For Part I of this blog post, please click here.
So far, the feedback on the “time” aspect of my Happiness Project is mixed.
I started making a to-do list for multiple reasons: it efficiently helps me remember what needs to be done as well as keep track of my progress.
I do like “Gold stars” (aka mainly verbal pats on the back). A to-do list can be a useful DIY replacement. For this reason, I have been known for adding tasks I have already completed and thus receive the satisfaction of crossing them off my list. A tad peculiar, but, oh so comforting and inspiring!
My preference resides in writing my “order of the day” on small notepads. In the past, I tried keeping various lists on an electronic device (a day planner). A method which was not an effective one for me.
I don’t want to use my phone mainly because I am really not that enamored with my smartphone. I see my cell phone as a way to keep in touch with my loved ones and for them to keep in touch with me, but little more than that. I don’t want to be shackled to it.
My problem with paper to-do lists—and the reason I stopped using them—is this: they get messy looking over time. When you cross items off, some tasks get buried within the crossed-out lines. Additionally, paper lists are hard to manage for recurring tasks like water the plants, make dental appointments, etc.
My previous solution to this real problem was to maintain various lists: to-do, to-buy, to-call. A process which was cumbersome and not all that effective.
I had a dilemma.
Commandment number 7: What’s the problem?
I wished to keep a list but I wasn’t fond of electronic devices, and paper lists didn’t work for me long-term.
I decided to turn to Google and search the internet. My preference was no to have any list on my phone. However, I was willing to use my computer or laptop.
Since in general, I didn’t stick with lists, another requirement was to find a free app.
A Google search gave me various ideas.
I finally settled on an app called Todoist.
This free app has the features I wanted and seemed simple enough to use. A bonus is that I can access it from any of my devices (as of now desktop and laptop). If I am happy with the free features of this app, I can buy a membership to unlock further options.
Additionally, I found a helpful article which expounded on some of the features. The post was extremely informative and practical.
So far, this app has exceeded my expectations. I use it faithfully. Todoist has proven a fantastic way to organize my tasks. I was able to make categories for various groups of activities: errands, personal, to call, etc. I can choose to give each task a due date or not.
Todoist is simple to use. I love it.
The “Needs Improvement”
When looking at my resolution list, one can readily see Facebook is still a draw. My problem is not the getting on to take a look-see, but the staying-on to do absolutely nothing of value.
I decided to create a few rules: get on in the morning to check on my page and my notifications, post happy birthday wishes, and answer messages and then, get off. I have also told myself I will not recheck my account unless I have a minimum of ten notifications.
I do not have Facebook on my phone, so this issue is only at home.
For the most part, I have stuck to my self-made rules. A couple of times, I didn’t. One of those times, I was asked to get on to check my messages. The sad part is, I will check on occasion and thinks “drats only eight notifications” which means I cannot log on. I find this rather pathetic.
I have also decided to spread some virtual sunshine, and I post a quote every day (which makes me happy!)
More Social Media
Other social media avenues are not a big deal. I loathe Twitter where I only have a professional page which I waiver between deleting and keeping. I limit my time on Pinterest to a few minutes (less than ten) and ditto with Instagram.
Overall, I would say I am much happier being away from social media: less drama, less political posts (hallelujah), and more time!
“Wellness” is also a mixed bag this week.
When I first posted my resolutions for this month, one lady—Erin—on the support group posted she thought it was a lot to bite off in one month. I have thought about her statement a few times since. I think she was right.
In hindsight, organizing and time management would have been plenty for me to tackle in one month.
My problem is: I am spending most of my time organizing and cleaning because I get immediate results and that feels GREAT while in the meantime, I am lax with other areas of my theme.
In short, this means I am far from eating mindfully or moving as much as I planned.
The first four days of my October Happiness Project, I would just stop long enough to grab something to eat and, while my food choices were not terrible, they were not mindful nor did they contain anything green.
I have since directed my intention to eat more mindfully.
While “movement” was a more positive area than nourishment, it was still a mixed bag.
The good: I went for a daily walk as I had planned.
The bad: Once my morning walk was “in” and I had started working on my other activities, any other form of fitness went out the proverbial window.
Another hodgepodge of results although I am headed in the right direction. How is that for murky reporting?
My “rules” or shall I say guidelines were as follows: in bed by 9 and asleep by 10.
I did not go to bed by nine once and only was asleep by ten once!
However, and this is a big “however” for me, except for game night (Friday high school football), I was asleep by 10:15 every night which for me is a substantial improvement.
Night Time Prep
I always read before falling asleep. I now stick with light reading, nothing which requires deep thinking or which could be disturbing.
I will also try to lay down with my eye closed for about twenty or thirty minutes in the afternoon if I can. I will usually listen to a book or some music. This is a helpful habit especially if I feel a mid-afternoon slump.
My Happiness Project Week One Summary
Overall, while I did not meet all my goals, I am pleased and satisfied with my progress.
I am happier simply because of the sheer fact that I am more mindful, intentional, and proactive.
Moreover, my Happiness Project was not designed so that I could meet all my resolutions all of the time but instead so that I could discover what makes me happier and what doesn’t.