"According to current research, in the determination of a person's level of happiness, genetics accounts for about 50 percent; life circumstances, such as age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, income, health, occupation, and religious affiliation, account for about 10 to 20 percent; and the remainder is a product of how a person thinks and acts." - Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project
One of my favorite books over the past decade is Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project. I return to it often, examining all the ways to increase happiness by fine-tuning various aspects of life. This is the broadest category of focus for me this year, and I believe that if each one of my focused goal categories were its own nesting box, this one would be the one that holds all of the others. It involves diet, exercise, organizing, cleaning up, cleaning out, practicing frugality, investing time in relationships, counting blessings, professional development, reading, adjusting attitudes, and a myriad of other improvement areas.
On January 1, I mentioned a system for keeping goals that has worked for me since 2013. That system is rooted in this quote from The Happiness Project: “People are more likely to make progress on goals that are broken into concrete, measurable actions, with some kind of structured accountability and positive reinforcement.” That year that I first read this book, I established goals and wrote ten of them in the NOTES section on my phone. Every few weeks, I returned to each goal and added notes about my progress underneath the goal.
I’ll share a segment of my 2013 goals when I write about my Reflection goals this coming Saturday, but this system of establishing goals and accountability has proven successful in motivating my progress in reaching goals. This year, I’ll use the last day of each month to reflect on my goals and my One Little Word for 2023: pray. One strategy as a setup for success: I’ve already scheduled the end-of-month blog dates so that I can visit the post weekly to add goal updates prior to the last day.
A few specific goals in the Self-Improvement category include continuing my weight loss journey that began on Tuesday, August 9 with Optavia. Although the week of Christmas has included a period of grace for some indulgences, I am 48 pounds lighter than I was when I began, and less than 10 pounds from the top of my goal weight range. I will reach my weight goal around the beginning of February and will begin maintenance. I will continue to give away clothes that begin looking frumpy so that I minimize the opportunities for “personal re-growth.”
At the risk of today’s post becoming too lengthy, I’ll delay sharing any more specific goals in this category and will share these on regular blog posts throughout the year. I often add shorter goals in this category, and they’re met quickly. For example, instead of setting the goal as “conduct spring cleaning,” I may claim an unforeseen snow day as a day to “clean out the upstairs closets.” Smaller steps, sometimes spontaneous, seriously sizzling = SUCCESS!
Cheers to the betterment of all of us throughout 2023!
One Reply to “Lightening the Load: My Self-Improvement Goals for 2023”
Kim, I have heard of The Happiness Project and now may have to get a copy! I know from my own experience that so much mentioned here is true, especially in the decluttering of one’s environment and mind… and CONGRATULATIONS on losing 48 pounds! amazing! I cut back last year and lost 20 – my goal – and am maintaining. My youngest has lost over 50 and looks wonderful. Does so much for the psyche. That quote is so true – we must always be striving to develop ourselves; in the end it all ties to the spirit. Also speaks to our creative nature, the feeling of accomplishment and growth – dare to believe it can be done! Lastly, your word, pray – one of the mightiest, I think. I saw a sign yesterday evening at the coffee bar in my hair salon – “Pray it forward”. I took a picture. I will write to it. Your bright, positive energy is palpable in this post, a true and much-needed infusion for your readers. Thank you for always being such an inspiration.