Amazing Montenegro Holiday – Monthly Happiness Report – June, 2017

Welcome to another Monthly Happiness Report! This time, I'm discussing what happened during June, 2017, and how everything that happened influenced my happiness. June was a fantastic month for me, with lots of beautiful days. I went on a holiday to Montenegro with my girlfriend, which only added to the fun! This had an amazing effect on my happiness. As per the usual, this is exactly what I want to show you in this post.

The table below shows you what my happiness looked like in June, 2017.

The previous month (May) was already a great month for me. Yet, I still managed to top it with June. I consider an average happiness rating of 8,14 to be REALLY high. 🙂

If you're new to this site, and currently think: "what the hell is this guy talking about happiness ratings and such??"

Then I'll be happy to introduce you to my concept of tracking happiness. Long story short: I track my happiness on a scale from 1 to 10, and I do this every single day. This allows me to know exactly what's working for me personally, which is why I get to steer my life in the best direction possible!

With that said, let me show you how my happiness ratings progressed during this wonderful month!

Monthly happiness

The chart below visualizes exactly what my happiness ratings looked like throughout June, 2017. As usual, I have sprinkled some comments here and there to add some context to this data.

This chart is simple beautiful to me. It shows me that May was a month filled with consistent happiness. It started off great with a couple of relaxing days, before me and my girlfriend began our holiday to Montenegro. This resulted in a couple of great days, including the best day of the month! I rated the 11th of June with a 9,0 on my happiness scale! I really had a lot of fun in this amazing country.

I'll try to support this graph with a couple of pretty pictures I shot during the trip. It's probably not hard to imagine that this holiday had a BIG positive effect on my happiness when looking at these pictures. ;-).

Relaxing in the sun on Hawai off the coast of Budva, Montenegro
Relaxing in the sun on an island off the coast of Budva, Montenegro

Before discussing the rest of June, I want to show you more of the data I tracked. you see, in addition to the happiness ratings, I also track the factors that influence my happiness ratings.

These are the things I call happiness factors. At the end of every day, I determine what influenced my happiness, both positively or negatively.

This allows me to analyse my data in much more detail!

Happiness factors

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

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You can get a pretty good image of what made me happy in May by looking at this table. My happiness ratings remained pretty high throughout the remainder of the month, even after the trip to Montenegro ended.

The happiness factors are generally similar to the things that I am passionate about. This is not hard to imagine, of course. I really enjoy spending time with my girlfriend, running, relaxing, gaming and hanging out with friends. More on that later!

I first want to show you how I tracked my happiness on the best day of the month.

My happiness tracking journal on the best day of the month

Before I explain what the rest of June looked like for me, I want to show you my happiness tracking journal on the best day of the month! I wrote the following on Sunday, 11th of June, and I rated that day with a stunning 9,00. It was easily the best day of the month, and I think this entry is pretty clear on why it was such a great day!

Woke up quite early today, as we now have our rental car and want to EXPLORE. We headed out early to the capital Podgorica, passing the Skadar Lake National Park. Our initial plan was to visit the capital and drive back to Budva via Albania. However, we found out we had forgotten our passports only when we were well underway. Idiots! Anyway, the road to Podgorica was beautiful, and so was the lake. 

The capital itself was not what we had expected. It was definitely nice and beautiful, but it lacked a proper city center in which we could just chill and relax. After walking around for a bit, we decided we wanted to continue our road trip further North to visit a beautiful lake in the mountains. It was only 12:30 anyway. It was the best decision of the day!

The road up the mountains was incredibly nice. I drove all the way smiling from ear to ear, and we stopped a lot to take pictures. It's such a calm and serene area. The rental car did good, too, despite the dirt roads. It was a bit challenging to navigate sometimes, but all in all, it was a great drive. When we arrived at the lake, we were just as stunned. The clouds made way for some rays of sun, and the views were awesome. 

After the lake, we continued further North through the mountains via dirt roads. We passed another national park (Biogradaka Gora) and decided to stop for a brief visit. It was another winner haha. Another serene and quiet forest, with  beautiful deep green colors. This country is crazy beautiful to drive through. 

We then headed West to the Durmitor National Park, which was (you guessed it) another winner! It features an old concrete arch bridge, which I really appreciate as an engineer. We don't have these kind of beautiful bridges in the Netherlands!

This was our last stop as we needed to drive another 3,5 hours back to Budva, and it was getting dark. On the way back, I was pulled over by a cop. Apparently, he had lasered my speed, and I was speeding... The officer was very kind to me, and only gave me a warning after learning I was just a dumb tourist. Awesome.

We arrived back in our apartment at 23:00, and headed to bed together after a well-deserved day. Today was a perfect day. 🙂

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.

The Montenegro holiday was a fantastic time for me and my girlfriend. It was a perfect mixture between going on adventures and taking time off by relaxing in the sun.

We rented an apartment in the city center of Budva, a small town by the Adriatic Sea. It was a great base for our day trips. We spent a day in the Bay of Kotor and hiked up a steep hill for a rewarding view over the area.

