My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

50 Things That Make Me Happy

In keeping with my one post a month trend, I’m getting March out of the way today 🙂

Despite not writing my blog, I am still reading other blogs daily.  Last week I read Jill Conyers post “50 Things that make me very happy“.  I thought it was a great idea to take the time to actually think about what makes me happy.

being happy

Since my blog it called My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans, I figured I should probably actually write them down.  So, here are my 50 things, in no particular order.

  1. my husband
  2. my kids
  3. the rest of my family
  4. my friends
  5. CrossFit
  6. my cats
  7. fresh sheets on the bed
  8. Corona
  9. watching my kids play hockey
  10. Beach vacations
  11. a good burger
  12. sweet potato fries
  13. Buffalo chicken sandwiches
  14. going for walks with my husband
  15. singing in the car with my kids
  16. girls’ weekends
  17. reading
  18. going golfing
  19. Sunday dinner potlucks
  20. good hair days
  21. our March Break ski trip to Vermont
  22. Starbucks Chai Latte
  23. bonfires at the cottage
  24. nice pens
  25. fresh notebooks
  26. movie night with the family
  27. scrapbooking
  28. sleeping in
  29. being able to do new things at CrossFit
  30. date night with hubby
  31. lying on the couch watching golf on Sunday afternoons
  32. going for a massage
  33. foot rubs
  34. sitting on our front patio watching the world go by
  35. leftovers
  36. Bon Jovi concerts with my sister and friends
  37. driving with the sunroof open
  38. when my kids come give me a hug before they go to bed
  39. cooking for my family
  40. when my kids request a clean/healthy dinner
  41. when my kids put their laundry away
  42. holiday week at the cottage
  43. sitting on the dock at the cottage
  44. when my kids look at my scrapbooks
  45. getting caught up on laundry
  46. evening drives in the Miata with hubs in the summer
  47. a tall glass of diet Pepsi with ice
  48. a good night’s sleep
  49. a roaring fire on a weeknight
  50. double-unders in a WOD

It felt good to write this list. Most days, life is hectic and we can forget that really, in the big picture, things are pretty good.  I encourage you to take a few minutes and write down 50 things that make you happy.  If you do make a list, feel free to come back and link to it in the comments.  

I’d love to hear what makes you happy.

 

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Happiness Update

MHP

I’ve been officially working on my Happiness Project for a little over a week now, so I figured it was time for an update.  As I mentioned in my Happiness Project kick-off post, I started my project with two simple things:  Making my bed every day, and setting an alarm for bed.  Here’s how I’ve been doing with these daily tasks this past week.

Making my bed:  A+  I have been faithfully making my bed since I started thinking about my Happiness Project.  It is such a simple thing to do and it does make me happy to see the nicely made bed each morning as I head off for my day.  Now, I’m getting the kids involved in this one and getting them to make their beds each day too.  They really aren’t too good at this, but we’ve had a chat, and starting tomorrow, they are going to make their beds every day too. This will likely make them slightly unhappy at first, but I’m hoping that they will get the same happiness boost that I’ve been getting when I see my nicely made bed.  I’m pretty sure having them make their beds every day will also make me happier since instead of looking into their rooms and seeing a disaster area, I will be greeted by a nicely made bed.

make your bed

Setting an alarm for bed:  A+
Actually going to bed when the alarm goes off:  A
Getting my goal of 7 hours of sleep a night:  

Every night my alarm goes off.  Most nights I’ve been heading upstairs, getting ready for bed, reading a bit, and then turning the light out by 11:30, which was my goal.  The problem with getting 7 hours, is that I have been having the crappiest  sleeps!  Check out the sleep I had Tuesday night (my Fitbit calls it the sleep I got Wednesday).  I went to bed on time, got up on time, but actually got less than 6 hours of sleep with all the tossing and turning I did.  UGH.

crappy sleep
Part of the reason my sleep was so crappy Tuesday night was hubby.  He was snorting and snoring like crazy and I just couldn’t block it out.  Anyways, I had a horrible sleep and Wednesday was a rough day.  Thursday I still didn’t hit my goal of 7 hours, but i had a much better sleep (perhaps going to CrossFit and having a hockey game on the same night helped!).  Weekends are the best.  Not having to get up at 6:30am pretty much guarantees I get more than 7 hours.  I guess I need to win the lotto so I can quit my job and make every day a weekend.  Since that is not likely to happen any time soon, I need to keep trying to find a way to get at least hours of sleep EVERY night.

While I continue to work on these first two happiness tips, I am adding in a third of Gretchen Rubin’s Try This At Home Tips.  This was actually the first TTAH tip she gave in her first podcast: The One Minute Rule:

one minute

If a task can be completed in one minute, do it “without delay”.  Taking care of the little things will allow you to better deal with bigger things.  This is another tip that seems like it should be fairly easy to implement.  Anything that only takes a minute to do can’t be that bad, right?  Little things like emptying the garbage or recycling bin when they are full instead of trying to keep cramming more stuff in, hanging up a coat instead of throwing it over the back of a chair, putting things back where they belong instead of just leaving them wherever you finished with them.  I’m hoping this is another TTAH tip I can get my family involved in, since they all seem to be fans of leaving crap all over the place!  Hopefully if we all start doing this our home will be a little more tidy and organized, which will definitely make me happier!

