Paleo, Primal, and Gluten-Free Recipes

September Happiness Project Summary

September Happiness Project Summary

I am the type of person that likes to set goals, but without collecting data I have trouble determining if I am sticking with my goals. That’s why maintaining Happiness Projects actually do keep me happy: I can see all that I have accomplished.  

Just as a reminder my my goals and the results!:

Read for pleasure for 30 minutes

I managed definitely read more books than I have in previous months, which added to my happiness more than I planned. I read:

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

I really wanted to love this book and method, but removing items based on whether they “spark joy” did not resonate with me. It wasn’t quite practical enough. Ironically, I decluttered this book! I hope that it went to someone who found it to make more sense.

It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh

I loved this book! I had been wanting to declutter for a while, not that I had a lot (or so I thought). After I moved to my current apartment in March, I didn’t have a lot of time to put things in order since I was also working. But I had jam packed closets and bookshelves and papers that needed sorting. 

Not only did I get to read more books this month, but got my decluttering well on the way to being finished! I got rid of old papers from my file, books, binders, clothes, dvds, and kitchenware. I recycled two trash bags of papers, sent a full bag to Thred Up (an online consignment shop), and six bags to Goodwill. 

I also organized sectors of my apartment into distinct groups, as the book recommends. 

I definitely feel a greater sense of openness in my apartment and feel more relaxed because it’s easier to find things. 

Kitchenware, cookbooks, and clothes were the hardest things for me to part with. I have come to realize I like kitchen gadgets that can do multiple tasks rather than one specific job. I have friends that can take some of my cookbooks, so I’m glad to pass them on to people who will enjoy them. I also learned what I like in a cookbook: endless recipes with no pictures are not my thing (with the exception of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, of course).

I have yet to declutter my makeup, which I have not been looking forward to because I love makeup! But much of the summer I wear very little since I sweat it off in the vineyard, I never re-apply my makeup during the day because I simply forget, and it makes me happy to open the drawer of my vintage writing desk and see all those colors! I have greatly decreased my makeup purchase to the essentials, which was easier than I thought it would be.

In addition, I have the goal to purchase better quality makeup, and want to purchase from Beauty Counter. Actually, I just made my first purchase and can’t wait to try my items.

I also got honest about how I live my life: I don’t go to events requiring a lot of dresses and dress clothes, most of the meals I cook are simple week night meals requiring easy recipes and your average set of kitchenware, and I seldom return to certain papers I was saving. Now I will make smarter purchases and use of my time in the future.

Decluttering is a continuing process. I followed Mark’s advice by turning my clothes hangers backwards so anything at the end of the season I will be donating. I wear about 20% of my wardrobe, 80% of the time, as he says in the book! Five days a week from May to October I am clad in Columbia pants, and t-shirt, and a plaid shirt over top. 

But I’m making a greater effort to utilize my wardrobe and come up with interesting outfit combinations. The pieces I love most are surprising to me. The wardrobe I “thought” I enjoyed wearing is not the actual wardrobe I wear! I thought I loved romantic, floral, pastel, colors but in actuality I wear quite a bit of black and darker colors.

The UltraMind Solution by Mark Hyman

This science-heavy book was surprisingly approachable. In addition, it supports the idea of letting food be thy medicine, and also using smart supplementation. You can find the UltraMind Companion Guide here, with quizzes to see areas you can improve. I love it when a book has quizzes! After you determine any supplementation needs, you use the program for six weeks, removing common allergens and harmful foods and then reassess your health. I didn’t follow the program for six week, but was curious about finding supplements I had not considered.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This is a classic that everyone should read! It doesn’t hurt to keep other people’s needs in mind and stop focusing on our own. 

Quiet by Susan Caine

I had no idea this book would mention Dale Carnegie’s work, but it was so perfect that I happened to read them back-to-back! 

I have known for a long time that I’m an introvert.

Considering the “extrovert bias,” where society favors extroverts, no wonder so many people feel “not good enough.”

I have come to see a beauty in the qualities that make me “me.”

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, I highly recommend you read this book so you can better appreciate the good qualities of yourself and those around you (a little less than half of the population is introverted)!

Gratitude practice: Find something beautiful in my environment
-journal it, photograph it

I ended up writing a blurb most days of the week of just whatever came to mind.  It’s kind of funny how often pumpkin spice things, butter, bacon, cheese, and sleep came up on my list…

Photography class 

I completed a whole topic within the course work!

-use the Headspace app

I mediated 27 days of the month for a total of 2 hours at an average duration of 5 minutes!

I love this app! Each recording has just enough of a prompt to pull you back when your mind wanders, but not so many that it’s annoying. 

Meditating didn’t just help me when I was meditating, but I also found myself tapping into my breath a lot more when I felt overwhelmed.

“Three to Thrive”
-visualize 3 tasks as already completed. Feel it in my emotions.

I know that this technique is key to Tony Robbins’ day, but I personally found starting the day with my Planner Pad was more practical because it was more concrete…my thoughts tended to wander when I did this activity and my tasks didn’t seem solidified in my mind.

20 minutes of exercise every day
-could be as simple as a walk in my neighborhood, my shoulder physical therapy, or any form of strength training or cardio

I worked out 17 times in the month. Much of the exercises I counted was field work instead of going to the gym, because it was pretty physically demanding. 

Have a salad

I had salads 13 day in the course of the month, which you can check out on Instagram!

I felt really motivated to change my diet this month. My intuition was telling me to cut sugar and carbs, so I started adhering to ketogenic macros. So far, no weight loss but I don’t feel the desire to snack which is awesome. Plus the food is delicious. 

Watch a documentary

Hahaha…no. This didn’t happen. I just wasn’t feeling it!

I also wanted to stop watching Netflix. I listened to a lot more podcasts, but since I live alone missed TV shows a lot more than I thought. So I decided to couple them with tasks that I didn’t enjoy! Snow White says “whistle while you work.” I say, watch Netfix…

-paint my nails, put on a face mask, anything that makes me feel adored

I felt way too tired to do the self-care stuff that I wanted to do. But I managed to paint my nails a couple times and use my Alba Papaya Enzyme mask a few times.

I also bought myself some lovely flowers!

Otherwise this one was kind of a womp womp. Might have to return to this goal in the future.

I hope you enjoyed the results of my Happiness Project! Stay tuned October 2nd for my new goals for the month!


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