Living Gently! A 100-Day Challenge: The Art of Happiness

Someone once said, “The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” But do we ever stand still long enough to catch it? We live in a world of instant gratification and we are in a perpetual hurry. Thirty seconds on the microwave feels like a lifetime because we are always go-go-go! In our constant state of motion and never ending to-do lists, do we ever stop long enough to identify the things that make us happy?

A challenge was recently brought to my attention and I’ve jumped all over it. The #100HappyDays challenge is just that – an opportunity to identify what makes you happy for 100 consecutive days. The goal is that by taking the time to identify what makes you happy, YOU will become a happier person.

As I write this, I’m ten days into the challenge. Admittedly, the first day, I was in a bad mood, so I chose my coffee pot as the thing that made me happy, because honestly – I’d be lost without it. But I’ve found that, the more I get into the challenge, I can’t leave it at just ONE happy moment every day. So many things give me an opportunity for happiness – and they don’t have to be big. They simply have to make me smile. My happy moments so far have included acting goofy with my son, my 15-year-old cat Phoebe, Starbucks with a friend, my best friend’s wedding, making a special meal for my husband, and a variety of other little moments during each day that make me focus on the things that are truly important.

So, are you up for the challenge, too? Several members of the Forsyth Magazines team are on board and it’s been great fun! I hope you’ll visit, too, and accept the challenge. According to the website, 71% will give up the challenge. But that’s not us, right?

We normally have a 30-day challenge in the Living Gently column, but we’re upping the ante this month. Can you be happy for 100 days? Consider these ideas to help you find happiness in every day situations:

  • They say that if you smile first thing in the morning, you’ll set the stage for a great day. Try it and see!
  • Give yourself permission to take at least 15 minutes a day for yourself.
  • Do something for someone else…the simple act of making someone else happy will, in turn, make you happy!
  • Surround yourself with people who make you happy!
  • Avoid drama and negativity. Just walk away from it.
  • If you’re having a bad day, focus on even one tiny ray of sunshine.
  • Set a goal (besides #100happydays) and enjoy the feeling when you achieve it.
  • Let others know how much they mean to you. Say it or write it – but identify qualities about those people that make you happy.
  • Find your inner 8-year-old and just be silly.
  • Thank those who do nice things for you – showing appreciation for the little things will have a great impact on you, too!

Happiness is ours for the taking – we just have to seek it out. Every day, no matter how bad it is, offers something. I encourage you to find it. Seek out opportunities for happiness and then see how it begins to show up in unexpected places. John Barrymore once said, “Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.” Open the door and see what happens.

If you accept the #100happyday challenge, please let me know! Email