07/25/2012 02:50 pm ET Updated Sep 24, 2012

What Resolution (Successfully Kept) Would Make You Happiest?

I often suggest a resolution for you to consider for your own happiness project -- something like "make your bed" or "imitate a spiritual master" or "cultivate good smells."

Today, however, I want to ask a question.

Imagine that you've been sprinkled with some fairy dust that allowed you to keep a resolution without any effort at all. What resolution would make the biggest difference to your happiness?

This isn't a wish-come-true like "win the lottery," but an actual resolution that you could follow -- but effortlessly. For instance, the ability to "quit smoking" without effort might give you the biggest boost you could imagine.

As you think about what your resolution would be, be very specific. Not "exercise regularly," but "go for a 20-minute walk every day before work," or "go to the gym every other day." Not "eat more healthfully," but "pack my own lunch instead of getting fast food," or "eat salad for lunch." Not "spend more time with my family," but "read a chapter out loud to my kids at bedtime," or "plan a fun family outing for Saturday mornings."

So... What's your resolution? Why would this resolution make such a difference to your happiness, how would your life be different?

You know what my next question is going to be.

Now that you've imagined the resolution that would bring you a real happiness lift, are there ways you could follow that resolution now? You don't have the fairy dust that would make it effortless -- but maybe you can do it anyway.

What do you think?

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. Each Friday's post will help you think about your own happiness project.

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For more by Gretchen Rubin, click here.

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