Tag Archives: The Happiness Project

Am I achieving a little more happiness?


Okay … so it’s been about a week since I posted about the Happiness Project, a book I found truly inspirational. I think I read it just at that time in my life when I needed to. I guess I haven’t been totally dedicated to making the changes in my life immediately but I have made some changes which are going well. I know I can’t possibly achieve all I want to achieve in a week so here’s to appreciating what I have achieved (No. 17 of my goals) …

Well I can definitely say I’ve worked hard on No. 14 Be more aware of the food I eat. Try to ensure I eat at least 3 of my 5 a day. Which I fail miserably to do so now.’ and No. 4 Make my house here in Indonesia more inviting. i.e. BUY furniture. My house is ‘minimalistic’ (or empty). My sister is going to visit in March so that’s another good reason to get goin gon this .. PLUS I can go shopping!which is wonderful!

I went on a big shopping spree and bought a gas stove and rice cooker as well as bits and bobs for the house. It feels great to feel like my house is finally getting sorted. I’m pretty lax in getting things organised (obviously since I’ve lived in Indonesia for over a year now and I’ve just got this sorted but I think this means I can say I’m also working towards goal No. 7 Don’t put off tasks … persist with nagging ones‘. It also means I’ve been working really hard to cook healthier food (which also means I don’t have to eat the pretty gross food in the school canteen -a total plus). I’ve sorted out fruit salads for snack time and pasta/ vegetables for lunch. I already am feeling the benefit. I feel healthier, I feel better about my eating habits. I feel happy knowing I’m making these changes and I’m motivated to keep going with it.

I was actually talking to two work colleagues today who agreed with me that buying and cooking good food makes them feel like a real adult. LOL. I guess I’ve felt I should for a long time and have known I should be eating better and looking after myself more. Now I am and I really feel good about it. I also went for an amazing massage this afternoon with my friend, Kim and it was so relaxing. After sitting on tiny chairs made for children all day and hunched over my computer doing work most evenings, a massage is good for my body and I’m definitely going to keep having them more regularly.

I’ve also been working hard on No. 9 ‘ Strengthen friendships both back home and here. I’ve been a little lazy in replying to people and keeping in touch from home and overseas. NO MORE! And I got so tired last term, I ended up not doing a lot so I’m trying to cultivate and strengthen my new friendships in Jakarta. ‘ and again it’s been great to do so. I’ve been out with Sinead, a wonderful friend who works at a Singaporean International school here and is just an amazing woman. I’ve caught up with Kerry and Darryl who are wonderful, wonderful people and also Kim, a really nice colleague and also a good friend 😀 It’s so easy to get caught up in work and just do not much after school, but I have really felt the benefit of maintaining and strengthening these friendships. This is a goal I need to definitely keep up with and it’s also one I am again motivated to do so because I know the benefit is worth it.

No. 6 ‘Exercise more regularly. Increase my stamina. Get back to Muay Thai. Gym it. ‘ is going well. I’ve been gyming it with Mel and it’s really fun going with her .. I’m easily bored and going to the gym by myself is honestly depressing. I find it hard enough to pound the treadmill anyway but with no conversation, no music, only the sound of my bored feet working furiously to keep up a pace, I’m beyond it. Nope, you definitely need a friend to gym with. I’m so impressed with Mel’s motivation. She goes rain or shine and she really helps keep me motivated. Sometimes, I’m exhausted but then I get a text from Mel and I think, ‘Go on then!’. I’ve also reorganised my Indonesian lesson so I can get back to Muay Thai with Rick. Looking forward to it. Watching my video of my fight really made me remember just how much I love Martial Arts and ow much I enjoyed Muay Thai when I was going last term.

