Whew! 2019 is over. It feels really weird to type this, as it feels like only yesterday that I woke up with a massive hangover from the NYE party at the end of 2018!
I'm luckily typing this without any kind of hangover, so I can at least say that I've improved myself in one aspect in 2019!
Anyway, I want to show you how I've tracked my happiness during this last month of 2019, and what I've been up to these days!
This update will be about:
- How I delivered my deadlines at work and finally got to have a break
- Landing my first ever proper 360-flip! (of course, I have footage)
- A weekend trip to Belgium amidst the busy work weeks
- How I finally relaxed during my holiday break
- How my girlfriend and I got sick during Christmas
- More nitty-gritty details that you probably don't really care about. 😉
But first, let's have a look at my happiness ratings. This is how I rated my happiness over the last 31 days of the year 2019.
My average happiness rating throughout December 2019 was 7.74, which isn't terrible. But it could've also been higher, if not for a couple of negative happiness factors.
Let's start with the positives!
As usual, my girlfriend is the winner, like pretty much every other month. It's good that these graphs keep showing me this fact, as I need to realize how grateful I should be for being in a good relationship. A lot of my happiness comes from spending quality time with my girlfriend. 🙂
The runner up is relaxing.
Now, I figured out quite a few to be happy while relaxing. It's one of the things I need to do more of, especially in times when my job sucks and I feel stressed more often than not (more on that later).
After I made all the deadlines at work (on the 16th of December), I was finally able to relax again.
I even went for 2 random bike rides late in the afternoon, which showed me how beautiful the world can be. I only need a little time occasionally to take it all in. These bike rides were perfect opportunities to just relax, especially when cycling through beautiful scenery like this:
I also continued chasing one of my challenges of 2019: to land a proper 360-flip on my skateboard.
Let's back up a little here: I used to skateboard a LOT when I was a kid, from about 7 to 12 years old. I eventually stopped for whatever reason I had at the time (I don't know...) As a kid, I never had the strength in my feet to flick my board in a complete 360 degrees motion.
Now, as an "adult", I finally have the strength needed to flick the board properly. But after so many years of inactivity, I needed a LOT of practice before I felt comfortable on my board again.
Back in July, I started practicing again, and I immediately fell in love again with skateboarding. So much that I set myself the challenge to land my first proper 360-flip before the year ended.
After literally hundreds of tries, I'm really fucking proud (pardon my French) to present my first proper 360-flip!!!
This was SUCH a great feeling. I don't know how to describe it, but it felt for a moment like I was that 11-year-old kid again. It was truly a happy moment, as silly as it may sound!
Relaxing on a weekend getaway
Another highlight of December was when my good friends and I went away on a (guys only) weekend trip in the Ardennes in Belgium. We rented a house with 8 people, and spent the entire weekend drinking beers, playing ping-pong, cardgames and old video games, and enjoying time outside in the quiet nature.
The timing of this weekend was perfect, as it was right before one of the busiest weeks of the year at work. This weekend getaway really allowed me to fuel-up on mental energy before crunching the last couple of projects before their deadlines.
Other positive happiness factors!
There were many other positive factors that made me happy throughout this last month.
December is always a month filled with family get-togethers and good food, a combination which I always enjoy. And this year was no different. The days around Christmas were filled with quality time with both sides of the family. Happy days!
One of my gifts from Santa this year was a sketchbook with a set of colored pencils. As a result, I spent an entire afternoon drawing. It was literally all I did, and I actually really liked it (talk about being a kid, right..?) I may have found a new hobby! 🙂
My first drawing is of one of my favorite places near where I live, a beautiful lake in the woods.
I also went to a concert of my all-time favorite jazz singer: Kurt Elling. This was the 3rd time watching him perform, and I managed to get my girlfriend to join me. I really enjoyed this evening of wonderful jazz ballads and solos amidst the busy period at work!
What made me unhappy this month?
Two words: work and stress.
I was able to copy these two sentences from November's update, as they remained relevant enough.
The days leading up to my big deadlines on the 16th of December were very busy and stressful. As a result, my work really dominated those days. This meant that I sometimes had no energy left to do any of the things I actually enjoy doing. This had a toll on my own happiness, but also my girlfriend's happiness. After a stressful day at work, my mental hard-drive is filled with spreadsheets, numbers and e-mails, so much that I'm not that much fun to be around anymore.
Unfortunately, this happened a bit too often during the days leading up to the 16th.
Luckily, this all changed when I finally got rid of those crushing projects.
The month should've been nothing but happiness from that moment onwards, but unfortunately, my stomach thought otherwise...My girlfriend and I both fell victim from a nasty stomach flu. My girlfriend was hit first, right before Christmas (poor girlfriend...) Two days later, it was my turn. Luckily, I wasn't hit as hard as my girlfriend. But it still sucked!
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Whew, that's enough journaling for today again! Again, I can't believe that 2019 is already over.
After having written 12 monthly happiness updates, it's now time to close the book on 2019. What remains is to analyze my year of happiness in a full end-of-year review. I'll spend the next couple of days analyzing my data entries, in order to figure out how I can make sure that 2020 will become an even happier year than 2019!
I'm looking forward to seeing you back here throughout 2020! 🙂
Who runs Tracking Happiness?
My name is Hugo, and I'm from the Netherlands. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering, a passion for data and statistical analysis and am an expert in happiness.
I've tracked my happiness every day for 5 years in a row. And I'm now using my knowledge to inspire you to prioritize your happiness. You see, I'm a strong believer in what gets measured gets managed. I want to show you what I - and many others - have learned while tracking our happiness.
My Happiness Essays have reached thousands of people around the world and have been shared in many places.
With my data, I have inspired hundreds of others to also track their happiness. And I'm hoping this number will only grow more!
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