Spending a day in the beautiful bay of Kotor Montenegro 2017
Spending a day in the beautiful bay of Kotor

We also crossed the border to Dubrovnik, Croatia on the 12th. By this time, we were already driving around in our rented car. This day to Dubrovnik was quite intense. Dubrovnik was beautiful, but also extremely busy and crowded. It was a bit of a pain in the ass, actually. Both me and my girlfriend were quite annoyed by the loads of tourists that were slowly crawling the place. It was also extremely warm at the time. The combination of the crowded city and the intense heat did not have a positive effect on my happiness.

It was still a great day, though!

Anyway, the rest of June was relatively straightforward. I enjoyed my happy regular life. It also helped that I actually enjoyed my work quite a lot at the time. I had finally finished quite a busy period, and enjoyed the relatively calm and minor tasks I had to perform.

With that said, let's have a look at how this affected my positive happiness factors in June.

Positive happiness factors

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

The clear winner in June - as it so often is - was my relationship.

My girlfriend positively influenced my happiness on 21 days in June! I really enjoyed spending time with her, even though it hasn't always been like this. We have experienced quite some challenging times together, mainly during our long distance relationship periods. Like every other couple does, we fight and argue sometimes. I'm not usually bothered by this, though, because I know my relationship generally makes me a happier person.

Our holiday to Montenegro probably helped here as well.

I mean, on my best day of the month we drove across the entire country, and visited beautiful places. One of these places was the Bukuminsko Jezero, a lake that's very well hidden in the mountains above Podgorica. My girlfriend and I really enjoyed spending some time in this place, as we were just about the only ones there. It was another beautiful moment I got to share with the girl I love.

Bukuminsko Jezero, Montenegro 2017
One of the most beautiful places in Montenegro, very well hidden in the mountains!

Another happiness factor I'd like to highlight here is my work! As I said, after a pretty busy and demanding period, it was nice to enjoy my work in the office again. I was spending some time between different projects, and did the odd job here and there. But I actually enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so much that it positively influenced my happiness on 10 days in June!

And I was being paid for it! 🙂

Unfortunately, there were still a couple of factors that had a negative impact on my happiness in June! Let's have a look at those, shall we?

Negative happiness factors

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

Clearly, my tiredness was keeping me from being happier in June. I was feeling tired on 8 days, and felt like it negatively influenced my happiness.

I've analysed the effect of sleep on my happiness in a lot of detail, and I know sleep deprivation is something I need to control more. However, I also strongly believe that being tired is a product of being awake more. And being awake more allows me to do more fun stuff during the day. So when weighing all the factors, it's unclear to me what exactly the effect of reduced sleep on my happiness is.

What I do know is that it had a pretty big effect on me in June. Why?

Well, I caused an accident on the motorway while driving to work in the morning of the 23rd of June.

I was driving to work at approximately 6:40 in the morning, just as I do every morning. I was driving about 120 kilometers per hour on the left lane. Then suddenly, the cars in front of me hit the brakes really hard, and the distance between me and the car in front of me quickly vanished.

In a moment of shock, I obviously jumped on the brake as well. But while doing so, my front wheels lost traction with the pavement, after which I started spinning out. I tried to counter the spinning by steering like a maniac, which actually kept me within my line for about 2 seconds. But it was too late for me to recover, and I eventually crashed into the car on my right side in another lane. FUUUUUUUCK.

The damage from my motorway crash, which could have been MUCH worse

Luckily, the impact was limited by the time we collided, since I managed to stay within my line for about 2 seconds. I guess I hit the other car with about 50 kilometers per hour. It also wasn't a head-on collision, so the force of the impact was not that bad. Both the other driver and myself were physically alright.

This whole event was a complete blur to me, and I can still not fully remember exactly what happened. What I do know, is that the traffic continued as if nothing had happened. This crash didn't result in a traffic jam, and I've never found out why the cars in front of me started braking out of nowhere.

What I do know, however, is that this event left me pretty emotionally scarred. It could have ended MUCH worse, and thinking about the what-ifs makes me very anxious (still to this day)...

Every now and then when I'm driving on the motorway and suddenly see a red blur of brake lights, I get pretty stressed and irritated. This event repeated in my head for quite a while after the accident.

The financial damage could have also been much worse. The bill for the other car came down to around 1.000 EUR, which was less than I expected. And I managed to stitch up my own car pretty well. It looked like shit anyway, so a couple of additional scratches doesn't really bother me,

Anyway, this was definitely a negative happiness factor for me, in multiple ways. More importantly, it might have been prevented if I had just focused more on getting good sleep... Lesson learned, alright?!

Closing words

Luckily, June was still an amazing month for me, despite this accident. Me and my girlfriend experienced a perfect holiday to Montenegro, and I was enjoying my otherwise simple and happy life! I was heading into July with a positive attitude, which I was going to need. July was going to be an exciting and busy month, 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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