10 Ways to Happiness in 10 Minutes

Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Or so they tell me.

For me, it’s a bumpy journey I’ve been on in earnest the last couple years. Recognizing that something (joy) was missing from my life as I got bogged down in work, chores and routines, I’ve been working towards finding more moments of joy and identifying and minimizing ways I inadvertently sap my joy rather than add to it.

Change has not been easy; old habits die hard and new ones aren’t easy to grow. Through this journey, I’ve come to several realizations, which may or may not become future blog posts. For now, I want to share an idea that was shared with me recently (well, not with me directly something Tweeted out to the universe that ended up in my feed).

On Dec. 19, I saw a Tweet from Austin Kleon (@austinkleon) as follows.

(notes to myself)

1. Read old books.
2. Go for long walks.
3. Play the piano.
4. Make art with small children.
5. Watch screwball comedies.
6. Listen to soul music.
7. Write in your diary.
8. Take naps.
9. Look at the moon.
10. Make dumb lists.

The list struck me and stuck with me. The items are simple things, and I’ve discovered that I’ve not spent enough time enjoying simple things in the hectic swirl of everyday living. I started to wonder what my “notes to myself” on how to be happy would look like.

Through my wondering, I’ve created a list, and added a bit to the concept to help me apply it to my situation.  I’ve come up with 10 Ways to Happiness in 10 Minutes.

I am printing and posting this list in my home office (from where I run my writing, editing and instructional design business). My aim is to add small, quick, easy moments of happiness throughout my day, rather than trying to fit them in only if I have time at the end of the day or end of the week — which often means I don’t fit them in at all.

10 Ways to Happiness in 10 minutes 
(notes to myself)

  1. Play with the dog.
  2. Do three yoga poses.
  3. Meditate.
  4. Watch the birds in the feeder outside my window.
  5. Go outside and breathe in fresh air.
  6. Read a magazine or a book.
  7. Read or write poetry.
  8. Savour a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of wine.
  9. Colour, draw or paint.
  10. Write a journal entry or a free-writing exercise.

This is my list. What would yours include?



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