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One Little Word 2017 | HAPPY

"If you want to be happy, you have to be happy on purpose. When you wake up, you can't just wait to see what kind of day you'll have. You have to decide what kind of day you'll have."  - Joel Osteen

Since my first year with One Little Word went so well last year (you can check out my CHOOSE recap here), I definitely wanted to join in on the project again this year. Towards the end of last year, when most people were talking about finding their new words, nothing was really coming to me. After Choose came to me so clearly, I was wanting/expecting the same thing to happen again.

In the last few months, I'd started feeling really blah and slightly depressed. Not so much about things in my own life, but world events. Despite being Canadian, the US election was taking it's toll (it's outcome and just the general ugliness of the whole campaign season), the horrible atrocities taking place around the world, learning more and more about the cruelty that goes on in animal agriculture, and the damage and impact of climate change that we (humans) are contributing to. I was feeling so hopeless and so helpless. After a good couple of weeks of moping around, I realized that I needed to choose to be happy, and choose to do more myself to make this world a better place. And just like that found my word for 2017: HAPPY.

I'm still fleshing out exactly what my intentions are, and how I plan to use this word, but I'm tired of feeling sad and hopeless. I want to feel happy - for myself, and so that I can spread happiness to others.

I have a few thoughts on things I plan to do to bring HAPPY into my life:

+ Keep a 'Happiness Journal'
I'm stealing this idea from @amyteegan on Instagram, but I'm going to have a journal where I keep only happy thoughts/moments, quotes, compliments, etc. A place that I can look back on if I'm feeling down, or having a bad day, and be reminded of all the good and happy.

+ Read "The Happiness Project" and start one of my own
I probably already should have read this so I could be starting my happiness project in January, but whatev. I 'got' (bought myself) the book for Christmas, and it's next on my 'to read' list. In the meantime I've been bingeing Gretchen Rubin's Happier podcast (and loving it!), and am planning on participating in her #Happier2017 Instagram project too.

+ Evaluate all the little things in my life that are making me unhappy, and take action to correct them.
By this I'm thinking of things like too much scrolling Instagram/Facebook, checking in on forums a ridiculous amount of times throughout a day, having clutter in the house, spending money on scrapbooking supplies that aren't getting used and cluttering up my scrapbook room, further preventing me from scrapbooking. Most of these things are unhealthy habits that are going unchecked, and not directly making me unhappy... yet my mind would feel so much clearer, and I would be happier if I got them under control.

+ Make more time for doing things I like and want to do
This goes hand-in-hand with the above. By cutting out the time-wasters, I'm wanting to make more time for activities I enjoy - more reading, doing puzzles, practicing handlettering, blogging, scrapbooking, being fully present when with the boys and do more 'activities' with them (arts & crafts type stuff), spending more time doing things with Jason, instead of us sitting in two separate rooms doing separate things.

+ Take action to help make others happy
I'm not sure how I want to do this yet - besides the obvious of just being a nice and kind person and spreading happiness in everyday interactions. But on a larger level.... either by volunteering, donating (time, money), taking action to help the causes I believe in... Something to think about further.

+ Work on all the small things that will add up to being a happier person
Getting more sleep, eating better (I made big strides last year, but can still improve), smiling more, less screen time, more time with the people I love, less clutter, more being productive, more laughter. And a million other things, I'm sure. I also really want to focus on letting go of frustration and anger, or at least dealing with it more appropriately. Lately, Austen has really been getting to me. He's going through the Terrible Twos (or at least I hope that's what it is), and it certainly has been terrible. The pushing, hitting, taunting, biting, not listening (unless it benefits him)... it's been a rough go. And I've been letting my anger and frustration get the best of me and doing things I regret - a lot of yelling and giving into the craziness. We've got to get that under control. As of right now, I'd say it's the main cause of any personal unhappiness.

So, a lot to do, and a lot to still ponder. These are kind of just my beginning thoughts of what I want to do with my word. Once I do this month's prompt* I'll probably have some more concrete thoughts and actions to take. But I'm feeling happy (pun intended) with these beginning steps, and looking forward to seeing what this year - and word - brings!

*One Little Word is an annual project and workshop designed by Ali Edwards. The project asks you to bring a single word into your life, and use that word to focus on, to live with, to investigate, to write about, to craft with, and to reflect upon as you go about daily life. Learn more about it here.

Do you have a word you're focusing on this year?


  1. Nicole - so much of what you wrote are things I've been feeling the past several months. I like your approach to "turn that frown upside down"! I'm looking forward to checking out the podcast you mentioned. And following along on your happy journey!

    Dawn (dmg314)

    1. Thanks, Dawn! Glad to have you along for the journey - hopefully it will help keep me accountable! Yes, definitely check out the podcast. It's quickly become one of my favourites. Lots of great (and easy!) tips, and interesting topics.