The Happiness Project 2017

New Year New……..?

I have a couple of hang ups around creating New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because I don’t think they are always realistic and also because I seem to forget my new found new self by about the second week of January. So when I heard about the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, I was excited to try it out.

Gretchen’s insights can be heard on her podcast, Happier, where she provides tips and very attainable goals for living a happier life. Not that ambiguous crap like be more joyful, or express gratitude. More along the lines of, count your blessings every time you take a shower, or try a new restaurant when you go out to eat. Very actionable goals that might make your day to day less stressful and your life more enjoyable. The Happiness project isn’t based on a couple of goals you make drunkly as the ball drops, instead you create a theme for each month and within that theme decide on a couple of realistic goals to accomplish.

You begin by electing a theme you want want for each month. Gretchen outlines some of the most popular options on her blog such as, Relationships, Health & Wellness, Appreciate the Present, Gratitude, Clutter, ect. The only guideline is that they must be things that really resonate with you. Once you assign a theme to each month you then set anywhere from 3 to 6 goals to accomplish with in that month.

In hearing all of this, I quickly turned to my sketch book to create a rough outline of my 2017 Happiness Project. I identified some words and actions that resonated with me and then loosely assigned them to each month. I definitely think that these will change over the year and I want to leave my self some wiggle room to make adjustments along the way. I also decided not come up with all my individual goals upfront but fill them in as I go. That way I can tailor each month to what I feel like I really need to improve or accomplish.

You also have to pick a way to keep yourself accountable. I plan on writing a post each month of how I handled my goals and if I felt they contributed to my happiness. I will also post throughout the month on instagram in attempt to do more regular checkins. Cause you know its all about the ‘gram.

So here is what I have planned so far!

Happiness Project Tracking Calendar
Happiness Project Calendar

January: HEALTH

I’m using all my motivation for the new year to start out with some of my hardest goals. #healthkick
  • Complete an Elimination Diet.  I’ve tried this in the past but I whimped out in the second phase.
  • Do not drink alcohol for the month of January (or at least the duration of the diet).
  • Exercise for no matter how small of an amount of time for 6 days a week. Whether I go to the gym or go for a long walk.

February: ADULTING

Hoping the new year motivation will trickle over to February to inspire me to do some of my most loathed tasks.
  • Open and deal with each piece of mail I get the day it gets delivered. I have a habit of opening it and ignoring it for weeks.
  • Organize my personal file folder. I have a small plastic unorganized file folder that most real adults would scoff at.
  • Find a real doctor.


I might have planned this one a little too well because I already have a flight to Costa Rica booked 😃
  • Try something active I have never done before.
  • Go on a new hike by myself.


  • Call a different person each week.
  • Give meaningful compliments the people around me.
  • Instead of saying sorry, practice saying thank you. (instead of “I’m sorry I’m always late,” say “thank you for being patient with me”)


  • Give no fucks (I tried writing, “be bold,” but it just didn’t feel right)


  • Move that thing as soon as I think about it
  • Clean out my closet
  • Clean up my computer


  • Actively try to network
  • Say YES, before I say no.


  • Detox from my phone life
  • Be aware of my posture

September: CREATIVE

  • Write a professional blog post
  • Go to a concert of a band I’ve never heard of


  • Lock down self negative thoughts
  • Dance every time I’m in a good mood



I hope this year will challenge me to look at my day to day life a little differently. Maybe with a little more purpose, maybe with a little more humility. I hope to be more aware of the impact I have on others and the impact that I could have on my larger community.  I mean I also hope to meet some really cool people and do some really fun things! If you are interested in joining me let me know how you are planning on tackling the challenge! Maybe we have some similar goals and maybe we can help each other meet our goals.

Cheers to 2017

2 Comments The Happiness Project 2017

  1. Steph January 9, 2017 at 8:31 am

    I know I said this on Instagram, but i love the words you chose – JOMO obviously being my favorite. I know it’s the 9th of January, but I’m still contemplating picking monthly goals for the year. In the meantime, I’m just focusing on my sugar detox. Happy New Year!

    1. Alex & Barton January 9, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Yes! I love the idea of JOMO. It’s seriously one of my largest struggles in life, especially since we are all addicted to social media. Thanks for reading!


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