Make your bed…and other things that lead to happiness!

I’ve been listening to Oprah’s Super Soul Conversation podcasts and I find them so inspirational. I’ve gleaned some positive, interesting things from each of the episodes I’ve listened to, but I loved the one I listened to yesterday on my morning walk…..a conversation with Gretchen Rubin (click to see the whole episode, if you’re not into podcasts). Gretchen is the bestselling author of numerous books, but this talk is about her book, The Happiness Project. It’s worth reading and embarking on your own happiness project…and listening to this podcast/show….but I thought I’d share some bullet points to a happier life.

First of all, you don’t have to be unhappy to do this, sometimes we take things for granted and, even if your happy, it will help you sit up and pay attention.

  • Be Yourself…don’t try to be or do for someone else
  • Let “shit” go (she doesn’t use that word)….anger, resentment, grudges
  • ACT the way you want to FEEL…or in other words “fake it till you make it” It’s remarkable how this works!
  • Be polite & be fair…it’ll come back to you
  • Enjoy the process (of anything)…if you enjoy the process, it doesn’t necessarily matter if the outcome doesn’t go the way you planned.
  • Don’t keep score…tit for tat never works out in the end
  • There is only love…don’t live in a place of negative energy & gossip
cultivate happiness

So those are some of the ground rules. Now, here are couple more points she made that I thought were interesting and helpful.

  • Sing in the morning! I, personally, would add “dance” to that too. It just starts you day off with some positive, fun energy!
  • It’s okay to ask for help
  • Make your bed. The was-band and I never used to make our bed and I never really cared if my kids did either…unless we were having guests over. I have to say that since I’ve been single I do make my bed more, not every day, but way more. Part of it started out of necessity because my places were so small I needed some sense of calm and orderliness, but even now that I’m in my bigger house, I do love how it makes me feel when  my room looks neat, calm and serene when my bed is made. Here’s an article of some other daily rituals that make you happy.
  • Get rid of the clutter…just check out this blog post to see what I mean. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a “thing” is very sentimental and you can’t part with it…then don’t! I have the “Pizza Monday Chicken” that the kids and their friends initialed and drew on when they were growing up and it represents such great memories that I’ve kept it in all my moves and love looking at it
  • Make lists to get stuff off your mind and set aside a time each week to check off at least a few of the items on that list.
  • Lastly…you can only change yourself, so don’t try to change others.

So, 50% of people are genetically happier than others (I think that’s definitely where I get my innate positive outlook), 10-20% is circumstances like health, age, etc… BUT that leaves 30-40% room for you to determine the extent of your happiness through conscious thoughts and deeds.

You can purchase the book on Gretchen’s website…and she also has journals, calendars and other tools to get your own happiness project started!

When will you begin?!

…..and I just love this! Watch it!

The subject of happiness make me happier!! I love writing about it and spreading happiness! You deserve it in your life and it’s not that far out of your reach if you take the time to work at it.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!


  1. J – This post makes me happy as I believe I am fortunate (grateful too) as being happy does come easy to me. Keep spreading cheers of happiness and positive thinking. My fave; •There is only love…don’t live in a place of negative energy & gossip. Since I work in an all male environment, anyone coming to my office with negative energy, I ask them ‘politely’ to please leave – it’s so toxic I feel it – yuck. Happiness will keep us young AND I have always made my bed, just saying! DMC xoxox

  2. I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin a few years ago, and I still think of her tip to “do it if it takes less than a minute” all of the time. When it comes to making the bed, emptying the dishwasher, wiping down the countertops, I find that just doing it right then when I’m thinking about it makes me feel so much better than coming home to clutter or having to deal with it later in the day. It does make happier to have a tidy place!

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