Welcome to 2018! In this Monthly Happiness Report, I will describe what was going on in my life in January and how it influenced my happiness. January was a strange month, that could have been MUCH better. My girlfriend and I found an apartment and were moving in together, which resulted in a VERY busy period. Exciting of course, but very exhausting! Unfortunately, I was struggling with a long and big fever in the meantime. This made my happiness suffer quite a bit. 🙁
I want to show you how exactly my happiness was influenced by these events. Let’s start things slowly by looking at the overall numbers first!
The year 2017 ended with a pretty great December.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to maintain these happiness levels, as January was significantly harder for me. My average happiness rating dropped to a “low” 7,29. Of course, I still don’t consider this to be bad, but it could have been much better.
How could I have been happier, then? That’s what I want to find out!
Let’s continue with my day to day happiness. I have tracked my happiness on every single day in January 2018, and I want to show you what the results look like!
The chart below visualises exactly what my happiness ratings looked like throughout January 2018. I have added some comments here and there to add context to this data.
If you haven’t seen my happiness charts before, then let me tell you that this one looks quite rough around the edges…
My happiness varied a lot in January 2018. I had a couple of great days, but most of my days in January were pretty average. Some of these days were even “bad“, or at least according to my standards.
Let me start at the beginning though.
I got a call on the 3rd of January with some very exciting news: the apartment was ours! My girlfriend and I had spent December with a big apartment hunt, and this good news meant we were finally going to move in together! It was a big step for our relationship. Game on!
What followed was a very busy period. We spent just about all our free time looking at furniture, planning the move or arranging our financial budgets.
In the meantime, my work wasn’t easy. I needed to work on a big, long running project and a deadline was nearing. My days were long enough at the office, and the chaos didn’t stop there. There wasn’t much time left for relaxing, but more on that later.
This busy time took a big toll on me, as I was quickly running low on energy. I was getting tired and stressed from the constant buzz at both the office and back home. Unsurprisingly, I got sick as a result of this busy period…
Before I discuss the rest of the month, I want to show you all the factors that influenced my happiness.
The table below shows all the happiness factors that influenced my happiness in January 2018.
I have not only tracked my happiness on every day during this month. No, I’ve also tracked every factor that has influenced my happiness. I determine every significant positive and negative happiness factor. It’s a critical part of my method.
This table shows you exactly how I got sick. After hearing about our – soon to be – apartment, things started to get intense. Our lease started in only two weeks, and there was still a LOT we had to do before we were ready to move in.
My first mistake? I didn’t prioritise my sleep…
It might sound familiar to you: life gets busy, but you still want to get everything done before the day ends. What to do? Just go to bed later!
That’s what I did, at least. And it didn’t take long before I became sleep deprived. I should have stopped there, but I didn’t…
What happened next? I got hit by a nasty fever. And I’m preeeetty sure my sleep deprivation had something to do with this fever…
The next couple of days SUCKED. I still wanted to get my work done at the office while also helping my girlfriend out with the furniture shopping. So while I felt sick, I still didn’t take my rest and as you can see that this only delayed my recovery. I spent a BIG portion of January with a fever…
How did I journal during this time?
It’s only fitting I now show you one of my journal entries from that time. I wrote the following on the 17th of January, which happened to be one of the worst days of the month. Despite feeling shaky, I tried to man up and get to work. NOT a good idea. I rated this Wednesday with a 5.00 on my happiness rating scale! This is what I had to say about my day:
When I woke up this morning, I thought: “Hey, I’m feeling pretty fine”. So I went to work, eager to get back in the action, and then BAM! My fever returned after just 2 hours. Fucking hell.
It really sucked. Went back home at 15:00 and got a nice warm bath. I really feel like a miserable pile of shit at the moment. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I felt fit. I also haven’t run in like 2 months… OMFG.
Anyway, work sucked. What makes it works is that my team is really busy at the moment. I feel like I’m letting people down.
