Time for another update re: my monthly happiness! February was quite an uneventful month for me. After a pretty rough January, I was eager to do more of the stuff I really liked, without having to stress about moving furniture, reaching deadlines at the office or fighting my sleep deprivation. If everything went according to plan, February should have been a much better month compared to January.
I want to show you all the details of how my happiness moved during this month.
Before I show you all the details of February, I’ll start things slowly. The table below shows my happiness data for February 2018.
Aaaaah, it’s good to see a nice increase in my monthly average happiness rating. January had been a bit disappointing, with an average rating of only 7,29. I was able to buff that number up to 7,75 in February. I was much happier this month compared to the first month of 2018.
Let’s continue with my day to day happiness. I have tracked my happiness on every single day in February 2018, and I want to show you what the results look like!
The chart below visualizes exactly what my happiness ratings looked like throughout February. I have added some comments here and there to add context to this data.
It’s good to see a pretty consistent level of happiness throughout the entire month. The first half of the month was especially great!
After moving into our new apartment with my girlfriend, it was nice to enjoy a little more time to myself again.
The first ten days of February were extremely COLD in the Netherlands. They said on the news that the Siberian Bear had arrived in our country, which basically meant VERY cold winds from the east. It was freezing all the time during this period. Suffice it to say, I didn’t find a lot of happiness outdoors during these cold days…
The weather was beautiful though. Cold, but beautiful…
But the cold was simply too much during the first couple of days in February.
That’s why I spent a lot of time with my family and girlfriend indoors. It was a very relaxing time, especially now that our apartment was finally finished!
Anyway, I want to show you all the factors that influenced my happiness in February. What exactly moved my happiness during this time?
The table below shows all the happiness factors that influenced my happiness in February 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.
Wait a second… Wasn’t this the first full month my girlfriend and I were living together?
I spent a lot of quality time with my girlfriend and it was all great! We enjoyed living in our new apartment and it felt natural right from the start. This obviously didn’t surprise me at all, since my girlfriend and I had been in a relationship for 5 years at this time.
In fact, we celebrated our 5 year anniversary in February on the 19th. We went to one of our favorite restaurants in our new city. It was one of the best days of the month, which I rated with an 8,5 on my happiness scale!
My girlfriend has a great effect on my happiness, which I’ve analysed in great detail in my “Happiness through love” post series.
Back on my feet!
In other great news: I was finally fit enough to start running again!
After a long and exhausting injury that started in November 2017 AND a month filled with fever, it felt great to be back on my feet again.
But it wasn’t a perfect reunification…
You remember? It was freaking cold in the Netherlands in February! I still went running, but I simply didn’t enjoy it as much as I was used to.
I was also pretty disappointed in the amount of stamina I had lost while I was injured. Before my injury, I was easily able to run 14 kilometers after work. In sheer contrast, I was now struggling to even finish a 5K!! Oh, for fuck’s sake. It was quite disheartening to have fallen down the running ladder by THAT much.
Anyway, I knew that I wanted to get back to my former fitness levels. Nothing was going to stop me from getting there, so I kept running anyway, whether I enjoyed it or not.
So I ran on 11 days in February, according to my running logs. Out of these 11 runs, I only truly enjoyed it 7 times. Not that great…
Luckily, the weather improved over the course of February, which made running much more enjoyable for me. I also managed to slowly get used to running again, and the 5K training sessions became easier over time.
Running has always been one of my biggest happiness factors. It will obviously take a lot of effort, but I am planning to eventually finish my 5th marathon before the end of 2018! Let’s hope I’ll get there. 🙂
Anyway, let’s continue!
A peek at my happiness tracking journal
As usual, I want to give you another peek at my happiness journal entries. I wrote the following on the 26th of February, which was a VERY average day for me. Not special at all, but still enjoyable for the most part. I rated this Monday with a 7,25 on my happiness rating scale! This is what I had to say about my day:
This day was alright. Especially for a Monday.
