Want Some Tools To Boost Happiness? Try the Happiness Project Toolbox.

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.

I love visiting this blog’s companion site, the Happiness Project Toolbox – it’s fun to add to my own Inspiration Board, keep up with my own One-Sentence Journal (mine is a journal of what I’m reading), check my Lists, etc.

But I’m really addicted to the site because I love looking at what other people are writing. I can’t get enough of reading other people’s favorite quotations on the Inspiration Boards, seeing other people’s Personal Commandments, and all the rest. (To see what other people have added, you can click on the Tools listed across the top, or on the “more” running down the right side.)

Today, instead of proposing one of my resolutions for your happiness project, I gathered six of my favorite resolutions from that section of the Toolbox:

1. Proactive not reactive
2. Participate — life is not a spectator sport
3. No one notices your toe polish
4. Skip junk
5. Try a little tenderness
6. Laugh out loud each day

One of my all-time favorite resolutions from the Toolbox is “No pressure knitting.” I have never knit a stitch in my life, but that resolution gave me such a clear picture of that person and that happiness project! I laughed out loud; I know exactly what that means.

One note: we all have a limited capacity for sticking to resolutions, so I try to make sure I’m getting the biggest happiness bang for the buck. For example, I’m probably be better off using my precious resolution-energy toward going for a ten-minute walk instead of trying to drink more water.

The Toolbox has a great new feature: if you’re on Facebook, you can also post your entry to Facebook, so your friends can see what you’re up to — the resolutions you’re making, the books you’re adding to your Inspiration Board, etc. It’s a lot of fun.

What resolutions have proved most helpful in your happiness project?

* I got the BIGGEST KICK out of this Funny or Die video: the very well-known singer Jewel went in disguise to sing her own songs at a karaoke bar. It’s really worth watching.

  • I love this post. The tool box is a great image and I need it today!

    1) Self -acceptance (aging being the top of that list)


    2) Express appreciation whenever possible.

    3) Laugh many times a day, especially at myself

    4) My yoga practice (5 days a week)

    5) Breathe, really, really deeply

    6) Eat healthy foods that nourish my body and excite my palate.

  • Kerri

    Had to laugh a little at # 3 because having polished toes is something that makes me very happy. My hair might not look exactly how I wish (kind of accepted it never will), or I might still be working at losing the weight from my most recent pregnancy, but my toes will always look great. In fact, lately I’ve been wearing shoes that show off my polished toes, and I actually get a lot of compliments. Makes me happy.

  • very good information, “doing something” makes it impossible to sit around on the defensive. make life happen.

    doing a williams sonoma grilling cookbook giveway !! come enter.


  • #6 is very important – laugh out loud each day! It’s amazing what a hearty laugh can do to one’s life.

  • I’m big on #4 – skip junk . . . still learning to do that on so many levels, LOL.

    – Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)

  • Ram

    Thanks for leaving a note in my blog, Gretchen. Much appreciated. And I should be the one thanking for writing such a good book.


    (As an aside, when I click on your name from the comment you left, it doesn’t take me to your profile. That might be a small fix around permissions.)

  • Hilla

    Gretchen, I loved that Jewel video!!

    • gretchenrubin

      I know, wasn’t that SO GREAT? I loved it!

  • plasterers bristol

    Yeah i agree totally with trying to laugh out loud everyday….Polished toe nails….What’s all that aout haha

  • I am amused by #3. I have a different point of view from Kerri. Actually, now that it’s summer, and I wear sandals a lot, I fret about my toe nail polish. It seems like such a waste of time to try to maintain freshly painted nails. In no time at all, I have to repaint them as the nails grow out. It’s just one more item on my personal care routine that I have to deal with. I finally decided to take the polish off and quit fretting about it. I figure it’s just another thing women do that only other women notice.

    • Alecsgrandma2

      Doesn’t it make you feel better though, after getting a pedicure and having some bright color(s) on your toes?? Its a real pick me up just getting a new and different color every week or two! Smile and the world smiles with you! And remember, its all about attitude!

  • i am amused by the #3 too and I think it’s very true. But polish my toe nails is kind of my way of relax, think about how you do it, you are so focused on this little project yet you don’t need to think about a thing..I do that not because I enjoy showing people my freshly painted toe nails, but for the fun of painting it…

  • Burke

    I have a few “mottos” such as:
    1. life is for living
    2. never postpone pleasure
    3. do it the easy way
    4. never pass up an opportunity to be kind and
    5. never pass up an offer of kindness

  • B.B.

    I notice every woman’s toe polish! I’m a woman and it makes me a little giddy to see bright pinks, blues and greens on grown womens toes =)

  • this is a nice post 😀

    Some other things which I think makes people feel happier are:
    A good quality sleep
    Eating the right types of food
    Exercising regularly
    Being positive

  • Mercysmiles

    you never want to do a job too well or they’ll expect you to do it every time.

  • Vicky


    I am writing, beucase I love your book Happines Project. I am just 12, but your book is so interestning for me. I can’t stop reading. I will do my own happiness project. Thank you so much for that book. You are so awesome. Sorry for grammatical errors, but I am Polish and I am learning English .:)

    • gretchenrubin

      Terrific! Good luck with YOUR happiness project.