And that includes my girlfriend. I’ve been a real downer lately, and I’m surprised with how well she deals with it. Tomorrow is going to be another busy day, with the moving and all. Actually, tomorrow is the day I officially move out. My girlfriend and I are moving the bed, which makes it official I guess. I’ll be back, though, as there is still a boatload of shit I need to pack.
Spent the rest of the evening packing and playing Roller Coaster Tycoon on my phone lol. Going to sleep now, as I want to feel better tomorrow. I’ve been saying it for a while now, but I really do want to feel better at some point…
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.
Despite my fever, I continued to spent my time on the move. There was a lot of work to be done – mostly assembling furniture -and it cost me a lot of energy. Luckily, we didn’t have to do any work in the actual apartment like painting or flooring. I would have never been able to do these things in the condition that I was in. No way in hell.
I luckily managed to heal quite well during the weekend of the 20th. That weekend was all I needed to catch up on lost sleep, and it had a great effect on my happiness. I was slowly feeling energised again. Hell, I even went for a run on the 25th of January, after struggling with an injury and my fever for a LONG time. It was nice to be back on my feet again!
My girlfriend was also really great during this entire period. We were both really busy and our lives were in the middle of a big transition. While I was feeling like a pile of shit, my girlfriend was dealing with the move while simultaneously starting her career! She definitely had more right to complain than I did, and yet she maintained a great positive attitude.
She made this situation much better for me!
Let’s see how this entire period influenced my positive happiness factors.
Positive happiness factors
The chart below shows all the positive happiness factors of January 2018.
This is pretty clear, right?
Due to my fever, I wasn’t able to enjoy my usual passions as much as I normally would. I didn’t play music often, I ran only twice and there wasn’t much relaxing either. Hell, I couldn’t even determine a single happiness factor on some days…
Luckily, my girlfriend was there for me in January. I feel very lucky to be with my girlfriend. She has arguably the biggest positive effect on my happiness. I actually tried to determine this influence in a very detailed analysis.
Yes, January was a strange month and my fever had a very big influence on my happiness. It made our big move a lot more difficult.
But we eventually pulled it off. And it was a great milestone. My girlfriend and I were now living together.
And after everything was said and done, I could finally relax and enjoy a night of relaxing! 🙂
Let’s see what factors had a negative effect on my happiness!
Negative happiness factors
The chart below shows all the negative happiness factors of January 2018.
Remember back in December, when only 8 factors had a negative influence on my happiness?
Well, that changed.
My happiness was negatively affected by 25 factors in January. WHOOPS.
Fighting a fever
If you scroll back up to my happiness factor table, you can see pretty clear how this fever started.
The first couple of days in January were extremely busy. As a result, I became tired and stressed.
I don’t have proof for what I´m going to say now, but I suspect that this tiredness and stress resulted in a drop in my immune system. This subsequently opened the doors to my fever. As a result, my happiness was negatively influenced on 12 days due to me being sick…
This is a perfect example of what I have analysed in my extensive sleep versus happiness analysis.
Could I have avoided this situation?
If I had only taken more rest in the first couple of days in January, then this whole episode might not have happened.
My recovery was also really inconsistent: I experienced a lot of shifts in my health. For example, I felt pretty good on the 14th of January, only to feel like shit again a day later. I tried to push myself to the limit – with the move and the deadlines at work – and it really only delayed my recovery.
I had no other option, though, as letting down my colleagues was not an option and my girlfriend and I wanted to move in right when the lease on our apartment started.
Yes, January was a busy month…
And that’s the first month of 2018. January was definitely not what I had hoped it would be. My fever withheld me from really enjoying the big move and finishing the deadlines at work. What was supposed to be a busy and exciting month turned into a pretty rough period.
Anyway, it’s not all doom and gloom. After having dated for almost 5 years (!), my girlfriend and I were now officially living together. It will be interesting how this is going to influence my happiness in the next couple of months!
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!
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 7 years.