Easy May – Monthly Happiness Report – May, 2017

Hey there! And welcome to another instalment of my monthly happiness series! This series is all about my day to day happiness, and what it's influenced by. We're already in May,2017, and let me tell you: it was another great month for me! 2017 was turning out to be a great year for me, and May only added to my happiness. Nothing really stopped me from being happy, which is why I now call this an easy moth. It wasn't difficult for me to be happy during this time. I want to show you exactly how happy I was in May.

As always, I'm going to start things slowly, by showing you my average happiness rating of the month, compared to the previous period.

The average happiness rating of the last month (April) was a 7,79. April was a very busy month. I was swamped with work, and ran my fourth marathon in Paris. This busy period didn't stop me from being happy, though.

May was a slightly happier month for me.

Why? That's what I want to know, too. 🙂

Let's see what my daily happiness ratings looked like!

Monthly happiness

The chart below visualises exactly what my happiness ratings looked like throughout May, 2017. I have added a tiny bit of comments here and there to add some context to this data.

As you can see, some of the work stress from April slipped into May. The month started with the same busy life I had in April. It was no big deal, though, since my happiness was still relatively good. My "worst" day of the month was the 5th of May, which I rated with a 7,0.

Let me tell you this: I've experienced MUCH worse days.

Also, something funny happened. Me and my dad love a soccer game every now and then. Especially when our favourite team is playing: Feyenoord. In May, something special happened. Our club Feyenoord had the opportunity to become the Dutch champion. It was the final match of the season, and they needed to win to secure the victory. And me and my dad were there!

This match was on the 14th of May, and our team won with a 3-1 victory. The atmosphere in the stadium was absolutely insane, and it was truly great to be there.

Feyenoord Dutch Champion 2017
The day Feyenoord became the Dutch champion for the first time in... many years!

Not only was it great to watch this game, it was also nice to create this memory with my dad. And just like that, an otherwise pretty uneventful day became a day to remember!

The rest of the month was actually very relaxing and uneventful. Nothing was stopping me from doing the things I liked, and life was just good.

I want to give you a better picture of what more influenced my happiness. Luckily, in addition to tracking my happiness, I have also been tracking my happiness factors. These are the factors that had a significant influence on my happiness!

Happiness factors

The table below shows all the happiness factors that influenced my happiness in May, 2017.

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This table shows you what's been going on in my life during May, 2017. You can see that my month started alright, with only a couple of stressful days at work. Even though this had a negative effect on my happiness, I was still pretty happy during these days!

Booking the Norway trip

Another funny thing happened during this month. We booked our plane tickets for a big road trip through Norway. We had thought of quite a smart plan. My girlfriend and I would start driving from the Netherlands with my parent's car. After 3,5 weeks, we would arrive in Tromsø, Norway's biggest airport in the Northern region. This is where we would meet up with my parents, who were going to fly from Amsterdam to Tromsø. We would handover our car, and fly back to Amsterdam ourselves the next day. My parents would then drive the same car back to the Netherlands in a similar road trip.

I thought it was a pretty cool idea, and couldn't wait for this road trip to start! We booked our plane tickets for the 9th of September, which made me quite excited! I was already counting the days!

A peek inside my happiness tracking journal

Before I explain what the rest of April looked like for me, I want to show you another excerpt of my happiness tracking journal! This entry shows you how I felt during the busy start of the month, and how it really affected my happiness. I wrote the following on Sunday, 28th of May, and I rated that day with an 8,25. This was the time where I felt like work was way too busy, and I want to show you how it affected my state of happiness.

Today was another nice day! Didn't sleep too well, but I at least got to sleep in! Until 10:30. Holy shit, it's been a while since I got to do that. 

Spent the entire day with my girlfriend just relaxing. We didn't do anything. NOTHING. Except maybe some small stuff on her thesis. We inflated the little pool and enjoyed the warm weather. The last couple of days have been very sunny, so I'm glad to report I didn't get sunburned. Went home tonight relatively early at 20:30. As soon as I got home, my sister called me asking if I could bring her something to drink at her place. She's got a huge fever at the moment. I feel bad for her, and hope she gets better soon.

Tomorrow is another day at work. This week is going to be busy, and I'm not looking forward to it. Anyway, I'm very close to my holiday! Super excited for Montenegro!

I feel like I have a lot to do, still. 1) Decide on which marathon to run later this year. 2) Get my website optimised and filled with content. 3) Prepare for Montenegro. It's going to be busy. Have to go now!

I think this excerpt shows you a lot of what my life was at the time! I track my happiness like this every single day.

