When I am looking for a new book to read, I usually turn to the long list of fiction I have tracked on Goodreads (an amazing website for tracking what you read and want to read and reading other's reviews). However, last summer I saw a book at Anthropologie that caught my eye and led me down an unusual path as far as my reading preferences are concerned. The book was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
Gretchen advocates for making small changes in your daily life that can have a huge impact on your overall happiness and outlook on life. Gretchen's website is full of resources that you can utilize as well, including a Happiness Project Toolbox, and she sends a daily email with a "Moment of Happiness". I haven't utilized any of the additional resources, but I found the book to be incredibly thought-provoking and Gretchen's approach to making positive changes in your life really resonated with me. Her approach focuses on goal-setting, resolutions and making lists, all of which resonate with my Type A personality.
Last fall my husband and I moved from Boston to Denver, in large part due to a desire to improve our lifestyle and be happier. I remember one of the Happiness Project e-mails made it seem as though Gretchen was reading my mind. She interviewed Richard Florida, an economic development expert, who said he felt there were three "happiness killers": "doing work you do not love and are not passionate about, surrounding yourself with people who you do not really like (someone who just fills time), and living somewhere that does not let you be you." At the time, I felt that both the first and last of the three "happiness killers" were directly applicable to me and really confirmed that moving to a new city and finding a new job were the right move for us.
Even if you aren't looking to make a life change, The Happiness Project is an interesting read and might help you with problem-solving in areas of your life other than happiness. On a similar note, a good friend recently sent me this link to an article entitled "20 questions that could change your life" that reminded me of the Happiness Project. Check it out!