Your Happiness Project: Do Something EVERY DAY.

I’m working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone’s project will look different, but it’s the rare person who can’t benefit. Join in — no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday’s post will help you think about your own happiness project.

A few days ago, I observed that it’s often easier for me to do something every day than to do it some days. I post to my blog six days a week. I take notes every day. I write in my one-sentence journal every day. Many people have told me that they find it easier to exercise when they exercise every day.

If I try to do something four days a week, I spend a lot of time arguing with myself about whether today is the day, or tomorrow, or the next day; did the week start on Sunday or Monday; etc.

If you do something every day, you tend to fall into a routine, and routine has a bad reputation. It’s true that novelty and challenge bring happiness, and that people who break their routines, try new things, and go new places are happier, but I think that some routine activities also bring happiness. The pleasure of doing the same thing, in the same way, every day, shouldn’t be overlooked. By re-framing, you can find happiness in activities like doing dishes or sweeping the floor, as well as your beloved morning coffee-and-newspaper.

The things you do every day take on a certain beauty, and provide a kind of invisible architecture to daily life.

Funnily enough, two geniuses whom I associate with the idea of the unconventional wrote about the power of doing something every day.

Andy Warhol wrote, “Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it’s exciting, and if you do it every day it’s exciting. But if you do it, say, twice or just almost every day, it’s not good any more.”

Gertrude Stein made a related point: “Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful.”

So if there’s something that you wish you did more regularly, try doing it every day; if you do something every day, revel in it.

This morning, a friend sent me the link to The Glow Movie – engaging insights and interviews with fourteen prominent women about overcoming difficulties and finding happiness. I just watched the entire trailer.

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Other posts you might be interested in . . .

  • The way I bring happiness into my everyday grind is that I try to be meditative the whole time I’m doing something. It’s difficult, especially in the beginning but after a while, I’m much more focused.

  • Elisabeth Widstrand

    There are lots of interesting things in this site – however it is much too “crowded”- I find something that interests me and I click on it and I get a new text with lots of new click-opportunities in it and that makes me exhausted! The whole site would feel much more manageable and understandable if when you click on something it would lead to one single article or test or quote or statement or whatever you have chosen for the readers. The site and the message and we=the receivers would benefit from some simplification!

  • Terri Diffenbaugh

    I agree. I love the site as there is a lot of interesting articles, information, etc. But there is so much to click on, I can’t help but feel I am missing some links.

  • Sam

    I completely agree with this article. Before I had my son I couldn’t imagine anything more dull that being in a routine but once he arrived he made it quite clear that he needed a bit more stability. There is something so calming in following a few daily routines and I love our daily rituals that have evolved in our family. I also find that my writing inspiration comes much easier if I don’t have a few days off.

  • I absolutely believe that one must jump out of one’s comfort zone on occasion to find new sources of happiness. But, the core of happiness is to make a routine of it. I like to approach it much like a sales person should approach their goals. Set measured goals of action, keep track, and be accountable to someone. It’s amazing how the structure will work happiness into your life.

  • Laura

    I found your website about a month ago and I like all the randomness on the website – I feel like there is always something else for me to click on and explore. I am trying to let go of my control to be always organized and orderly – so instead of going through every link in a systematic way (my old self), I randomly click on something I am drawn towards and it ends up being an article that is exactly what I need to be reading at that moment or it leads me to another link (like the Zen Habits) that helps to promote my own Happiness Journey (I thought ‘project’ was too organized sounding for me).

  • Hi! Could you tell me where Gertrude Stein said that? It’s a very interesting quote! Thanks/

  • Kavita Joshi

    awesome project …I am following you now on this 🙂 thank you so much for sharing