Nov 1, 2016

Happiness Project Month 3: Self Actualization (and Social Updates)

My social month was such a blast!  I expected it to be a lot more draining than it was (especially with how introverted I measured last time I took the Briggs-Meyers test) but I think my first couple of social successes rocketed me back to extrovert land and I mostly reveled in it (with a few small sanity breaks).

Month 2 Update: Social.


I had 3, I said them maybe half the time, I'm not convinced saying them did much, BUT I feel like they helped set the tone for the month so I'll keep doing them for now.


These... well I forgot about them, to put it bluntly (notice the lack of check marks).  I'm much better at to do lists than resolutions, which I'm keeping in mind for next month.
  1. Avoid Gossip - Newp.  I mean, it's easy when you're not around people but there was definitely a time or two that I indulged and one weird one where I didn't like the gossip that was happening but I didn't know how to handle it or what to say so I just let it happen.  I'm still a little embarrassed by my passivity in that one but hopefully thinking about it will help me be prepared for next time.
  2. Read Friend Books - I tried!  But MFW Seeking BFF turned out to be too bad to be palatable and then I didn't pick up The DUFF in time and they returned it to its original library.  :'(
  3. Compliment Someone - Um, I mean... I did a couple times but I didn't go out of my way to do this.  I actually remember complimenting someone's hair and then getting annoyed when, instead of just saying thank you, she had to turn around and say why my hair was amazing.  Thanks, but just accept the damn compliment!
  4. Empathize Instead of Judging - Meh.
  5. Say Yes to Favors - My only real opportunity to do this was helping Melisandre with the kid sleepover at the very beginning of the month, but I did offer to help someone unpack boxes, and to host a legit book swap after people didn't like the idea of the FB chain one.

To Do

1. Commit to 1 social event per week - Check!  I rocked this.  I think I had one week with only 1 social event and the rest were 3-5.  (5 in one week!)
2. Have a conversation or spend time with each friend I have - Check!  A conveniently timed wedding and our Halloween party made this quite simple, but I also spent time with a few people outside those 2 circles.
3. Reach out to one new potential friend - Check!  We brunched like a couple of champs and then she was awesome enough to invite me to another outing with some other friends (other graphic designers!!!)

Other Stuff

I found a Meetup group that I really, really like.  They do a lot of classes, but not only was the class awesome (it was social media, which was excellent timing for me learning to market my business) the other students were friendly.  The second event was pretty good too, with more small-talk and I just so happened to meet the organizer for a local WordPress meetup, which you can bet I'm joining!  So tons of leads for people to commune with.

I'm also really enjoying the FB groups I joined.  Yes, they're for business, but they're so friendly and chatty and it's nice to be able to talk business with other interested parties (as opposed to Ryan's encouraging but empty smile and, "Uh huh, uh huh, huh...").

Month 3 Goals: Self Actualization

Originally I was planning on making this be my "finally finish that book" month but now... I don't know.  I'm feeling less inspired by it (according to Elizabeth Gilbert, my idea has probably floated away to find someone else who will actualize it).  So I think I'm going to make this the month of finishing up personal projects, focusing on 3 main areas: 1) Photos/Memorabilia 2) Passive Income 3) The Book.


  1. I am well-rounded and pursue hobbies in addition to my work
  2. When it's important, I stick to goals and get them done
  3. When it's not, I am able to let go


  1. 15 minutes a day devoted to one of these projects

To Do

  1. Sort and purge old photos (digital and physical)
  2. Decide on a system for memory keeping (research website for photo printing and make a schedule for adding/updating scrapbook) and start
  3. Choose a passive income project (probably website templates) and make a step-by-step plan for getting them created
  4. Set up Etsy or another ecommerce shop and profit!
  5. Take a good, long think on the book idea.  If it's really still worth doing, make a plan, otherwise, let it go.

Keeping it light on the resolutions because I really want to focus on getting projects completed and mapped out for the future.  I'm basically decluttering, but it's the mental kind.  Just a couple fewer things I have to devote brain power to in the upcoming year.

What activities would you consider self actualizing?  Got any ongoing goals or mental clutter?

Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design


  1. You rocked your social month! I love the idea of that. I have been trying to keep some affirmations every day as well. I don't say them everyday but I do find I feel better about myself when I do. I really need to check into Meetup groups. They sound like a lot of fun!

  2. I enjoyed The Happiness Project but honestly I feel like I get more from your posts than I did from the book. Maybe because I can relate better to you. :) Regardless, I'm so glad you're seeing results!

    1. Oh ha. That makes me really happy to hear, so thank you! I think different things resonate with everyone, because I know other people who pulled completely different lessons and ideas out of the book than I did. And it's actually really interesting to see how the same book can impact people differently.

  3. Look at you checking things off! It is hard to avoid gossip sometimes but I figure if I am not starting it then it doesn't hurt to listen to it every now and then lol. I love that you found a group to meet up with! I need to find something like that near me!

  4. I find I am way better at empathizing instead of judging now that I have a kid. I want to set a good example for her so I really try to pay attention to my judginess more than before.

  5. I love your Happiness Project posts and I am really inspired to set up my own, but I think I will do it in the year of 2017. I've started planning some great "months" but my brain just feels too scattered around time time of year. So I might do one in December and then jump right in. I love how organized you are about all of it (like Gretchen was too!) and how you can really measure your progress that way. This social month was a great one!! I could totally work on gossiping less...especially now that I have a 5 year old who is a little sponge ;)

  6. i love these posts, so interesting and i really want to do something like this for myself. i've heard bad things about MFW Seeking BF lol but i loved the DUFF! I want to do some sort of meetup group thing. i wish i had like, 2 or 3 more friends you know? or maybe just 1 or 2. i love affirmations, they really helped me in previous phases of my life, and i don't exactly have certain ones i say all the time, but that's kind of my mindset if that makes sense.. like in general... i affirm myself a lot. hahaha. this is not making any sense.
    i try super hard not to gossip, especially at work. i do have one friend and we 'vent' to each other a lot. i guess i think of gossiping as super malicious and i just try and keep it to things that i would have no problem saying to the person that i am talking about, though i do try and not do it.. but sometimes you gotta vent. being passive around it though is such an awful feeling. been there. i don't know what to say or how to stop it and i feel like i was the one starting it or keeping it going by being passive about it.


Talk to me! I'm friendly. I won't bite.

P.S. If you use Blogger and you want to get email replies to your comments, use your blogger profile instead of Google+ and make sure the box is checked next to "show my email address."