What makes you happy? Data for self awareness

what makes you happy? Girl on rocks at Bar Beach

What makes you happy? Data for self awareness

Happiness. Are you aware of what makes you happy? Have you ever tried to qualify it?

I found an excellent article from someone who aimed to gather data on what made her happy, so that she could focus her energy on doing more of the good stuff. It really sits nicely with value based living, which allows you to be true to your core values.

How to find out what makes you happy

This is an interesting experiment that will let you ascertain what areas of your life bring you joy. Get a small stack of paper notes or a notebook and some coloured pens, and put them in front of a vase or pot, somewhere around your home. It might also be a good idea to have a pen and notepad ready when you are out and about.

Whenever you feel overwhelmingly happy write down a reason for what made you happy and a date. Put these in your jar or vase and collect them for a year (good things come to those who wait).

I [wrote down when I] felt overwhelmingly happy, confident, and at peace, and what made me feel that way—just a sentence fragment or two and the date. Nothing was too small to make the cut, and I only had one rule: no memories related to romantic relationships. I wanted to intentionally remind myself of all the other fulfilling things in life that aren’t dating.

It might be useful to include moments of overwhelming happiness caused by relationships as well, because as you can see from her article, she was able to get a great insight into the areas of her life that provided her with such happiness, and I think this would be helpful in the area of relationships.

You might decide that you will also omit moments of happiness related to dating as Katherine did, as it helped her to see that her happiness was based on many more areas of her life than relationships, which was helpful to her.

Why is this helpful?

I think this is a helpful exercise because it will increase your self awareness. You probably have a pretty good idea of what makes you happy, but actually collecting data over a long period will help you to really gain some insight and self awareness. It will help you to understand what things you should be doing more of, and what things you can put less emphasis on or energy into.

Let’s do it together! I am going to start this project in the New Year, and I will report back at the end of 2017!

Acknowledging what makes you happy has got to be a good thing, right?


Katherine Ellen Foley, 2016. ‘I tracked my happiness for a year to get data on how to build a more joyful life’, Quartz. Accessed 1.1.2017, < >

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