Exercise inspiration from Gretchen Rubin

gretchen-quote-3I’m currently reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project, so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’ve managed to garner some solid wisdom about exercising from her book. 🙂

Actually  I got so enthused that I even created an inspirational graphic out of one of her nine tips for becoming a regular exerciser. I found the tips at the end of the book.

There are nine of them, but my favorites are the following tips.

#3 Don’t Link Exercise to Weight Loss. Exercise for sanity, not vanity.

#4 Give yourself credit for the smallest effort.

But I also like the tip number #1: Always exercise on Mondays. If you don’t start your week with exercise, there is a fair chance you aren’t going to exercise at all or very little. I know I had the tendency to postpone my exercise sessions if I thought I had something more important to do. Then it would be Sunday and I had gotten no exercise at all.


I  love Gretchen’s book. I fell in love with her when she wrote “My idea of fun has always been to lie in bed reading. “ I’m always happy when I hear I’m not the only one who likes ”boring stuff” like that. 🙂

Not surprisingly, I’ve also started thinking about my own happiness project. I already have a ton of ideas of what I could focus on every month. One of the focus areas would of course be physical well-being, but I think it would be even more important for me to work on areas of my life that presumably have nothing to do with fitness and weight loss. Except I suspect they have everything to do with my inability to shed my body weight.

Question: Have you read Gretchen’s book? What would the focus of of your own happiness project?


  1. Hi Satu! I’m glad you’re thinking about making a happiness plan. I did read the book, *after* I had made my own happiness plan long before the book came out. I did mine out of necessity because I was not being happy without a happiness plan.

    I focused on having many fun little events each day: 1) listening to favorite songs; 2) a favorite t.v. show on that night; 3) a favorite treat in mid-afternoon; 4) walking Keebler; 5) Check out a few blogs; 6) a computer game; etc… just little fun things throughout the day. I actually put my fun things on my to-do list with all of my non-fun things. But the non-fun things make a person happy too. I often feel very happy after getting done with office work that I think really matters. Housework that gets done makes me happy too. And I love grocery shopping. So if a person has something to look forward to, it’s hard not to be happy. 😀

    • Satu says:

      Hi Marion! I love the fact that the items on your plan are so small and concrete, which means they are also very actionable. And I agree that getting housework done is very happiness inducing for some reason! 🙂

      Your plan actually reminds me of one of my earlier posts that I wrote about exercise as a source of small happiness boosts.

  2. I love Gretchen as well although I don’t have her book. But I love the notion of exercising to feel good.

    As you know I LOVED (love love LOVED) Zumba and dance classes at my old gym but since my move I’m really struggling. I blame laziness but… as I’m enjoying yoga I’m finding I’m more than happy to go there twice weekly and there’s no apathy. It makes me realise I’m just getting nothing out of the Zumba class other than that it’s exercise and I’m only doing it cos I think I SHOULD.

    I so much prefer walking (or wandering) and just absorbing the world around me. In fact, if I could be an early-morning walker I think I’d be contented with that as my cardio exercise… as I’d be doing it as something I enjoy and I’d love starting the day like that (like the ‘exercise on a Sunday’ thing).


    • Satu says:

      Hi Deb! I think that walking is seriously under-appreciated as a form of physical activity. I would probably go bonkers if I wasn’t taking daily walks. I think walking is so soothing because it’s so repetitive.

      And I never think of my walks as a form of exercise.

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