Weekends With Friends – Monthly Happiness Report – April, 2018

Hey there, and welcome to another one of my monthly happiness reports! April was a blast of a month, and I was REALLY happy throughout it all. It is now finally Spring here in the Netherlands, meaning that the weather is getting GOOD. I also spent two great weekends with friends, which really improved my happiness. I want to show you how April influenced my daily happiness!

You see, I track my happiness every single day. I have been doing this for 4,5 years now, and I've learned a lot about myself in the process. I like to think that I used this knowledge in order to be even happier every day.

Let's get started with a simple overview of my average happiness ratings.

As you can see, my average happiness rating in April was a 7,98. That's quite a high number and I'm happy about that! March 2018 had already been a really good month, and it's good to know that I've been able to continue this streak!

But I'm not here to talk just about my average happiness rating. No, I want to show you my day-to-day happiness ratings!

Let's see why April was - again - such a happy month for me.

Monthly happiness

The chart below visualises exactly what my happiness ratings looked like throughout April. I have added some comments here and there to add context to this data.

Man, I just LOVE these graphs. Just look at that consistency!

I might sound like a total nerd right now, but knowing that I've been this consistently happy in April actually brings a smile to my face!

I know, sorry. It DOES sound lame, but hey, this is my monthly happiness report after all! 😉

Anyway, I really enjoyed my uneventful life in the Netherlands in April. I continued working my job as an engineer, which was quite nice. It was relatively quiet in the office, meaning that I didn't experience any work stress at all. Nice!

In my free time, I mainly just enjoyed spending time doing the things I love. I spent nice and quiet nights with my girlfriend, continued running a lot and enjoyed the beautiful Spring weather.

You can see from the graph that I didn't experience any real dips in my happiness. I only caught a minor flu during the last couple of days of the month, but it wasn't a big deal. I was still generally happy.

But as usual, this monthly happiness report is not just about the happiness ratings. What about all the factors that had an influence on my happiness?

Happiness factors

The table below shows all the happiness factors that influenced my happiness in April 2018.

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Normally, I would now explain all the things that I did during the month.

I want to change it up a bit.

Instead of explaining what I did in April, I will instead show you a couple of my happiness tracking comments. You see, I not only record my happiness ratings and factors, I also journal about my day in general. I've been doing this for a long time, and I feel like it helps me deal with my inner thoughts and emotions. I view it as an outlet. A way for me to put my mind in words, while simultaneously giving them a place to rest. If you know what I mean. 😉

Anyway, I feel like these journal entries do a MUCH better job of explaining what my life looked like this month, and how my happiness was influenced by all these happiness factors.

So without further adieu, here's the first one of my journal entries. I wrote the following on the 8th of April, which was a terrific day. I rated this Sunday with an 8,5 on my happiness rating scale! It was one of the best days of April.

Please be aware that I do not apply any spell checking on my journal entries. It is literally just a way for me to directly put my thoughts to words, without filtering.

This is what I had to say:

Man, today was great. Had a nice and quiet early morning. My girlfriend had to work today, so I had the entire apartment for myself. Spent 2 hours cleaning everything like a MANIAC, but it felt good to be finished so soon. Being productive makes me feel good about myself.

When I finished cleaning, I went ahead and worked on my website a bit. I am now completely redesigning the look and feel of Tracking Happiness, which is a lot of fun to do! The time really flew by. Before I knew it, my girlfriend was back again. 

We went outside straight away to enjoy the weather together, because the sun was shining! We packed a couple of beverages and drove down to the park to relax for a while. I LOVED it. At 6 PM, we went back in order to do our exercises together. We now bought a couple of weights in order to train our muscles a bit. It feels good to work out together. Went for a run afterwards, which was just as nice.

We had the leftovers of yesterday for dinner and watched 2 episodes of Friends on the couch. I don't get it. Friends is fucking BORING. We are now 7 seasons in, and I still don't find it funny at all. I just don't get it, I guess. The humor is so predictable and lame. And where does the story head? NOWHERE. I feel like some episodes don't even have a subject?! Anyway, my girlfriend still likes it. So that's that.

Anyway, that was my day. Going to bed now. Tomorrow is the start of a new work week!

I did warn you: this is just a result of me writing down whatever I think about. So if you are a big fan of Friends, then I'm sorry to see you go! 🙁 It was nice to meet you...

For those who continue reading: this is exactly what my quiet, uneventful and boring life looks like!

And I genuinely love everything about it. You see, I don't need to be on an adventure every single day in order to be incredibly happy. The small things in life are sometimes just as good.

On to the next one!

I wrote the following the day after, on the 9th of April, which was another nice day. I rated this Monday with an 8,2 on my happiness rating scale!

Here's what I wrote:

Another great day! Work was alright. I took it easy today. I actually spent quite some time thinking about the website. I still have sooo much to do. But I like the prospects of working on it. I also feel like I'm in control at my work, which feels good.

Watched a movie with my girlfriend after dinner. I can't even remember the name, but it was quite funny actually. Spent the next hour playing music in our hobby/guest/study room. I finally connected my electric guitar, which was still collecting dust after the move. Playing it felt great again. My voice didn't sound terrible as well, so I really enjoyed playing a couple of songs. My girlfriend actually joined me for a moment, and we sang a few songs together.  🙂

I'm now spending another hour on my laptop and then I'm going to bed. Today was just a perfect weekday. If it were up to me, all my weekdays could be like this! Cheers.

