Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Happiness Through Habits

Alexander Stein via Pixabay
For the second time in as many weeks, my Happiness Project Calendar has inspired a blog post. Last Thursday, on a page with the header "Happiness and Order," Gretchen shared this:
A few quick, easy habits will give you a greater feeling of order:
  • Replace lightbulbs and empty rolls of toilet paper right away. 
  • Make sure every door or drawer closes easily. 
  • Throw away pens and Magic Markers as soon as they run dry.
Easy and logical, right? But, if you're like me, there are probably myriad "little things" staring you in the face every day that you keep planning to get to, but still haven't managed to tackle. Things like tossing pens and replacing lightbulbs and toilet paper are easy -- they require only a moment, and the inconvenience created by not attending to them is much greater than the expenditure of time necessary to make things right.

It's the other stuff. The frame that needs to be re-glued because it mysteriously fell off the shelf. The stack of books you know you'll never get to the bottom of, but that you haven't made time to sort through. The bedroom ceiling that really needs to be repainted. You notice them at odd times or when you're in a hurry and, since they require more than a few minutes to fix, you put them off. Meanwhile, they keep staring at you, nagging at you, exhausting you by their mere presence. After reading last Thursday's page on my Happiness Project calendar, those nagging tasks in my house did everything but jump out at me and wrestle me to the ground.

But I still didn't do them.

Gretchen's got the right idea. Why not add a new habit to those like tossing pens and replacing lightbulbs and toilet paper? Why not tackle just one of those nagging, annoying tasks every day? Okay, maybe not repainting the bedroom ceiling, but how long will it really take to reglue that frame or sort through those books? Give it Five! might not be quite enough, but I'm pretty sure fifteen minutes will do the trick.

I think I know just where to start.

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