To give 2015 a healthy kick start, I downloaded Gretchen Rubin’s #thehappinessproject to audible. In it, she talks about the commandments she designed and experimented with to feel happiness and to get the most from her life. I signed up to her emails list…

The first task I was sent was to come up with 12 commandments to live by, so here they are!

This for me is the pivotal point of my life and the only of my twelve which is in order (scrub that, this and the next one). It’s the way I choose to live my life, my focus and ultimately with all else stripped away, all that I need for happiness. Yet He has designed us with individual personalities which include other elements that add to my happiness. He is my cornerstone though, what they all rest on. Today is an example, I can have the foulest of months, and yet in the midst, find him in worship and be lifted, even if the joy is founded through tears. It’s not empty, and he will never turn his back or let me down. He knows me, and it is Him who has helped me discover what makes me happy.

I realised early on in the thought process that one key indicator of my happiness was energy and wellbeing. When I focus on my health: from my teeth and general cleanliness to eating and exercising well, even resting, sleeping and laughing, then I feel happy.

I have had the opportunity to travel to parts of the world that leave me to realise how bad things aren’t for me. I always want them to change me and then they do for a while but then life swings back into the norm, I complain and I grumble. Yet in everyday life, I have so much.  I want to practice being more thankful. I also am so thankful for the people I have in my life. Last week, at a funeral, I realised one thing about my friend was she loved to tell people what they meant to her, she wasn’t just thankful, she showed thankfulness. I want to be that person; and I know that gratitude, grows me, makes me nicer to be around and makes me smile.

I heard this in a conversation once, it quickly became a mantra I long to fill my life with. The idea is this: to find gold, you have to wade through mud, sift it and often are unsuccessful, but when you find it, it’s worth it. And when you find it, you show it off to others. The same is with people, it’s worth looking through the mud to find the gold, and when you do, show others what you have found.

As I thought about this, I began to read up about honour. Honouring people, creating friendships, pulling the gold out of people, not accentuating muck. Danny Silk defines honour as “the practice of calling out the best in one another”. This is something I want to become a pro in! Because I don’t just want a happy life for me but a happy atmosphere around me.

Reading last year’s journal, I realised I have got into a thought pattern which says “this will not succeed, this will fail, that wasn’t good”.  God is changing my heart, to instead believe (and fight to believe) for victory and providence. So I made it a commandment.

Mum had this at her funeral, but I remember her reading it to me long before. You can find various versions of it but here is one keep an eternal perspective, believing and expecting for more in this life.

At first, these two were separate. Yet I believe if I loved people, truly loved them, I would forgive quickly. I have had time recently to contemplate how I would like my life to be reflected by those who know me when I leave this earth. That I loved others and forgave quickly is high on the list. I want to be shaped by this principle.

I believe everyone is creative, not necessarily artistic, but creative. I love creating recipes, songs, letters, poems, stories… I want to make more time for it because I believe it’s something put in my to bring release in people’s lives.

My mum was so organised she had even written her own message to her if she were to die before us. In her message she left us with one thing, to be courageous. To have courage. I want to do courageous things!

This one is especially for my friend Paul. I believe in the power of words, I don’t believe we can set an atmosphere an impression, even in ourselves just by the things we declare. I apologise way too much. I don’t mean when I should apologise, I don’t want to be rude. I mean apologising for being me, the way my mind works, they things I say. It declares unhappiness and it declares over myself that I am in the wrong. No more!

When I was younger one of the things people said a lot was that I made friends really easily. I don’t anymore, mainly, I don’t try. I avoid networking at events, I shy away from new things, essentially I act like a wallflower, but that’s not me! Also, life is just too short for drama. I’d rather have friends than enemies – so I choose to make friends!

I need to stop wasting time on the things that don’t matter, and do some of the things I want to do!

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