How to Write a Happiness List


Finding happiness is one life’s noblest goals and the main focus of this blog. Lifevesting, the act of investing in yourself, embraces activities that bring you happiness and self-satisfaction. But times are tough: people have fewer and fewer chances to invest in themselves as the world becomes more complicated and convoluted. We’re seeing more riots, more natural disasters and more confrontations every year and the debts continue to rise and our incomes continue to stagnate. The Extinction Protocol just wrote a fantastic article detailing what we can expect from 2012: “2012: Why The Year Could Be One of the Worst in the Planet’s History”.

People across the globe are fighting against all odds in a desperate attempt to find happiness. But many of us are lost with where to even start searching…

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I make lists obsessively. I have a Bucket List, a To-Do List, a Wish List, a Christmas List… the list of lists goes on. So I decided to catalogue activities, etc that bring me happiness and compile it into a Happiness List. Writing a list of what brings you happiness can give you a sense of well-being and accomplishment, even going into apocalyptic 2012.

How to Write A List of What Makes You Happy

1. Don’t be afraid to put something on the list – at first I tried to write my list without having any material things on the list since I began with the preconception that material goods cannot affect my true happiness. I was upset with myself for putting products on the list but what makes you happy, makes you happy and there-in lies the true value of an object. So add anything that makes you happy, no matter how embarrassing. Embrace the fact that you enjoy shooting whipped cream into your mouth straight from the can (even if a certain boyfriend cringes every time).

2. Diversify. Add actions, events, things, people, weather patterns, food and anything else you can think of. And keep adding – continue to build your list as time goes on.

3. Take your time. This is such a fun project and so beneficial for yourself so don’t speed through it – really enjoy documenting what brings you happiness.

4. Be grateful. This is the season of thanks so be grateful that you’ve had so many wonderful things to fill you with happiness over the years. Everyone has something that makes them happy and no matter what it is, we all can be grateful we have it.

"My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music

5. If you’re stuck for inspiration, listen to “My Favorite Things”. This cheesy song (my favorite from the musical Sound of Music) has plenty of great ideas for things that bring happiness. “Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens…”

Ashley’s Happiness List

  1. Pugs
  2. Learning a new recipe
  3. Earl Grey Tea
  4. Rain Storms
  5. Candied Nuts
  6. Daylight Savings Time
  7. Holidays
  8. Taking photos
  9. Spending time with my family
  10. Getting my hair done (and head massages)
  11. Traveling
  12. Hot yoga
  13. Anything that smells like hyacinth, pine trees or chocolate
  14. Making Lists
  15. Shooting whipped cream into my mouth straight from the can
  16. Not procrastinating
  17. Muddy squirrels (so cute!)
  18. Finishing a long book
  19. Train Rides
  20. Candles
  21. The number 23
  22. My Dad’s stuffed animal zebra from the 50s
  23. Anything written by Robert Heinlein, A.S. Byatt or Dr. Seuss
  24. Brunch (I love brunch food!)
  25. Dressing up

What’s on your list? If you’re interested in starting a bucket list, be sure to check out my post here.


P.s. Studies have shown that smiling more leads to happiness. A great way to start smiling? Do a Google Image search for “funny pug”:

Surprised Pug!


Supplemental Reading: Take a look at this great article, “10 Reasons to Keep Smiling”.

9 thoughts on “How to Write a Happiness List

  1. This is so cool. I write lists then leave them behind! Although today I did well, mainly because the list involve buying stuff for other people! Am in the process of writing a Christmas list, not even thought about a christmas card list. The thought of a bucket list has crossed my mind this procrastination?

    • Maybe you could put ‘writing a bucket list’ as your first entry on said bucket list?

      I like the idea of the happiness list because, and I know this is a strange comparison, I often feel the ‘things that make us happy’ are like recipes we have stored in our minds.. sometimes we’re trying to figure out what the hell to make for dinner and we can’t remember any of the dishes we know how to make.

      Sometimes I just battle to remember what simple things I can do to cheer myself up [particularly when I’m trying to avoid things like a) lying on the couch or b) eating a chocolate and, worst of all, the combination of the two!]

      • What a beautiful sentiment that the things that make us happy are recipes we have stored in ourselves! I really like that idea and that’s how I feel about happiness lists.

        And lets be honest – sitting on the couch with a piece of chocolate is absolutely heaven. Although cozying up on the couch with a cup of tea is delightful too!

  2. Pingback: My Happiness List « twomuffinsinanoven

  3. Fun fact! It’s impossible to not smile while skipping.

    Actually, I’m not really sure if that is a fact or not, but I’ve tried it and am able to do it without smiling, but only because I was conscious that I was testing the theory out. Or maybe the fact was it’s impossible to be upset when skipping? If so, the next time we get upset, perhaps we should give skipping a try.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s