Do you have any tips on how I can get 7 hours of sleep a night?  

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Back to the Grind

Today was the first day of school in my neck of the woods.  For me, that means back to early mornings, car pools, and heavier traffic coming into the city.  None of this really makes me happy.  To be honest, all three of these things might actually reduce my level of happiness, which it too bad, since I am working on my Happiness Project and supposed to be doing things that make me happier.

So, to combat this, I need to find a way to make those three things seem better.  Here’s what I plan to do:

Early mornings:  All summer I was sleeping in about an extra hour to an hour and a half on weekday mornings.  That was awesome and it really helped me hit my goal of 7 hours of sleep a night.  Now that the alarm is back to going off at 6:30am, to get my 7 hours, I need to be asleep by 11:30 at the latest (and even earlier would be better).  For that to happen, I probably need to start by bedtime routine by 10:45pm at the latest.  This will give me time to change, brush my teeth, etc, and give me some time to read before I actually go to sleep.  I’ve got my alarm set for 10:45, so when it goes off, I need to head upstairs and start the process.  Otherwise, I don’t have a chance of hitting my 7 hours and will likely be tired and grumpy the next day.
time for bed

Car pool:  There isn’t too much I can do about this one.  My oldest goes to school in the city and I drive him in every day.  This is not a problem at all, since his school is about 5 minutes away from my office….which is part of the reason why we chose this school when we were searching. There are a few other kids from our area who also go to the school who can’t get there on their own, so I drive them to/from school for their parents.  This is fine, however, when the other kids are in the car, my son tends to put his headphones on and listen to music and zone out or sleep for the whole drive.  When it’s just the two of us, the headphones stay off and we generally chat for the hour long drive to school.  I miss this time with him when the other kids are with us.  I’m not too sure what to do about this one yet…I will keep thinking on it.
car pool
Traffic into the city.  While there isn’t too much I can do about the volume of traffic, I have decided that at least twice a week I will make the time in the car more enjoyable by listening to one of the podcasts I follow on the drive into school.  I’m not sure what the kids will think about this, but who knows, maybe they will learn something.  The podcasts I’m listening to are all about being healthier and happier, so maybe they will find them interesting, and if not, oh well!  Who knows, maybe the podcasts will generate some conversation from my normally silent travelling companions and address item #2 above too.  Fingers crossed!
podcasts

So that’s my plan of attack to try to not let the daily grind become a happiness suck.

How do you not let things become a happiness suck?

Have any other suggestions on how I can make sure these three things don’t get to me?

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Spending Saturday on the Lake

i am writing this post as I bob around Sturgeon Lake watching my kids sail in the Sturgeon Lake Sailing Club annual Civic Regatta. 

  
It’s a perfect day for a regatta. A nice mix of sun and cloud with a decent amount of wind. 

  
Our kids are having a great time sailing with their friends and practicing their skills. 

   
 
So far three out of a possible max of 8 races have been completed. 

We will have to wait until prize giving tomorrow night to see how they did overall, but so far between their two boats they’ve gotten a couple of thirds and (if they didn’t get DQ’d for crossing the line early) maybe a second!  

Regardless of how they finish, I’m confident they will have had a great day on the water. 

Life is good!

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I’ve Discovered Podcasts!

podcasts

I think I am late to the podcast game…but better late than never!

What lead me to check out podcasts was Julie Foucher.  She is a CrossFit Games athlete who was injured during this year’s regionals (tore her Achilles) and ended her professional CrossFit career.  This was going to be her final year competing at the CrossFit Games anyways, since she is going to Med School to become a Family Physician.  Her injury put her into retirement a little earlier than planned.  I would imagine she had already planned on doing her podcast, but the injury might have made it go live sooner rather than later.  He podcast is called “Pursuing Health with Julie Foucher“.

JF Health

Julie believes that “every person has the right to basic knowledge of how to optimize their mind, body, and spirit”.  So far there have been 6 episodes (well, 7 since #2 was a 2 part episode), with most of them being with CrossFit people and she also spoke to her surgeon who fixed her Archilles.  I’ve enjoyed it so far.  She has great conversations with her guests, and always asks these 3 things:

  1. what 3 things they do on a regular basis that have the biggest impact on their health
  2. 1 thing they struggle to implement that could have an impact on their health
  3. what a healthy lifestyle looks like to them.

It’s been pretty interesting hearing what everyone says and i look forward to new episodes being added every few weeks.

The second podcast that I’ve been listening to is Harder To Kill Radio hosted by Steph Gaudreau of Stupid Easy Paleo.  .

harder to kill radi

On Harder to Kill Radio, Steph is talking to the best experts in fitness, nutrition, sleep, and mindset so you can apply their lessons to optimizing your own health and wellness.  Steph wants to give us info to make us harder to kill and be unbreakable humans.  In each episode, she asks her guests what they think is the #1 ingredient for building an unbreakable human.  The answers so far have all be different, yet all amazing.

