The Happiness Project

Join or Start a Group—Like a Happiness-Project Group

One of the happiness-project resolutions that I’ve found to be most effective—and also the most fun —is to Join or start a group . Since I started my happiness project, I’ve joined or started seven groups, each of which has added dramatically to my happiness.

Some people are interested in starting or joining a group for people doing happiness projects—to my astonishment, more than 2,000 people have sent for the starter kit for people launching such a group. (Click here if you’d like to sign up for a kit yourself.)

I’m wildly interested in what these groups are doing, so am thrilled whenever I hear news. There are groups forming in cities like Dallas/Fort Worth, Boston, Gainesville, Fla.—even Singapore!

Nicole’s group, in Enid, Okla., has more than forty members (incredible). Nicole suggested that everyone begin by deciding on three or four resolutions, and she offered several great suggestions about making an effective resolution (start small; keep it concrete; hold yourself accountable by keeping a chart, whether online at the Happiness Project Toolbox or on paper), and she offered her own resolutions as an example:

1. Meditate for at least 10 minutes each day.
2. Exercise at least twice per week.
3. Choose my arguments more wisely.
4. Take more notes so I do not forget things so easily.

Nicole made another excellent point to the Enid group, which I echo in different words in my Secrets of Adulthood . She reminded everyone, “Remember, you’ll only get out of this what you’re willing to put in!” Very true. (My version is “No deposit, no return.”)

Michael’s group in L.A. has an unexpected geographic challenge: thirty-two people are interested in joining the group, and they’re spread all across the vast L.A. area. To keep the drive easier for people, Michael has suggested that they break into two groups, to keep meeting as convenient as possible. Very smart! Convenience matters a lot! However, having a committed leader matters a lot, too, so I hope someone steps forward to lead the new, second group if it forms.

Dani is launching a group in the Washington, D.C., area. If you’re interested in joining, e-mail her at . Her excellent blog is Positively Present .

Group leaders, please do join the Facebook Discussion Page for group leaders. From time to time, I’d like able to contact you directly—for instance, I’m sending you all a little surprise in the mail this week—and if you’re on that page, I’ll be able to find you.

What about the tri-state area (New York, Connecticut, New Jersey)? I live in New York City and would love to see a happiness-project group form in my own backyard. If you’ve started one, let me know! Maybe I can come to the kick-off meeting.

* I was interested to see this Marriage Calculator at Divorce360. My result? “People with similar backgrounds who are already divorced: 14%. People with similar backgrounds who will be divorced over the next five years: 3%.” Apparently that puts me at average risk for divorce.