40Gal Bucket List

A list of life's 'to-do's' before turning 50 … our journey of gettin' stuff done

Archive for the tag “Gretchen Rubin”

Happiness at Home

One of the reasons I decided to do my very own Happiness Project was because the author, Gretchen Rubin was coming to Austin to talk about her new book Happiness at Home. So last night, I finally got to see the brains behind the mission at Book People here in Austin, TX.

I had never been to one of those bookstore events before, probably because I am not much of a reader. I wish I was, I want to be, but I’m not, and after “reading” aka listening to The Happiness Project on my iphone while commuting to and from work when I was in NYC, I embraced one of Gretchen’s Secrets of Adulthood: What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you–and vice versa (and I will add) and that is OK. I just don’t like to read; it’s not fun for me. I like to skim through books, I like to own books, especially pretty ones, and to be clear I have read many books, I just don’t like it. I like to write, I like to watch, I like to talk, but reading, well, it puts me to sleep, and I like to sleep. So, knowing that famous author or picking up that NYT bestseller is just not me; therefore, neither has been listening to authors speak at bookstores, until now.


Book People was packed with happiness hopefuls.  We got there only minutes before Gretchen Rubin came out.  She finally appeared and started chatting up.  She spoke an hour on happiness and gave some interesting tidbits on what she has learned through her studies, many of which are in her book.  She then answered questions ranging from personal (“Do your daughters read as much as you?”) to happiness specific (“How do I get my significant other’s buy-in to my Happiness Project?”) from the audience. What was clear is that everyone there was seeking the secret to happiness from the author.  Even I was curious and hopeful that she would have some magic words that would up my happiness meter.  And maybe she did, or maybe just the act of showing up, meeting friends, and opening my mind to new ways of approaching life put a smile on my face.  Either way, I left feeling … happy.

My Happiness Project

happiness project

The more I researched The Happiness Project, the more I realized I am already in the middle of my very own Happiness Project: My 40Gal Bucket List.   To me, they are very similar:  create a focus, work towards a goal, and joy follows.  The biggest difference is that The Happiness Project focuses on various areas of your life (home, marriage, money) and then create measurable action items to accomplish with the hopes that they will become a habit, where as a Bucket List is just that, a list of ‘to-do’s’ which will often be checked off never to re-visit again.  Both ‘projects’ I think are very beneficial. Obviously the Bucket List is something I cherish and it has brought me happiness, but what about the other ‘stuff’ I should to work on? Like home, marriage, money? With this said, I decided to embark on a yearlong Happiness Project to focus on various areas of my life.  As I begin to map out the year I can already see how My 40Gal Bucket List could easily be integrated into this monthly project; however, I believe The Happiness Project will bring new challenges that will enriched my life and bring me more happiness.

So we begin.  Below is the list of each month’s focus or theme for 2014.  I will not dig deep into each now, but will decide the nitty-gritty when I am approaching that month. Each month’s focus will have various measurable goals which I will work on daily to meet.  I have and will continue to use the books:  The Happiness Project and Happier in the Home by Gretchen Rubin, as well as her blog: http://gretchenrubin.com/ to guide me through the process.  I am excited about where My Happiness Project will lead me … let the journey begin!

  • January: Time & Energy
  • February: Love & Marriage
  • March: Work & Passion
  • April:  Play & Leisure
  • May:  Family Near & Far
  • June:  Spirituality & Eternity
  • July:  Friends & Friendship
  • August:  Self Design
  • September:  Home & Neighborhood
  • October:  Money & Possessions
  • November:  Thanks & Gratitude
  • December:  Balance

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