Kicking off our Happiness Project (Pt 2)


Booking under: Nicole

As the New Year approached, we often came across articles and tips on what we can do to achieve new goals and track our progress in 2016. Not too surprisingly, the most commonly seen resolutions are usually related to having a healthy and vibrant lifestyle, which are along the lines of the first chapter “January: Boost Energy” found in Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. In the New Year, I will set my sights on achieving some specific, measurable and time-based goals to restore vital energy and clear the cutter in my daily life. Here are my actions from two out of the five categories that Gretchen has written about.

1. Go To Sleep Earlier


I do make my bed every morning.

People who know me would agree that I am not a night owl and usually try to avoid pulling an all-nighter in most circumstances. But like many people, I treat night time as my valuable personal time to unwind after a long day of work and I tend to do as many things as I can in one night. After dinner, I spend my time working out, catching up on the news, reading, texting, answering emails and scrolling (sometimes aimlessly) through social media, only to find the clock strikes midnight without knowing it. Then the next morning I would hit the snooze button roughly two times before I am ready to start a new day. 

Yes, staying up late means losing sleep. 

To correct this, I will adopt the “Early to bed, Early to rise” notion by going to bed before 12am and waking up the first time the alarm rings. As suggested by Gretchen, I will try “[not to] do any work that requires alert thinking [near bedtime]” and turn off all widgets by midnight so that I can completely rest my mind and body and quietly drift off to sleep. By doing so, I hope to ensure that I do not put off bedtime in favor of other activities and have at least eight hours of comfortable sleep every day. 

So friends, if I do not reply your text messages after 12am, you should know that I am living up to my resolution and I will reply you the next morning , when I will stop hitting the snooze button and develop the discipline of getting up as soon as the alarm clock goes off the first time. This routine will prepare me to rise early, feel energized and ease into the day. 

2. Exercise Better


Perfect to run across the Brooklyn Bridge. More perfect if they wear Nike.

As Gretchen correctly pointed out, “there’s a staggering amount of evidence to show that exercise is good for you”. And there’s no better evidence than seeing the positive results of regular exercise on your mind and body. I care about fitness and wellness. I exercise regularly and am satisfied by my exercise intensity level. But why am I still pushing boundary in this aspect? 

The rationale is simple: I am not aiming to exercise more but better.

During some weekday evenings, I usually work out and do trainings such as planking and light dumbbell exercises. During some other weekday evenings, I would go running or jogging. During weekends, Keith and I like to go hiking, biking or simply walking from one district to another. The frequency of my exercise is sufficient; however, the exercise duration on weekdays is not consistent enough. To gain maximum benefits from exercise and maintain the regularity and consistency, I will do 30-minute strength training and 45-minute cardio workout 3 times a week respectively

During daytime on a workday, I spend most of the time sitting in front of my laptop except mobilizing myself to the pantry or conference room and taking the stairs to another floor. Hence, I will challenge myself to go for a 20-minute brisk lunch hour walk outdoor 3 times a week. A gentle lunchtime stroll will be helpful to “trigger the body’s relaxation response and reduce stress”. Walking outside for some fresh air and sunshine will help me sustain concentration and energy levels throughout the day. Of course, this action will depend on work schedule and weather but at the same time I will ensure work does not completely derail me from achieving this goal. 

Summing Up

summing up

I try to be realistic and do not expect these resolutions will make a radical change to my life at this moment. Rather, I believe taking baby steps will motivate me to achieve my goals. Before I forget, let me quickly capture my four committed actions to boost my energy level:

  1. Go To Sleep Earlier
  • Going to bed before 12am
  • Waking up the first time the alarm rings
  1. Exercise Better
  • 30-minute strength training and 45-minute cardio workout 3 times a week respectively

  • Go for a 20-minute brisk lunch hour walk outdoor 3 times a week

Keith will report back on how he has been committing to his actions next week. Stay tuned! In the meantime, if you have any thoughts about our sharing on The Happiness Project, feel free to drop us a note at We are excited to hear from you! 


4 thoughts on “Kicking off our Happiness Project (Pt 2)

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