Jan 302014


The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Harper (October 25, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062105248
ISBN-13: 978-0062105240

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.

This book has a lot of reviews under 3 stars, but I don’t really care about the fact that the author isn’t poor or has nannies. I only care about how she went about creating order in her life. She is brutally honest, and while I agree with some of the reviewers that she does seem to brag about herself at times, she is also very open about her faults. She tells that she found it hard while trying to be nice to her husband for a week. People got all upset by this. Why? Have you ever tried to be nothing but nice and loving to your husband for a whole week? Let me tell you, it’s hard. They tend to get on your nerves from time to time, and I’m sure they’d say the same about us.

Some of the sections I found interesting were Remember Love, Make Time For Friends, Boost Energy. My favorite though was Toss, Restore, Organize. I’ve been working on that the last few weeks, and while it’s not my favorite thing to do, it sure makes you feel better once a project is finished.

At the back of the book are some tips:
√ 9 Tips to stick to a schedule of regular exercise
7 Tips for being a more light hearted person
9 Tips to get your sweetheart to do chores without nagging
√ 7 Tips for coping with the fact that you don’t remember a person’s name
√ 7 Tips for getting an energy boost in the next 10 minutes
7 Tips for how money can buy you happiness
√ 9 Tips for keeping your resolutions
7  Tips for making someone like you

I’ve checked the ones I plan on using.

While I didn’t agree with everything the author said, I really liked this book, and don’t understand all the negative comments. Maybe those who wrote them need to work on the tip “7 Tips for being a more lighthearted person”.

I think this would be a great book for anyone wanting to not only organize their closets and pantry, but to improve their fitness, relationships and thinking.

This was book three of the four books I read for the New Year’s Resolution Reading Challenge, hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

 Posted by at 12:26 AM

  2 Responses to “The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin”

  1. I’m glad you got something out of it! The tips lists aren’t in the hardback version that I got at the library, but Gretchen has a lot of things like that on her blog.

  2. I bought this for a gift for my cousin but she was sort of noncommital when I asked her about it. I need to read it for myself, I think.

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