This is the first post of this site, and what better way to start it than a day filled with happiness? This day was the first of my happiness tracking adventures in which I experienced an above-average happiness rating.
Below is the data that I entered in my personal happiness tracking journal, which I describe in detail on the ‘Method‘ page. This is how I rated my happiness on this day.
Tracking Happiness data on 23-12-2013
|Date||December 23rd, 2013|
|Comment||Today was a (super) nice day. It started at the dentist at 08:30. He told me that I should floss more often, since I have a cavity! It's right between my teeth. BUMMER. I have already followed the advice, and have flossed twice already today lol. |
I'm now lying in bed. I just got home from *Jack*. We finished a box of beer together... I feel like this friendship is getting more valuable to me each time we hang out. It's easy to laugh together and share our thoughts. I wonder what that's going to be like once I get back from studying abroad for 5 months. It depends on a lot of factors, I guess...
Anyway, I keep enjoying the time we hang out more and more. This seems to be in contrast with my friendship with *Luke*, who (again) made up a lame excuse to not be here.
I was well able to work on my school assignments, spend some nice time exercising and recorded the track 'Wonderful Christmas Time' by Paul McCartney in my home studio. I freaking love that song.
I also planned the 26th and 27th in my old hometown, to spend some time with *Steven* and *Michael*. I am already looking forward to it! I also planned the 3rd of January with my brother. Also looking forward to that.
I also spent some time in the studio working out an original song. I love working on my own music.
I just started watching the second episode of Game of Thrones. Nice series!
Going to sleep now. I love it. Hopefully, I won't have a hangover tomorrow. Sleep well 😉
|Positive factors||Friends, Music, Exercising, Alcohol|
So on this given day, I valued my life an 8,5 on a scale from 1 to 10. To me, this is significantly above average. The average happiness rating of December, 2013 was 7,59, as calculated in the monthly happiness report. Now, what exactly made me happy on this day? Let’s have a closer look.
What happened during the day
Given the fact that this was a Saturday, I was up relatively early at 08:30. I spent most of the day doing the things that I love doing most: my passions. I recorded a lot of music in my small home studio and did some exercising. Finally, I also spent the evening with one of my close friends, just drinking beers, making jokes and having fun.
What is interesting to me, is that waking up relatively early enabled me to be productive during the day. Because I had to go to the dentist, I was already active during the morning and ready to pursue my passions during the rest of the day. I also performed my routine exercises, which are always providing me with sustained happiness. Sure, it occasionally takes some willpower to get going, but once you’re finished, it never fails to positively influence the rest of your day!
“I tend to think waking up early and doing exercises contributed to this state of productivity and happiness”
Also, recording music is something that can make me very happy. Working on some new song ideas, while simultaneously learning new tricks to use on future recordings gives me the satisfaction of being productive and gives me short term happiness as well. It sometimes truly is a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, recording music (or any other creative activity for that matter) can feel like a drag sometimes. I have experienced that on some days you just cannot force creativity, even if you spend the entire day doing just that. But on the 23rd of December, it all clicked. On days like these, music can definitely be a huge positive factor on my happiness. And I tend to think waking up early and doing exercises contributed to this state of productivity and happiness.
In addition, I spent the night having drinks with a good friend of mine. For a lot of people, drinking alcohol (in moderation, mind you) has a positive effect on short-term happiness*. I don’t think I have to back that statement up with evidence. I am certainly one of those people. The combination of alcohol and close friends is an almost sure-bet when it comes to creating happiness. I had a fun night, which obviously had a great effect on my happiness as well.
* If you play your cards just right, you don’t even have to end up with a hangover after consuming alcohol. Therefore, consuming alcohol does not always result in a negative impact on long-term happiness. If you take the proper precautions, you might end up enjoying the effect on your short-term happiness, without feeling ill the next day. I’ll have you know that I failed to do this on the 23rd of December: I paid for it the next day… I woke up with a significant hangover, which therefore impacted my longer-term happiness rating.
What’s definitely worth mentioning is that I did not determine anything to have a negative influence on my happiness rating. If only I knew how to repeat this for the rest of my life, this site would be much more efficient!
So what were the key happiness factors on this day? I determined my Friends, Music, Exercising and Alcohol as the positive factors on my happiness rating. This is not rare for me. My passions are almost always guaranteed to provide me with happiness in some way or another. This may seem like I’m stating the obvious, but to me it’s really valuable to determine just exactly what influences my happiness.
This is only a single day in the heaps of data that I collected over the years, so it may not be hard to imagine how this rather big set of data can be very interesting to analyse.
I hope this post helps you understand just how I have been tracking my happiness. If this inspires or interests you in any way, feel free to comment or get involved in this series.
Good days: In the ‘Good days’ post series, I will highlight some of the best days of my life. Not just any days, but the days where I tracked the highest happiness ratings. I will detail some of the journal entries and happiness ratings on specific above-average days. The goal of this series is to show you how exactly I am tracking my happiness. In a best case scenario, it inspires you to determine the added value of tracking happiness and therefore start for yourself.
Founder of Tracking Happiness and lives in the Netherlands. Ran 5 marathons, with one of them in under 4 hours (3:59:58 to be exact). Data junkie and happiness tracker for over 6 years.