Create your own happiness project

People, I have such an exciting book I want to tell you about!

It’s called: the Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin.

The author decided she’d turn becoming a happier person into a practical project: a Happiness Project.
For one year she tried out all kinds of resolutions to become happier, like: keeping a one-sentence journal, reading Aristotle, having more fun, reading kidlit, starting a blog, keeping a gratitude journal, behaving more kindly, cleaning out her closets, fighting right and singing in the morning.

She focused on one area per month e.g. fun, energy, marriage, parenthood, money.
At the end of the year she wrote the account of her journey and shared what she’d learned.

It is an immensely inspiring book and I encourage you all to go pick up a copy of it at

or if you’re English or Dutch you can order via

If you’re in a motivational slump, stuck in a rut, need some encouragement and ideas to generally have more fun and need some information for the pursuit of more happiness in your life, it’ll bring you great joy reading it, or listening to it as an audiobook as I’m doing (you can purchase it through the Itunes store).
Along with the book she created a blog and a free happiness toolbox.

Now what can I use the happiness toolbox for?

  • To create y our own resolutions chart to check off every day. You can check mine at You can post your chart either privately or publicly. If you go public like I did, you’ll also be able to inspire others.
  • To create an inspiration board by assembling inspirational quotes and pics
  • To create a one sentence journal about e.g. gratitude, your baby’s first year or your progress on your resolutions.

I wish you a very happy day and let me know if you’re going to start your own Happiness Project.

Here’s the link to Gretchen’s blog:

6 Ultimate lists of 2009

Yes people, it’s that time of the year again! Lists time. Hurray! 🙂

Today I took some time off to write my review of the year 2009 and I thought it would be fun to make a few lists, to remind myself of the fun I had last year and to inspire you to read and listen to:

Here we go:

Top 12 of the best christian books I read in 2009:

  1. The New International Version of the Bible
  2. Henri Nouwen – The way of the Heart (audiobook)
  3. Pete Greig – Red Moon Rising
  4. Pete Greig – 24/7 Prayer Manual
  5. Adrian Verbree – Est (Dutch)
  6. Henri Nouwen – Gebeden uit de stilte (Dutch translation of: Cry for Mercy)
  7. Jos Douma –  Geworteld leven (Dutch)
  8. C.S. Lewis – the Screwtape Letters
  9. C.S. Lewis – Surprised by joy (audiobook)
  10. Francine Rivers – a Lineage of Grace
  11. Jos Douma- Jezus aanbidden
  12. Norman Geisler and Frank Turek – Ik heb te weinig geloof om een atheist te zijn (Dutch translation of: I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist)

Top 10 of the best mainstream books I read in 2009:

  1. David Allen – Making it all Work
  2. Leo Babauta – Zen to Done (e-book)
  3. David Allen – Getting Things Done (the art of stress-free productivity) (audiobook)
  4. Lisette Kreischer en Merel van der Lande – Veggie in Pumps (Dutch) (about an ecofabulous lifestyle)
  5. Migon Fogarty – Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty tips for better Writing
  6. Dirkje van den Nulft en Marianne Verhallen – In de weer met woorden (Dutch)
  7. Jim Loehr and Tony Schwarz – The Power of Full Engagement (audiobook)
  8. Rita Emmett – the Procrastinator’s Handbook (audiobook)
  9. Jodi Picoult – my Sister’s Keeper
  10. Corinne Gouget – Wat zit er in uw eten? (over E-nummers)

Top 7 of the best blogs I read in 2009:

  1. Zen Habits – Leo Babauta (about productivity, simplicity, habit change, living a balanced life)
  2. 6 Changes – Leo Babauta (about habit change)
  3. Ccgforum’s Weblog – Wim Gelderblom (Dutch) (about complementary medicine)
  4. Weblog Jos Douma (Dutch) (a pastor’s blog)
  5. Live, Love & Believe – Remmelt Meijer (Dutch)
  6. Cute Overload (about cute animals)
  7. Spotted by Locals – London cityblog by locals

Top 6 of the most promising blogs I subscribed to (not read them yet) in 2009, but that I’d like to read in 2010:

  1. Write to Done – Leo Babauta (about blog writing)
  2. Unclutterer: Daily tips on how to organize your home and office.
  3. – Leo Babauta (about minimalism)
  4. Lifehacking (about tips and tricks to make your life easier)
  5. ProBlogger Blog Tips – The Blog (about blog writing)
  6. Copyblogger (about blog writing)

Top 10 of the best podcasts I listened to in 2009:
(Go to (or and download your free copy of the iTunes store and subscribe to all the podcasts you like for free)

  1. Daily Audio Bible (going through the Bible in a year)
  2. Breakfast with father Roderick (talk show)
  3. HTB Sunday talks (from the holy Trinity Brompton church London)
  4. Christian audio podcast morning and evening with CH Spurgeon (devotional)
  5. GTD virtual study group
  6. Grammar Girl’s quick and dirty tips for better writing
  7. @Context (interview series about people using GTD)
  8. the Catholics next door (talk show)
  9. the Biggest Loser fan podcast (talk show inspired by the Biggest Loser television series, about weight loss, inspiration and motivation, pursuing a balanced life, even if you don’t want to lose weight)
  10. Prayer from the Taize community

Top 10 of the best music I listened to in 2009:

  1. family force five – dance or die
  2. fighting instinct – Back to you
  3. Sela – Live in Utrecht
  4. Gotee hits album
  5. Gotee acoustic album
  6. Trinity – Cada Dia
  7. Salvador – Aware
  8. Sela – Gloria
  9. Taize music
  10. Fee – we shine

Have fun checking them out.

I have a few questions for you:

  1. what is your favorite book of 2009?
  2. what is your favorite music of 2009?
  3. did you read any blogs or listen to any podcasts in 2009? Do you have any tips?

And do let me know if you checked out some of the tips I gave: books, blogs, podcasts or music.

I’d love to know your take on it!

Best wishes for 2010!!