Decide Now To Make 2010 a Happier Year

How to be happier.
Dec. 28 2009 6:39 AM

Decide Now To Make 2010 a Happier Year

It’s the last week of 2009, and the new year begins on Friday—a great time to make some resolutions. About forty-four percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions; there’s something about that fresh year stretching out in the future that makes it an auspicious time to attempt a change.

If you want a boost in keeping your resolutions, or you want some ideas for useful resolutions to try, please consider joining the 2010 Happiness Challenge , to make 2010 a happier year. (Many people will be glad to see 2009 fade into the past!)

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I created a sign-up sheet, so you can add your name to the pledge. It’s worth taking a minute to sign up; studies show that taking an action, like signing a pledge, will help you hold yourself accountable for your resolutions.

Each month, I’ll propose an area of life to tackle for your happiness project. Each week, I’ll suggest one or two simple, manageable resolutions to consider (in fact, you may find some of them laughably manageable -- but they all worked to boost my happiness). Of course, every happiness project is different, and I’m just throwing out some ideas. Your happiness project will look very different from mine.

Categories:
• January— Energy
• February— Love
• March— Work
• April— Money
• May— Mindfulness
• June— Order
• July— Spirit
• August— Fun
• September— Family
• October— Friends
• November— Attitude
• December— Boot Camp Perfect

A few thousand people have joined the petition already— add your name ! Make 2010 a happier year.

One thing I’ve learned from my happiness project—and it’s an uncomfortable truth—is that novelty and challenge bring happiness . In fact, the reason I started this blog was to force myself to do something novel and challenging, and it has indeed brought me huge happiness.

My latest new challenge is to do a video series. So, for the 2010 Happiness Challenge, each week I’ll be making a two-minute video, in which I talk about the proposed resolution. This feels quite novel and challenging—which is to say, I feel intimidated, frustrated and uncomfortable when I’m working on the videos.

But happiness theory predicts that with time, as I get the hang of making videos, they’ll contribute to my happiness. We’ll see! Whether or not they contribute to my happiness, I hope that the videos will help give you ideas and encouragement for your own happiness project. I'll unveil the first video on January 1.

As part of the 2010 Happiness Challenge, you can also check out the Happiness Project section on WomansDay.com. Lots of great stuff there.

Now, maybe you don’t believe that "happiness" actually exists, or you argue not that it’s possible to be "happy." Even so—do you think it’s possible to be happier ? That’s what the 2010 Challenge is meant to do. Make you a bit happier.

* I always enjoy cruising around Awake at the Wheel , Jonathan Fields's blog on "tips, strategies, and conversations at the crossroads of work, life, entrepreneurship and play."

* Tomorrow The Happiness Project officially goes on sale (!) and you can...
Pre-order ! (if you do pre-order, here’s how to get your bonus materials )
Check out the book tour info !
Read sample chapters !
Watch the one-minute book trailer !
Read about how reading the book differs from reading the blog !