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Happiness Tip: Do Something Every Day

Posted: 02/01/09 09:32 AM ET

I'm working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone's project will look different, but it's the rare person who can't benefit. Join in -- no need to catch up, just jump in right now.

A few days ago, I observed that it's often easier for me to do something every day than to do it some days. I post to my blog six days a week. I take notes every day. I write in my one-sentence journal every day. Many people have told me that they find it easier to exercise when they exercise every day.

If I try to do something four days a week, I spend a lot of time arguing with myself about whether today is the day, or tomorrow, or the next day; did the week start on Sunday or Monday; etc.

If you do something every day, you tend to fall into a routine, and routine has a bad reputation. It's true that novelty and challenge bring happiness, and that people who break their routines, try new things, and go new places, are happier, but I think that some routine activities are also bring happiness. The pleasure of doing the same thing, in the same way, every day, shouldn't be overlooked. By re-framing, you can find happiness in activities like doing dishes or sweeping the floor, as well as your beloved morning coffee-and-newspaper.

The things you do every day take on a certain beauty, and provide a kind of invisible architecture to daily life.

Funnily enough, two geniuses whom I associate with the idea of the unconventional wrote about the power of doing something every day.

Andy Warhol wrote, "Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it's exciting, and if you do it every day it's exciting. But if you do it, say, twice or just almost every day, it's not good any more."

Gertrude Stein made a related point: "Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful."

So if there's something that you wish you did more regularly, try doing it every day; if you do something every day, revel in it.

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This morning, a friend sent me the link to The Glow Movie - engaging insights and interviews with fourteen prominent women about overcoming difficulties and finding happiness. I just watched the entire trailer.

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