100+ Things That Make Me Happy

March 10, 2010

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon an idea to create a list of 100 Things That Make You Happy.  I started the list, then let it languish.

Last year when I was scared to death about the endometrial cancer stuff I found it again, and this time I completed it.

Why? What’s the benefit of such a list?

The reason the list of 100+ Things That Make You Happy is a good idea is that it puts emphasis on pleasure, enjoyment & happiness in life.  Once you list things that make you happy, when you need to de-stress or recharge your batteries, you have a list of things that you can do that make you feel better.  Some things on your list might require planning and organization (climbing a mountain) but some might be just lighting a candle or making a cup of tea.

Focus on the Positive

Doing those 100+ Things That Make You Happy puts a focus on the positive aspects of your life.  Plenty of other things in your life might be tough, but there are still moments of peace and happiness that you can extract.

A great synergy for weight loss

Having this list can give you ideas of treats and rewards for yourself that you can use as you work on losing weight.  If you’re really lucky and have hit Dieting Nirvana anywhere it can even include items that are BOTH relaxing AND contributing to your weight goals (a walk in the park, a gym session, a great salad, etc).

Ok, I see the point.  How do I do it?

Getting started is easy – just you and your ideas, on the back of an envelope, or even better as a blog post.  Whatever works for you.

If you’re like me, you won’t get to 100 in one go – I think I managed about 20 ideas right away, then it slowed down a lot.

I actually found it really hard – I mean, it was easy to find about 40 things, but getting to 100 required really thinking about it and adding to that list from time to time.  I worked on it off and on for quite some time, and now that list is pretty much complete – although as I post my list here (in groups of 10) I’m challenging myself to add at least one new item for each set of 10. My personal goal is to get well above 100, and I’m actually starting from less than 100, because as I re-read my list I found 2 duplicates (tea & dark chocolate!) and a couple of other ideas that are too similar to really count as separate entries.

As I started mine, I found it helpful to think about different aspects of my life :

  • Different roles I play (wife, job, friend, etc)
  • Daily activities & routines (shower, lotion, etc)
  • Recreational Activities
  • Personal Activities
  • Favorite Pastimes
  • Projects

A couple of other pointers :

I exclude Money because in fact Money doesn’t buy happiness & it’s too easy for us to cop out of the things that DO make us happy by imagining money as a magical solution.

I had thought about excluding food but that’s just not realistic.  I eat 3-5 times a day, and if I don’t use some of that time to make myself happy I might as well just eat gruel.  On the other hand, I don’t believe my happiness is tied to my diet, and one of my key weight loss tips is to eat a diet that you actually enjoy, so I think happiness and food can be compatible.  The truth is dark chocolate, berries & Mexican food really DO add happiness to my life.

There is no wrong way to do this – it’s about making a list that is relevant to YOU. Here’s a blog post someone wrote recently that elaborates more on the topic.

This is an excellent exercise to remind ourselves what things in life should be valued the most, no matter how small. No matter how you start, I hope you enjoy the process!  I’ll be putting my list on a new page on my blog as I build it.

I hope you’ll join in doing this with us – I intend to post 10 items once a week, so this will go on for quite a while.  Jump in whenever you want to — on your own blog or posting in the comments!

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