After such a strong reader response to this piece on a quick way to be happier, it was clear that the practice from The Happiness Project resonated. The comments were a great indicator that you guys loved hearing about happiness, and are also working on ways to get happier yourself. So today, I have another idea that I’m borrowing from the book, and am thrilled to share!
This is another practice that I did while reading the book, and to this day (5-6 years later), I still revert to these personal commandments often. They’ve made a lasting impression on me and I truly believe they lead me to living a happier life.
The practice is called Personal Commandments, and the gist is that you write out 12 guidelines for yourself. These commandments should be unique to you, specific but not so specific that you can’t apply in many situations, and they can be fluid—change them when needed.
The idea is that by having these commandments that you live your life by, they’ll be a roadmap of sorts to feeling happy. They’ll lead you to better decisions and can be a constant reminder whenever you’re feeling lost when it comes to happiness. They aren’t tasks, like exercise, but instead “overarching principles”. Ready to make yours?
If you need help getting started, below are Gretchen Rubin’s—the author of The Happiness Project— followed by some that I’ve curated from my list and this blog post of hers. But remember, these should be relatable to YOU and the steps that’ll push you to feeling your best, happiest self.
- Be Gretchen.
- Let it go.
- Act the way I want to feel.
- Do it now.
- Be polite and be fair.
- Enjoy the process.
- Spend out.
- Identify the problem.
- Lighten up.
- Do what ought to be done.
- No calculation.
- There is only love.
Other commandments: Do you. Be the bigger person. Make a decision and move on. Don’t apologize unless you need to. Let relationships go. Introduce yourself. Be lenient. Say yes. Say no.
Would love to hear yours!
I actually didn’t like The Happiness Project much – I feel like I’m the only one, though. But I do like some of these points, like being polite and fair. We should always be kind no matter what!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Great post, thanks for sharing, i love your blog
The Pink Pineapple
I’ll definitely get writing down my 12 commandments for myself too, i’d love to make them in a cute graphic that i can keep on my desk to remind myself!
Abigail Alice x
Loved this exercise! Here’s my list:
Do it now, not later.
Make a decision and stick to it.
Let the past go.
Do what makes YOU happy, not what you think will make someone else happy.
Appreciate the little things.
Say no when you really don’t want to do something.
Only say “sorry” when you actually mean it.
Listen more, talk less.
Value your (and other’s) time.
Stay true to you.
P.S. I need to read this book ASAP. All of your challenges from it have been so inspiring!
Nice post hun! 🙂
This is such a great post!
These are so great! ‘Do it now’ is a great one I’ve been trying to use for the past month and it’s helped me accomplish the small goals I’ve set for myself like running in the early am before work, keeping my home tidy/organized and not leaving things for later.
Thanks for sharing!
Lightening up and no calculations are on my list to work on!
Love this! I have implemented let relationship one in the last six months and it was hard at first, but honestly has been so therapeutic.
I love the idea of having a mini set of commandments to guide you. Definitely checking out the happiness project after this
Oh, this sounds really interesting and worth trying it. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this little piece of happiness.
Have a nice day,
This is actually such a great idea, and a great exercice! I love it, I’ll definitely be sitting down very soon to actually give this a good think and write down my own 12 commandments
These are awesome! I love hearing motivational things that makes us happier and be better! Great list!