Monday, October 21, 2013

Happiness Project: October Resolutions Progress Report

Philip and I decided to get serious about changing a few things around here with our version of Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project.  I wrote about it here.  Basically, we're doing small things to improve our own happiness to in turn increase the happiness of those around us.  Philip and I decided to touch base last night before bed to see where we thought we were with our October Happiness Project Resolutions.  To help hold us accountable, I thought I'd share our thoughts here. 

In case you forgot, our October Happiness Project Resolutions were:

  • Catherine, 6:00 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred level 1
  • Philip, running or elliptical 3x per week before leaving for work
  • 9:00 p.m. get ready for bed
  • Lights out at 10:00 p.m.
  • Weeknight family prayer time after bathtime before bed
  • 1 decade of the Rosary followed by bedtime prayers at the dinner table 
Let's tackle these one by one...

1.  Exercise

  • Catherine:  The 6:00 a.m. routine worked a few times, but my exhaustion got the best of me most mornings.  The combination of the "big kids" waking up at 5:30 most mornings and Harry needing at least one feeding in the middle of the night made for one tired mama.  I'm switching my routine to gain some snooze time.  My new routine:  Tuesdays and Thursdays once I get home from dropping Jane off at preschool and Saturday mornings, Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, level 1.  
  • Philip:  My sweet hubby was so supportive trying to get everyone dressed and fed in the mornings that he put himself last most days.  Unfortunately, he has a tough rotation on the docket for November, so we're still brainstorming ways that he can get his exercise in daily.  For now, Philip's goal is to run or do the elliptical 2x per week.
2.  Sleep
  • Harry has changed his feeding routine since his last pediatric visit.  (Translation:  He's low on the percentile chart and my pediatrician would like him to fatten up before his next weigh-in.  This means he's eating longer and more frequently.)  He's having his last feeding around 9/9:30.  We start getting ready for bed immediately afterward, but we should get ready for bed before I start that feeding.  We've been in bed most weeknights before 10, but we can work harder to reach that goal.  Perhaps we could try to make Harry's feeding closer to 9, make it a goal to be in bed by 9:45, and lights out by 10:30.  
3.  Faith
  • We have said 1 decade of the Rosary followed by bedtime prayers at the dinner table *almost* every night since making this resolution.  We missed a few times because of Philip's work schedule, date nights, events with extended family that kept the kids up too late, etc., but the family Rosary is definitely a habit.  On the rare nights that we missed it, the kids asked about it.  Hooray for a regular family prayer routine that is sticking!
  • Things that helped our family Rosary time be successful:  
    • Routine
    • Low lighting and candles (with the promise that each child can blow out a candle at the end if they do a good job praying) 
    • Rosaries with cord and plastic beads for the kiddos
    • Picking battles and accepting baby steps toward reverence
    • Family Prayer Binder (stored on top of the fridge) with all necessary materials
    • Laminating & displaying an image of the mystery of the Rosary that we are praying on a stand (flanked by the lit candles)
Our family prayer binder that holds our materials
Our prayer binder tabs & pockets with prayer materials
One of our laminated images we display while praying the Rosary
  • Here are few photos from our family Rosary time:

Baby steps toward reverence...  Saints in the making, right?
So, overall, I'd say we're doing well.  We can improve each area, but we are making strides in the right direction.  Our Happiness Project is off to a great start, and we already have ideas for our November resolutions.  

Do you have any suggestions for a future resolution?  What's something you're doing to boost your own happiness & the happiness of others?  


  1. Just requested that book from my local library! Can't wait to get started! :)

    1. So, have you gotten it? I have a tendency to binge read when I find something like this that I love! Thanks for posting on here because I had abandoned Our Happiness Project in the midst of the PPD. I suppose getting to healing was enough of a resolution. Perhaps I'll pick it up again in February because I really liked having the monthly resolutions!

  2. No, still waiting for it to come in - but I have a stack of books on my nightstand already so just as well. Wish there was a way to quickly read everything, there's never enough time! Good luck on getting back into your resolutions :) I'm thinking my first resolution might be no screen time after 9pm so I can concentrate on reading before bed instead!