The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
This is a great book to get on target with some of the things you want to accomplish. Great for someone who is trying to make new resolutions to de-clutter their closets and life. Much great information on how to strengthen relationships too. She does a lot of research and includes interesting studies.
Partial review by Cym Lowell:
Gretchen Rubin realized that despite having a seemingly “perfect” life she was not as happy as she should be. Blessed with a kind and loving husband, two beautiful daughters ages 7 and 1, and a law degree, she knew that she appeared to have it all but was discontented. She had left the law for working full time as a writer because she loved to write, but started wondering why she wasn’t happier.
I had everything I could possibly want –yet I was failing to appreciate it. Bogged down in petty complaints and passing crises, weary of struggling with my own nature, I too often failed to comprehend the splendor of what I had.She also realized that “I wasn’t as happy as I could be, and my life wasn’t going to change unless I made it change.”
So Rubin started “The Happiness Project”, because she was trying to find a way to make herself happier and find out what is important to her. She not only wanted to make herself happier, but those around her as well.
She de-cluttered her closets, ate better and exercised more, slept more, tried to stop nagging her husband and children, and decided to not only be a better friend, but to keep making new friends. She drew up charts, and came up with her own solutions to her problems (including The Four Splendid Truths), and shared these solutions on her blog. She sang in the mornings and collected bluebird figurines.
She also tried not to always expect others to appreciate her efforts, because she always expects “gold stars”. This was one of the hardest things for her to do.
Many of her ideas are quite sensible. Having a clean, orderly environment is essential. Helping others and being a good friend are clearly important to true happiness. She realized “one of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy.”