At the time, I was really enjoying the nice weather in the Netherlands with my girlfriend. Life was really easy, and I was just very happy to spend my free days like this.

I was also really looking forward to a small break to Montenegro. After a pretty busy period at work, it was nice to get out of the office life for a couple of days. My girlfriend also finalised her last assignment for her Bachelor's degree, which was also a big relief. We thought we both deserved a holiday, and were looking forward to June!

Lovely day on the beach at Scheveningen
Visiting one of my close friends in The Hague for a nice day at the beach!

On the 26th of the month, I went to The Hague to visit a close friend of mine. The weather was extremely nice on that day, and so we went to the beach. It was great to spent time with my friend like this, and it resulted in a high happiness rating of 8,25. The last days in May were really great in general. Nothing was keeping me from being happy! 🙂

Let's see what all the positive happiness factors looked like in May.

Positive happiness factors

The chart below shows all the positive happiness factors of May, 2017.

My relationship was really great at the time! It positively influenced my happiness on 21 days!

My girlfriend and I have been very happy together. It's something I analysed using 3,5 years of happiness tracking data. May was a great month for us together, and it only solidified the strong relationship we were in.

We have experienced quite some challenging times together, mainly in the form of long distance relationship periods. These challenges were really hard, and even had the potential to end the good relationship that we had.

Luckily, these periods were in the past, and we were happy to enjoy each other's company in May.

What about the second best happiness factor?

Good ol' running!

Ah.... running. What a wonderful thing to have.

It's truly one of my most reliable happiness factors. Feel like shit? Go running. Feel great? Go running!

One of the things I've learned from tracking happiness is that running almost always makes me happier!

After running the Paris marathon in April, I was a little disappointing with myself. That's because I had already missed one of my goals for 2017, which was to run TWO marathons under 4:00:00. Even though it wasn't a huge deal to me, I still felt a little let down because I really wanted to smash these goals.

You know, at the end of 2016, I had listed 3 running goals. Knowing I had already missed one of those goals, I wanted to make sure I reached another goal as soon as possible. That's why I signed up for a 5k race on the 20th of May. I needed to finish it under 20 minutes in order to reach my goal!

So I spent the entire month of may doing interval training. This was totally different compared to my marathon training! This complete change in pace was pretty challenging. I went into this race quite sceptical. Based on my training results, I did NOT expect to complete this goal already.

But it was my lucky day!

Running 5k under 20 minutes in 2017 running goals
My running stats during my 5k run!

I started my race right on my goal pace of 4:00 per kilometer (15 km/hour). I figured: "Hell, I'll just give it a shot, and see how long I last".

But somehow, by some miracle, I managed to keep up my pace! I even managed to accelerate close to the finish line! My finish time? 19 minutes and 54 seconds!!! Hell yeah!

It was a much needed success after my technical failure in Paris. I was really proud of myself for completing this goal, and it had a huge positive influence on my happiness in May!

Before continuing to the negative happiness factors, I want to highlight one more happiness factor. And that is "Blogging"!

I started this website back in April, 2017, and continued to spent a lot of time on it in May. I actually had a lot of fun doing it! 🙂 Hell, I'm still going strong as I'm typing this right now! Writing on this blog actually has a positive effect on my happiness! Which is funny, because I then get to write about it again?! *chuckles silently*

Anyway, time to continue to the negative happiness factors!

Negative happiness factors

The chart below shows all the negative happiness factors of May, 2017.

If you've been reading some of these monthly happiness reports lately, then these negative happiness factors shouldn't surprise you.

I was tired on 7 days in May. Work was a bit busy and stressful on 5 days, and I had a small argument with my girlfriend on 2 days. These happiness factors are not really alarming for me. I've had far worse months! As long as the good far outweighs the bad, I will never complain!

My lack of sleep still influenced my happiness on 7 days though. Even though I knew I was tired too often, I couldn’t get my sleep habits under control. I’ve analysed exactly what kind of influence sleep deprivation has on my happiness. I knew I needed to do better here in order to become happier!

Closing words

And with that said, I want to end this monthly happiness report! Me and my girlfriend were REALLY looking forward to June, as we were about to go on a little break to Montenegro. It also happened to be the start of an interesting period for my work, but more on that later!

I hope these posts give you a general idea of what tracking happiness means to me. Because I'm tracking my happiness ratings and factors every single day, I am fully aware of what I need to do in order to become as happy as I can be. With that said, I hope I can somehow inspire you to also start tracking your happiness. 🙂

If you have any questions about anything, please let me know in the comments below, and I'll be happy to answer you!

Cheers!

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