Book Review: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

7:53 PM Shannon McLeod 0 Comments

Today's post is a book review of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. If you have read some of my previous posts you will know that I have been interested in starting my own happiness project for quite some time now. I decided to read this book to see if a happiness project was something that would be worth doing as opposed to making a group of resolutions at the beginning of the year that I never succeed at completing.

To give a brief summary, Rubin came up with the idea of a happiness project while on the subway. She saw her life passing by and wasn't sure if she was as happy as she could be. She came up with eleven categories and resolutions to go in each category. One category would be the highlight of each month, and she would add January's category with February, and then January and February with March, and so forth until she had to keep up all of her resolutions in December.

If you would like more of a summary of this book, I will link the book's Amazon page here.

Do not keep reading unless you have read the book or spoilers excite you.

I loved this book from start to finish. It was jam packed with statistics and Rubin's own personal experiences. I liked that she didn't just include when things went right and she succeeded at all of her resolutions. Rubin often talked about her faults, where she would snap or resort back to her manner of having to be the smartest person in the room. She was reflective on what she needed to do differently next time the situation came up. I also like that Rubin used her blog followers comments. Rubin and readers are both able to get ideas from her blog followers that may work for us, or we're able to learn and see that each person is different. No two happiness projects will be the same. Rubin often reports this fact by saying that what works for her may not work you or me.

Before starting her project, Rubin developed her own commandments and her "secret rules of adulthood". These commandments and secrets helped her in making choices that would lead to her being happier. My favorite commandment is the first one: "Be Gretchen". This commandment helped Rubin know when to not stress over the things she would never be and when it was okay to do something she loved because it would make happy. For example, excessive note taking makes Rubin happy, so she allowed herself to do that when it would benefit her happiness project.

Something that I find different about this type of project is that the resolutions are specific and tangible. The resolution isn't to "eat healthy". Instead, Rubin makes one of her resolution to completely cut out processed food. Specific resolutions make it easier to succeed. You need to know exactly what it is you want to do. How do you eat healthier? Do you cut out processed food? Do you eat an extra serving of fruits or veggies each day? Rubin goes into detail on this point in the book. (Rubin also includes different charts at the end of the book to help readers with developing their own projects.)

I am going to keep up with Rubin's blog about her ongoing resolutions. I enjoyed this book, and I am going to develop my own happiness project. I think Rubin had the right idea that day on the subway when she wondered if she could be happier. We all can be happier, if we are willing to put the effort into making small changes that will benefit ourselves and our lives. I would rate this book 4.8/5. I will make a post in the future about how I rate books, so you know where I get my ratings from.

Let me know what you thought of The Happiness Project!


Check out my previous post here.

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