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My February happiness challenge, plus an update on January’s challenge

In 2019, I’m trying one new habit per month that A) promise to increase my happiness levels and B) costs little to nothing.

January Habit Update

In January, my happiness habit was to spend less time on my phone.

My specific idea to help with this was to stop sleeping with my phone charging right by my bed, and to focus on not using it until I finished more important tasks for the day.

How did it go?

Well, I give myself a solid A- grade for this one!  I was very consistent about not sleeping with my phone by me, and that helped me not to get stuck in bed scrolling through Instagram.

And not starting my day with my phone definitely helped me to be more consistent with my more important daily tasks.

What about Sonia and Zoe?

If you remember, they were joining me for this, and I would say it helped them as well. I saw a marked improvement in getting school work and chores done, and they had more time for reading as well.

Did I feel happier?

Well, this is sort of a hard thing to measure scientifically, but I would say that using my phone less helped me spend more time on things that are actually important to me. And that made me happier.

So I’m not sure that it was exactly that less phone = happiness.

More like time-on-things-that-matter = happiness.

Will I keep up this habit?

Yes! But with a small modification. 

I think it works nicely to have a quick five minute check of my phone shortly after waking up, just to check texts/Instagram messages. 

But because I have to get up out of bed to do this, I’m much less likely to camp out on my phone instead of getting started on my day.

My February happiness habit

As you all know, I’m a big fan of contentment and gratefulness habits.

But I’ve never actually taken on the habit of keeping a gratefulness journal.  And since this kept popping up on “how to be happier” lists, I figured I’d give it a try.

I think I’m already pretty good at finding the joys in life and hunting for the good stuff, but a journal certainly can’t hurt.

So, every night this month, I’m writing down three things I am thankful for.


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Wednesday 13th of February 2019

I love this! I really need to try a happiness challenge to go along with my journey to better health. I will be binge reading your site tonight!


Monday 11th of February 2019

Long time reader- first time commenting! I have so enjoyed following your blog for many years. Regarding this month's challenge, I wholeheartedly recommend the book "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are" by Ann Voskamp. It is beautifully written and all about grace and gifts and gratefulness. Definitely worth the read!


Tuesday 12th of February 2019

The funny thing is: I tried that book because I thought the themes would really resonate with me. But her writing style was so hard for me! It's very beautiful and flowery and I just couldn't take all the poetic language. I felt kind of like I was trying to look through a foggy window, trying to understand what she was saying.

I know so many people love her style, but it was not for me!


Friday 8th of February 2019

I actually find that having my phone charge next to my bed helps me sleep *better, and here's why. My daughters, awesome young women that they are, shoot me a brief text to tell me they're home when they're out late at night, and having it charge next to me means I can check it when I wake up (which I do, and you probably will too when you're older) and then roll over and go back to sleep. When the phone charger was out in the family room I'd worry I wouldn't hear a ding, or I'd keep the phone with dying battery next to my bed. Things will change when your son hits the age where he's driving and coming home after you go to bed, I predict.


Friday 8th of February 2019

Well, Joshua's moved out and on his own, and Lisey frequently comes home after I go to bed (Joshua did too before he moved out this past fall!) Maybe I'm a weird mom, but I'm able to go to sleep and just trust that they'll be all right. They know to call the home phone if they really need me at an odd hour, since that's never on mute, so that probably helps me.


Friday 8th of February 2019

I'm working in limiting my phone use. This week I eliminated checking social media while my kids are awake and trying to keep my phone out of sight during that time, too. I tend to spend a lot of time on my phone when I'm nursing, so after 7 months it's time to make a change. I agree with you so far - not necessarily more happiness, but more time on things that matter.


Friday 8th of February 2019

I hate mobile phones with a vengeance. I have a hearing loss and they are difficult for me to use. My mother insists on asking me if my phone has buzzed, tinged etc many times a day. I can't escape this as I am her carer. If I could get rid of it I would.

I think you have done very well and hope you have a great time with your new journal.

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