One of the most important strategies of my Happiness Project has been keeping my Resolutions Chart. It provides accountability, it prompts me to review all my resolutions once a day, it gives me the gold stars I crave -- when I manage to follow my resolutions. (If you'd like to see a copy of my personal Resolutions Chart, for inspiration, just email me at email@example.com
I love reading other people's resolutions and their personal commandments, and I was very interested to read the daily decalogue of Pope John XXIII (a "decalogue" is a set of rules having authoritative weight). Pope John XXIII was pope from 1958-1963 and was known as "The Good Pope."
One aspect of the list that's worth noting is the emphasis on taking each day as it comes. This mindset is hugely helpful to me. Instead of allowing myself to become overwhelmed and discouraged by imagining how hard it would be to keep my resolutions for the rest of my life, I just take it day by day (or Bird by Bird for you Anne Lamott fans). Alcoholics Anonymous follows this same approach -- emphasizing "one day at a time" to keep a difficult change manageable.
So here are ten tips from Pope John XXIII about how to live a better life, day to day:
- Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.
I've read this decalogue several times over the years, and every time I read it, a different admonition catches my attention. Today I found myself mulling over #2: "I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself." That's a good resolution for a happiness project. It often seems as though I'd be happy if only other people would behave properly! But the truth is, the only person I can really "improve or discipline" is myself.
Which of the ten rang most true for you?
* Speaking of daily decalogues, I was thrilled to see that Abbey, of the blog Beauty and Thorns, has started her own happiness project, and I was particularly intrigued to read her excellent Ten Commandments and her twelve goals for the year.
* It's Word-of-Mouth Day, when I gently encourage (or, you might think, pester) you to spread the word about the Happiness Project. You might:
-- Forward the link to someone you think would be interested
-- Link to a post on Twitter (follow me @gretchenrubin)
-- Sign up for my free monthly newsletter (about 44,000 people get it)
-- Buy the book
-- Join the 2010 Happiness Challenge to make 2010 a happier year
-- Put a link to the blog in your Facebook status update
Thanks! I really appreciate any help. Word of mouth is the BEST.