One episode of Harder To Kill Radio, I can’t remember exactly which one, Steph’s guest mentioned a book they found helpful – The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin.  I have this book on my iPad but haven’t read it yet, but listening to whoever it was talk about it got me curious and I discovered that Gretchen Rubin actually has a podcast!  So…

The third podcast I’m listening to is Happier by Getchen Rubin.

PodcastHappierLogo

Gretchen took a year and dedicated it to becoming “happier”.  Her book – The Happiness Project – documents how she went about becoming happier.  On the podcast, she and her sister Elizabeth discuss things and habits that can make us happier.  Each week, they give a “Try This At Home” task.  I’m enjoying this podcast and plan on implementing the “try at home” tasks very soon.  (more on that in a future post)

I’m sure there are a ton of other great podcasts out there that I would enjoy and hopefully as I get more into this whole medium I will find more to add to my listening lists.

If you haven’t listened to these podcasts yet, give them a try.

Do you have any podcasts you like that I should give a listen to?

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Motivational Monday

motivational monday

Welcome to Monday!  This is a short week for me as I’m off on a girl’s golf weekend starting Thursday.  I can’t wait!  I’m hoping the next three days just fly by!

Here’s a little bit of motivation to kick off the week:

photo (3)

Be courageous!

Be happy!

HAPPY MONDAY! Smile

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Motivational Monday

Really, it’s all about being happy!

20140519-151332-54812621.jpg
Happy Monday!

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Motivational Monday

Welcome to a brand new week.
motivational monday

I spend a lot of time on my blog talking about my pursuit of “skinny jeans” and not dealing too much with the pursuit of happiness part.  Last week I had a rough week, and really wasn’t all that happy at all…and it sucked.  HUGE.

On the weekend, I made a conscious decision that I just wasn’t going to be sad about what was making me sad anymore.  Really, it just hurt too much and I didn’t want to go on feeling like that.  And I have to tell you….being happy is a LOT better!

happiness

Happy Monday!

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Motivational Monday

motivational monday

It’s Monday.  I’m not a big fan of Mondays.  Monday means the weekend is over and it’s back to the chaos of everyday life.  I’m trying to be more positive about Monday…and every other day too!

be happy

I’ve got CrossFit and ball hockey tonight…so I be good and tired when I finally get to bed tonight.

Happy Monday!

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March Blogging Challenge #1- Happiness

Hi Peeps!  How was your Tuesday?  Mine wasn’t too bad.  I am in serious countdown to vacation mode.  I even decided to take Friday off to get in vacation mode a little early, so only 2 more work days for me this week!  Wohoo!

So, Janice over at FitnessCheerleader.com is hosting a March Healthy Living/Fitness Blogger Challenge.

Fitness Cheerleader

I going to participate in the challenge in hopes that it will help me blog a bit more regularly. Janice has the topics outlined for the month so I’ve got a set topics to blog about for the next month! Also, this is a Monday/Wednesday/Friday challenge, so only 3 posts a week are required.  This sounds like it is perfect. It will get me blogging more regularly, but the 3 times a week posts seem like they will be manageable.  I guess we will see! 

All that being said, I’m already a day behind in the challenge!  Yesterday’s kick off topic was:  Today (yesterday) is National I Want You to be Happy Day – What brings happiness to your life?

I’ve actually been thinking about happiness quite a bit lately.  Things in my life have been a bit stressful lately and I’ve been a bit bummed.  So, this is perfect timing for this post. 

Obviously, my husband and kids make me happy.  They are the 3 best guys in the world. 

Aside from them, and the rest of my family and friends, here are some things that make me happy:

  1. watching my kids play hockey – I look forward to their games every week.  The games are exciting and I just love watching them.
  2. CrossFit – it is hard and always challenging, but I love it.  My hour at CrossFit is one of the toughest but best hours of my day.  I can forget about everything else that is going on in my world and just focus on the workout.  Plus it is making me fitter and stronger and that makes me very happy. 
  3. our cats – they are crazy and they make us all smile.  I actually want to come back as a cat in my next life..they have it pretty good.
  4. skiing my favourite trail Wardance at Okemo….and I will be doing just that on Sunday when we kick off our Vermont ski week. Everyone in our house is so looking forward to this trip.  This will be our 6th or 7th year going to Okemo.  We go with a big group of friends/family and it is one of the best weeks of the year. 
  5. Starbucks Chai Latte – I haven’t had one in nearly 8 weeks…ever since my Whole Life Challenge started.  I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to that first sip when we hit the drive-thru on our way out of town Saturday morning!
  6. reading – I really like reading, but until quite recently, I wasn’t taking the time to do it.  One of my 2014 goals was to read 24 books this year.  Since I set that goal, I have been reading every day.  I just finished my 9th book earlier this evening and I will start my 10th in a few minutes when I head up to bed and read for a bit before I go to sleep.

There are many other things that make me happy, but since it’s late and I need to get to bed, I’m stopping here. 

What makes you happy?

Have you heard of #100happydays?  I’m going to look into it.  It sounds kind of neat and anything that helps us be happier sounds like a good thing.

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