My happiness project

A girl dives high into the pool

I’m going to dive head first into my project

Ta-da. My happiness project begins today, September 1st 2013. I intend my project to last at least 12 months because I think that I need plenty of time to make any significant improvements in my life.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, check Gretchen Rubin’s blog at

I got Gretchen’s definition of a happiness project in her second book, Happier at Home:



I like the way Gretchen defines her happiness project as an approach to the practice of everyday life.

I wouldn’t mind spending my time  traveling like Elizabeth Gilbert, but first a) I can’t afford to go traveling b) I doubt my life would be much improved just by traveling. I would just take my sour-minded, killjoy alter ego wherever I would go. So I will start with my life the way it is at the moment.

I don’t have a full-blown road plan for my happiness project in place.

I fully intend to throw myself into it without much forward planning. I don’t even want to plan that much, because I think I would start entertaining all kinds of doubts about it – because I already have. Like “What if I fail” or  “It’s going to be too much work” and so on. I haven’t even finished Gretchen’s book yet and I’m already having all kinds of reservations.

Not having a full-blown plan doesn’t mean I don’t have a ton of ideas. I think there will be action points dedicated to being a better Super Aunt, working on my money mindset (ugh!), learning to be a prolific writer, polishing my sadly lacking social skills, reviving childhood hobbies, updating my style and beauty regimen, to just having plain old fashioned fun, getting physically stronger, furthering my career etc etc.

Here are my resolutions for September.

  • Tackle a distortion
  • Get relief from pain
  • Toss, restore, organize
  • Act more enthusiastic

I’ve decided that the first 3 months of my project will be dedicated to Removing the obstacles to happiness. To me it means tackling things that stand on the way of my mental and physical well-being.

That is why I have Tackle a distortion as my first resolution.

By distortions I mean common thought distortions (like mind reading, fortune telling, catastrophizing, overgeneralization, labeling, unfair comparisons, all or nothing thinking etc) that cause unnecessary unhappiness. If I don’t learn to deal with them on a daily basis, I doubt I will get far in my happiness project.

For the same reason, Get relief from pain is second on the list of my resolutions. I was virtually painless for a long time, but for many reasons pain has crept back into my life in the last couple of years. There is no bigger obstacle to being happy than constant pains and aches, so I need to tackle that too.

The third resolution is from Gretchen. I have a need for tossing, restoring and organizing and I know from my own experience that I find it very satisfying. I also want to have something very concrete to work on.

The fourth resolution is there so that I remember I don’t want to give my life over to that sour-minded  alter ego. She’s such depressing company.

BTW: I have a new motto too. I got it from Kick Ass 2 movie trailer.

Try to have some fun.
Otherwise, what’s the point?


  1. Linda says:

    I love this Satu! All four of those are great resolutions. Charles (aka Lover-boy II) and I approve! LOL Thanks for your kind comments on my blog last week btw. I will post something tomorrow. 🙂

    • Satu says:

      Thanks Linda! I’m afraid I will always think of Charles Loverboy II as a Mr Cathat because of that post of yours left such an impression 🙂

  2. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! Yay for you! Time for some serious happiness!!! Like Linda, I also love your resolutions. I wish you so much luck, challenging triumphs, and many great times of woo hoo! You can do this, and it will change your life. Out with sour-minded alter ego and in with super-hero alter ego! 😀

    “Kick ass isn’t a costume…it’s who you really are.”<<So true! And I loved that show, btw.

    😉 Marion

    • Satu says:

      Hi Marion! I loved Kick-Ass too. 🙂 After I identified that sour-minded alter ego I’ve realized what a big effect it has on my (un)happiness – it’s like a heavy gray blanket on everything. I’m really enthusiastic about my happiness project – who would’ve thought that clearing out clutter would make one so excited? 🙂

      • Marion says:

        I love(!!!) how I feel after I clean out clutter. Yes, it’s strange to think of de-cluttering as exciting, but it really is! 😀

  3. Oh Satu, how exciting… I love your phased approach and your scientific mind will bring something entirely different to the process. I’m sure I’d be all over the place.

    I can’t wait to read about what you are doing and love that you’re tackling ‘distortion’ as your first resolution!


    • Satu says:

      Hi Deb! I think tackling my thought distortions is an absolutely necessary part of my project. I doubt I could get far without it. Gretchen Rubin wrote that she was basically happy and there was nothing wrong with her life when she started her project, but I actually have lots of things to fix..

      But I intend to have fun too. And I hope I don’t exhaust my readers with science. 🙂

  4. you know i LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS and am cheering you on!!

    • Satu says:

      Thanks Carla! I’m very excited about my project too 🙂

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