I haven’t really gotten much more sleep and it’s affecting me already. Being tired in the morning and having to rev up the energy and enthusiasm working with 4 year olds is hard. Its not good. I know this is a goal I need to keep trying to improve on. I just find it hard to wind down in the evenings. I am at school so early in the morning and it’s a very long day and I definitely feel the need for some serious chill out time in the evenings. Still, having gone through my goals in My Personal Happiness Project reminds me of the successes I’ve had already and has helped remind me of things I still need to work on. Having set the goals has already helped me resolve to make changes.

Am I a little happier? I guess that’s hard to judge. It was a long week back last week and I’ve had to cover members of my team which meant even harder days. I didn’t do much at the weekend which I always find frustrating. But, having reflected on what I have achieved, I can honestly say the changes I’ve made are impacting on my life … in positive ways. Having reflected has given me strength and resolve to keep up the good work I’m doing and make changes in my life that I haven’t yet really done but want to do.

I can definitely say my kids in class bring a smile to my face every day and remind me of the simple pleasures and discoveries which as adults we forget about in the stress of being a grown up. Seeing their excitement in observing (and touching sneakily!) the snails I brought in made me appreciate the wonder of life for them and that just because we are adults, we shouldn’t forget these things. Seeing their enjoyment in reading the ‘secret password’ each day and the pure excitement in realising there’s a new word to read when they arrive at school makes me grateful to work with such curious and genuinely interested learners. Seeing them running towards me and hugging me reminds me of unconditional love that I am lucky to receive.

Just before I go, I want to mention how happy my sister’s achievements in the past few weeks has made me. Carla is an amazing woman, such a lovely person and unfortunately I think the grind of life has worn her down a bit of late. However, she has really motivated herself to work hard on her goals including applying for Nursing and her driving test as well as booking flights to come see me and more of the amazing world we live in. I am so very proud of what she is doing. I love you Carla!

What makes you happy guys? What changes could you make in your life? Would you make any?

Till next time … Kiels x


The Happiness Project – I am inspired!


Okay, apologies for the length of time between the last post and this one, we had our Christmas Holidays and I was all over the place and without decent internet connection. I will post all about my holidays shortly but firstly wanted to talk about this amazing book I read during my holidays!

It’s called ‘The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin. I’d actually seen this in bookshops here in Indonesia and debated whether to buy it but without being able to take off the plastic cover, I couldn’t flick through it and I am one of those people who need to do this to figure out if a book is for me.

I saw it again in a bookshop in the Gili Islands and having flicked through it, I convinced myself this book could be okay. After beginning it, I realised this book is AMAZING! I am genuinely inspired. So I guess a quick summary of it would be that a woman decides although she is happy, she’s not appreciating her life enough. She decides to create resolutions for each month of the year such as ‘get more sleep’, ‘stop nagging’, ‘stop expecting praise and recognition’, ‘laugh more’, ‘start the day singing’ and ‘clean out my closet’. Each month she has 4 resolutions and every month she adds her 4 new resolutions to her previous. Gretchin Rubin writes very well with really thoughtful and insightful comments and it really made me consider the things I could be doing in my life to make each day a little happier.

There’s actually a great website about it … http://www.happiness-project.com/ which I’m fairly sure started out life as a blog … that was one of her resolutions .. on there is some great great links and all kinds of cool articles that I’ve started going through and I’m sure it’ll provide me with tons of interesting reads over the next few months.

SO I’ve totally been inspired and I created a LONG list of  things I’d like to do in these next few months. Not sure how I’ll organise them yet, it’s been a bit hectic returning from holiday and straight back into the swing of things at school but I’ll list them here as I’m sure having then in digital cyberspace will help ‘cement them’ into reality and help me stick to them once I begin.

Okay so the long list goes something like this.

1. Rather aptly, Begin my Happiness project with a little research and lots of thinking!

2. Get more sleep. I don’t want to be as tired this term as I was last term. Getting up at 5.45am means I cannot be getting to bed at midnight anymore!