So within these 2 days, my happiness was positively influenced by a lot of the things I love. I loved spending time with my girlfriend, I relaxed a lot and enjoyed the beautiful Spring weather!

Also, I spent a good hour playing music again. Music has always been one of my biggest passions. When the right mood strikes me, I can lock myself in a room with nothing but my guitar for hours straight.

I had finally plugged in my electric guitar in our new apartment and it was wonderful!

My lovely new music corner
My new favorite room in the apartment!

Playing music like this really does improve my happiness. And that's why I recorded it as a positive happiness factor. You see how it works?

Anyway, that's another typical day in my life. How about another one?

I wrote the following on the 14th of April. I rated this Saturday with an 8,50 on my happiness rating scale!

Again, this was one of the best days of April:

Another lovely day. Woke up early with my girlfriend. A bit tired, but nothing serious. My girlfriend went shopping with her sister this morning, so I went out for a run at 11 AM. It actually went unexpectedly well, despite not having had breakfast yet. 

Two of my best friends arrived early in the afternoon. We immediately had a good time. We went to the casino for a day, which was a lot of fun.

We all got in with a noobie deal, meaning that we got a few chips and tickets for 35 Euros. I had quickly learned the rules of Blackjack yesterday night, but it was of no use... I had 3 chips and I lost them within 1 minute. BUMMER. My friend had more luck, and he won 30 Euros within 5 minutes. Nice.

We went to the digital roulette table after that, and my luck was just insane. I actually thought "fuck it" and placed a single Euro - 1,00 Eur - on the number 21. And wouldn't you know it, it actually fucking landed on 21. HAHAHA. I was laughing like a maniac and so did my friends. People in the casino must have thought we won the jackpot, but no, I had only won 36 Euros. But man, we had so much fun. It was really nice to spend this time with my close friends.

We went back to my apartment after and made some pancakes. We tried a bit of Blackjack ourselves for a while and they left at 22:00. Man, it was a lot more fun than I expected. Really good times.

Spent the rest of the evening working on my website. I actually managed to be really productive. What a day... Going to bed now. See ya!

Very lucky at the roulette table
From now on, you can consider 21 to be my lucky number!

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. These entries really allow me to reflect on all the good things that happen in my life.

Anyway, let's have a look at what were the biggest contributors to my happiness in April.

Positive happiness factors

The chart below shows all the positive happiness factors of April 2018.

This beautiful chart shows all the factors that had a positive influence on my happiness in April.

You can clearly see here which things I love most. I enjoyed spending a lot of time with my girlfriend. We had moved in together in a new apartment at the end of January, and we were so far really enjoying it. Living together certainly seems to have a positive effect on my happiness! 🙂

Hey, I might actually analyse whether if moving in together changes the dynamic of our relationship or not. That could maybe be a part 3 in my Happiness Through Love series? Who knows!

Anyway, April was a really fun and relaxing month. I really enjoyed my happy little life to the fullest. 🙂

I also spent two beautiful weekends with friends. During the weekend of the 20th, my girlfriend and I joined a large group of our friends on a weekend trip to the Ardennes in Belgium!

This has become a bit of a tradition, where we rent a big house for a weekend and just have fun with everybody. Really good times, I can tell you! 😉 If you want proof, then just have a look at the table with my happiness factors. My friends really had a positive effect on my happiness. We had a blast by just spending valuable time together. We played beer-pong, swam in the pool, barbecued on the porch and just generally had a good time.

The weather was also spectacular this weekend. I went for a run on Saturday and I was just in awe with the beautiful green colors of the landscape.

Beautiful spring weather
Beautiful fields of grass in the Belgium Ardennes

I think by now you have a pretty good idea of what made me happy in April.

Well then... were there any factors that had a negative influence on my happiness?

Negative happiness factors

The chart below shows all the negative happiness factors of April.

Only 3 unique negative factors had a significant impact on my happiness in April!

I caught a minor flu at the end of the month, which was a bummer. It probably had something to do with our fun little weekend in the Ardennes, Belgium... Maybe I drank too much beer or slept too little? Probably both!

This flu didn't mean the end of the world to me. In fact, I was still pretty happy despite feeling a little ill. I took a couple of days off from work to recover, and I actually enjoyed this idle time in our apartment. I watched a fair bit of The Office, which I REALLY enjoy.

In addition to this minor flu, I was also really tired a couple of times. As expected, this sleep deprivation had a negative influence on my happiness.

As icing on the cake, I was stuck in REALLY bad traffic on my daily commute from work on 3 days, which annoyed me for more than it should have. Instead of thinking about positive things, I let this traffic have a negative influence on my happiness.

But in the end, all these negative happiness factors didn't stop me from having an AWESOME April!

Closing words

And with that said, it's already time to say goodbye for now! April really was a fantastic month for me, and I hope you know now why my happiness was as high as it was! This really just proves that I don't need extravagant activities or luxury in order to be happy. I can be very happy with just my happy normal and uneventful life. And I think that's just great!

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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