks that she can track daily, using her resolutions chart. This chart works to hold herself accountable, allowing herself to see what is working, and what could use more improvement. As each month passes, she adds on the tasks of the new month, so that by the end of the year, many of the tasks have become a part of her daily life, thus bringing her more happiness.
I personally loved this book. I found her writing easy to relate to, and rather inspiring. For me, this entire year so far has been a year of transformation, with the same purpose as her happiness project, to become healthier and happier by changing my overall lifestyle. I could relate to the moments of questioning whether searching for her own happiness was selfish. I sometimes have the same questions when I take off to the gym on the weekend rather than spending more time with my boyfriend and daughter. Once I mull it over for a bit, I realize that doing things that make me happy make me more energized, and a better person for them to be around. Also, if you think long term, it will hopefully keep me around longer. 🙂
Throughout the book it is filled with scientific research, the wisdom of world philosophers, and inspirational quotes, giving a broad approach to all things pertaining to happiness. I have personally taken what was presented, and applied some of it to my life already. I now have my own version of the resolutions chart, which I call my “Accountability Chart.” On there I have personalized it to things I would like to work on to be happier. I plan to evaluate all the areas of my life, and eventually add on to the chart once the ones I have now become a habit (fyi, it takes 21 days for something to become a habit).
Here’s a link to check out my Accountability Chart: CLICK HERE
I would totally recommend this book to anyone. Whether you are happy or could use a bit more happiness in your life, there is something for everyone.
If you would like to check out her book, you can buy it here: 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