3. Sort out my clothes/ wardrobe. I have a ridiculous amount of clothes (and half I don’t like or they don’t even fit anymore)

4. Make my house here in Indonesia more inviting. i.e. BUY furniture. My house is ‘minimalistic’ (or empty). My sister is going to visit in March so that’s another good reason to get goin gon this .. PLUS I can go shopping!!

5. Personal Growth  – in this blog, in my Indonesian language lessons (which tailed off rather by the end of the extremely tiring last term) and Cooking (which is currently at total beginner level … I don’t even have a gas stove here, I literally have nothing to cook with, that’s how much I cook!)

6. Exercise more regularly. Increase my stamina. Get back to Muay Thai. Gym it.

7. Don’t put off tasks … persist with nagging ones, if I can do a task in 1 minute, do it now!

8. Try to stop gossiping so much. As much as I love it it’s pretty mean and not worth it. I’d like to try to give this up.

9. Strengthen friendships both back home and here. I’ve been a little lazy in replying to people and keeping in touch from home and overseas. NO MORE! And I got so tired last term, I ended up not doing a lot so I’m trying to cultivate and strengthen my new friendships in Jakarta.

10. Work on my novel. It’s pretty sci fi and pretty cool and I’m pretty convinced I have a good idea. I’ve written a good initial draft but need to review and revise. Exciting stuff.

11. Cut people slack. I’m pretty impatient. I expect things pretty much immediately and I need to start giving people time and cut them slack if things aren’t as I want.

12. Show love to those who deserve it more often. Explanatory.

13. Embrace opportunities. I live in Asia. I have the chance to do cool and new, exciting things. I will motivate myself to try to take advantage of these more often rather than work all the time!

14. Be more aware of the food I eat. Try to ensure I eat at least 3 of my 5 a day. Which I fail miserably to do so now.

15. Don’t do things just because I feel I should. I don’t really like alcohol and when I do drink, it’s embarrassing. I am coming to accept I’ll never be a person who enjoys a glass of wine with dinner. I just don’t like it. That’s me. I’m picky about food, especially meat so I’m not going to force myself to eat food just because I feel I should and that I’m being too picky. Why eat food I don’t like?

16. Be wiser with my money. Investment plan started. Check. Debts being paid off. Check. Frivolous spending … um … guess I didn’t really need that gorgeous BATIK shirt I bought at the airport yesterday. Hmm, this one could be tricky to keep up.

17. Take pride in my achievements. I’ve come through a lot to be where I am today. I have an amazing job. I live in Indonesia, Asia. I graduated with a first class honours degree in a subject I love. I am successful in my job and I learn everyday in my job as a kindergarten teacher. Remember the journey and take time to remember the successes in my life 😀

18. Be more grateful for what I have. Living here gives me that opportunity every day. Remember how lucky I am to be blessed with such wonderful family, friends, career and life.

19. Join groups. I don’t know what yet but I’m gonna expand my social scene more here in Jakarta. If anybody has any ideas of groups in Jakarta I could join, please comment and I’ll try to get to them. It’s hard to meet people beyond school here in the suburbs of BSD, Jakarta and joining sporting groups/ activities will help me do this.

20. Only fight battles that are worth fighting. I’ve been lucky enough to have some wise words of advice at times I’ve needed them here in my job and it’s been worthwhile remembering that not every battle is worth fighting.

21. Read more. I love reading. I read ridiculously quickly. I savour books. I will not however read books anymore that I don’t enjoy. I will use the library more to find good books.

22. Smile and laugh more. A positive attitude leads to positive results 😀

23. Don’t dwell on the past. Simple.

24. Spend less time browsing the internet needlessly. This links to getting more sleep! I’m up doing nothing for hours each night just to turn my mind off school and work which lasts well into each evening.

25. Be Kielly. Be proud of who I am and celebrate my individuality!

I’m so excited about beginning this and seeing how all of these little changes will help me. I’m thinking of starting a happiness project at school so watch this space. I’ll update more and tell you how it’s going soon.

Over and out. X