Work was alright. I feel like I didn’t do a whole lot. I’m in a nice intermediate phase, where it’s not so busy but not a lot is expected from me either. I like it.
I again felt a bit shaky after work though. A feeling of pressure inside my head, and it’s freaking annoying.
Went for a run (5K) straight after work, and it was again FUCKING COLD. I didn’t like it and I’m starting to get sick of this weather… Had a lovely dinner with my girlfriend and just relaxed afterwards. My girlfriend and I actually gamed with one of my friends online and it was quite fun.
Going to bed early now. Today was alright, not that special, but just alright.
Before discussing this journal entry, let me quickly show you another entry. I wrote the next entry on the 28th of February, which was a pretty similar day. It was enjoyable, but nothing truly special. I rated this Wednesday with a 7,50 on my happiness rating scale!
I was pretty productive at work today, which was great. Although I do have that pressing feeling in my head again… I think my glasses are the cause, because I accidentally sat on them some time ago and they’ve been crooked ever since. These headaches remind me of my time in Kuwait…
Went to my parents’ place after work. Went for a walk outside in the freezing cold with the dog. Nothing super exciting… I made a nice risotto which my girlfriend, sister and parents all enjoyed. It was nice to spend time like this together, and I really enjoyed it. It was good to be back home for a moment.
Went to our apartment afterwards and spent the rest of the evening doing a whole lot of nothing. It feels like my girlfriend and I are experiencing a small dip. But I think it’s mostly caused by my headaches and lack of energy lately. I hope it will get better soon!
I think these excerpts show you a lot of what my life was at the time! You see, I track my happiness like this every single day. They allow me to reflect on every good thing that happens in my life.
These journal entries show you what my daily life looked like in February 2018. I enjoyed my simple and relatively quiet life. Spending time with my girlfriend and family made me happy. I also made sure to relax as much as possible after work.
But I had a pretty significant issue at the time. I was suffering from massive headaches after work each day. These really had a toll on my happiness, even though the cause of these headaches was quite embarrassing… But I’ll get to that.
Let’s first have a look at all the positive happiness factors of this month.
Positive happiness factors
The chart below shows all the positive happiness factors of February 2018.
As you can see, my girlfriend was my biggest source of happiness in February. This was the first month we lived together in our new apartment, and it really was a great experience. My girlfriend had an amazingly positive influence on my happiness.
But there were more good things happening in February!
I was finally able to run outside again. Even though the freezing COLD stopped me from enjoying it on some occasions, running was the 2nd biggest happiness factor in February. I was more than ready to rebuild the stamina I had lost over my long break from running.
Still with me?
Alright then! 🙂
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 February 2018.
Before discussing these factors, let me tell you an embarrassing story.
I forgot what the exact day was, but let’s assume it was on the 19th. On this day, I sat on my glasses… As a result, the whole frame was bent crooked like a banana.
I tried my best to remold it in order to look normal again and thought I was successful when I wore my glasses again.
However….. during the days following, I started to notice that my job was slowly costing me more energy. I became more tired after each day of work. After a while, it started to affect my happiness when I became tired and easily agitated as a result.
It was around this time when I connected the dots.
My glasses were fucking me over. Or at least, I wasn’t seeing straight anymore.
You see, I spent my entire days at work staring at a desktop. With my vision now impaired, I had to focus a lot of my energy just reading my endless Excel charts.
It’s really embarrassing, but this REALLY affected my happiness badly. In my honest opinion, I think that this was the sole cause of the dip in happiness that you see at the end of the month. I had no more energy to do fun stuff with my girlfriend or to go out for a run. All I wanted to do after work was to sit down and close my eyes, hoping that my headache would go away…
All because I sat on my glasses one day.
I told you it was embarrassing, right?
Anyway, that brings me to the end of this monthly happiness report. Despite my headaches and tiredness at the end, February was a much better month compared to January! I was finally able to relax in my new apartment with my girlfriend and even tried to start running again (albeit slowly!)
Hell yes, I was ready to make March an even better month!
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.