Today is my final re-post about Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project. I’ve been reposting and updating my 2010 posts about it all week to celebrate the release of Gretchen’s new book “Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life”, which I’m looking forward to reading.
I’ve been writing about “The Happiness Project” because:
- It’s good.
- When I think about it, I feel happier.
- The more we talk, read, or write about something the more likely we are to integrate into our lives.
My positive feelings about the book come not just from what Gretchen wrote, but from what she did. Gretchen created the life she wanted. She did it by identifying her desire to change, believing she could, coming up with a plan, and taking action.
Change takes all those steps: desire, belief, planning, and action. Picture yourself skipping down the yellow-brick road of life singing, “desire, belief, planning, and action; desire, belief, planning, and action . . .” When you add the skipping and singing, change sounds kind-of fun. Actually, anything we say while walking or skipping sounds less intimidating. Turns out, our brains are hard-wired to work particularly well when we are moving.
Gretchen noted in her book that our bodies need a minimum of 10,000 steps a day for good health. She also mentioned that this is the same number of steps we need to take to keep from gaining weight, and that science has shown that “exercise-induced brain chemicals help people think clearly.” Other studies show that seniors, who walk at least 1.5 miles a week have the least thinking impairment. And, that walking may reduce dementia!
I’ve learned that if I want to change my mind or my mood, moving my body helps. Walking, skipping, running, hopping, dancing, bending, twisting, turning, and stretching all make me feel better.
Just getting out of your chair right now can change your perspective, and maybe your life – go ahead, try it. I did, and it felt great. Change can start that simply. Afterall, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao-tzu.
Take some time this weekend to move your desire and belief into planning and action. And, remember, even something as simple as a smile can be a step in the right direction.
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