My resolution for June was to “Eat a peach”—embrace adventure, push myself to my limits, aim higher, indulge my interests.
And a focus for “Eat a peach” is this blog. I’m technologically very backward, and when I try to monkey around in the internet world, I’m often overwhelmed with the nasty feelings of stupidity and helplessness. Nevertheless, I vowed to persist in improving my site. Recently I’ve had three successes.
The first success was managing to change my URL to www.happiness-project.com from www.happinessproject.typepad.com. That original URL was just too long, and I didn’t like having the word “typepad” there. It took me five separate “help-tickets” from Typepad support to coach me through the process, but I stuck with it.
Second, a reader emailed me to suggest that in the Wednesday Tips section of the left column, instead of listing the dates and subjects of the lists, I should make the list into links. That way readers could instantly zap their way to a particular list, instead of having to hunt it down through the archive.
I read his email with a sigh. Of course, he was right. But how to do it? It only required one day and one help-ticket to get that done.
And today, after two help-tickets, I’m inserting my first image. Like so many of these tasks, it wasn’t hard—once I knew what to do.
Anyone who knows anything is chuckling in amusement at the fact that I’m congratulating myself for such very simple tasks—but for me, they count as successes. Each time I look at the blog, I get a little jolt of satisfaction.
Making tangible progress toward a concrete goal is a great contributor to happiness, so it’s important to incorporate that into your day, whether as part of work (as in my blog upgrades), or as part of a hobby (gardening, collecting, crafts).
Your goal needs to be clearly defined, to give you the satisfaction of recognizing your progress. In fact, studies show that those who frame their goals in concrete terms are 50% more likely to feel confident that they’ll hit those goals, and 32% more likely to feel in control of their lives.
Seeing things take shape under your hand, making things better, is enormously gratifying. Even if you deem the final goal to be fairly insignificant—cleaning a closet, organizing fishing tackle, building a bird house—the boost to happiness can be quite significant.
My next goal? Figure out Technorati.