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#HappierNewYear: An Instagram Challenge

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#HappierNewYear: An Instagram Challenge

 

Happy New Year, fellow book lovers, and congratulations on making it through 2017! It was a year when good news seemed to be in short supply, and we’re determined that 2018 will be a better, brighter, happier year.

Rather than making a New Year’s Resolution that we know we’ll break  — who really has time to train for a marathon? — we thought we’d make one we’ll actually want to keep. Our resolution: make 2018 a year of happiness.

To kick-start our #HappierNewYear, we’re looking to Everyday Happiness, a book filled with inspirational quotes, positive pick-me-ups, and fun tasks for each day of the year. And because we think everyone could use a bit more happiness, we’ve pulled together a month-long Instagram challenge that anyone can get involved with.

How it works:

Use the daily prompts to spark your creativity. Take a photo every day for 31 days and upload it to Instagram. Tag your photos with #HappierNewYear. It’s that simple.

 

 

#HAPPIERNEWYEAR

 

January 1st: Gratitude Jar

Decorate an empty jar, to be filled throughout the year with notes about good things that happen. (We recommend storing it on your bookshelf next to your copy of Everyday Happiness.)

 

January 2nd: Good Mood Board

As Lucille Ball said, “It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.” Make a mood board of the things that make you happiest.

 

January 3rd: Happy Thoughts

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” — Dale Carnegie. What makes you happy whenever you think about it? Your partner, your kids, your cat? Share it.

 

January 4th: #BLESSED

Frederick Koenig said, “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Share a photo of the small things that make you feel grateful.

 

January 5th: Get Physical

Research suggests that doing just 20 minutes of exercise can boost your mood for up to 12 hours. Share your favourite yoga position, a colourful sneaker #shoefie, or a photo of your favourite place to go running.

 

January 6th: Shiny Happy People

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” — Oscar Wilde. Share a photo of the people who bring you happiness when they enter a room.

 

January 7th: Self Portrait

It was Mark Twain who said, “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” Sketch a quick self portrait or share your favourite selfie.

 

January 8th: Joy

In the wise words of the Dalai Lama, “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” Do something that makes you happy. Share the joy!

 

January 9th: Freebie

Money can’t buy happiness. It’s been proven that once income climbs over the poverty level, more money brings very little extra happiness. Do something fun for free.

 

January 10th: Clear Out

Marcus Aurelius said, “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Clear out the things that are cluttering up your life and make room for more things that will actually make you happy.

 

January 11th: Explore, Dream, Discover

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain. Share a dream you’d love to make real this year, whether it’s travelling to Italy or starting a novel. 

 

January 12th: Sunshine Selfie

“If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.” — Morris West. Get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Not a sunny day? Show off your sunglasses.

 

January 13th: Little Things

Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Make up your mind that today will be a good day. Snap a photo of something that made you cheerful today.

 

January 14th: Sweet Dreams

Sleep helps the body repair itself, increases focus and concentration, and even plays an important role in happiness as it affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Get an early night and a #shoefie of your favourite slippers or reading socks.

 

January 15th: #SQUADGOALS

“To be kind to all, to like many and love few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.” — Mary Stuart. Tag your #squad and let them know how happy they make you.

 

January 16th: Holiday Vibes

“Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation.” — Leo Tolstoy. Share a pic of your most recent vacation. (Bonus points if it was your honeymoon!)

 

January 17th: Compassion

The Dalai Lama said, “I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives.” Show your support for a good cause with a charitable donation.

 

January 18th: Silly Selfie

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” — Groucho Marx. Make like a Marx Brother and snap a silly selfie.

 

January 19th: Family Time

Quality time with family is one of the major keys to happiness. Take your parents out for dinner, call up your grandma, or do something spontaneous with a sibling. Enjoy some quality time.

 

January 20th: Still Life

“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?” — Albert Einstein. Create your own still life of things that make you happy.

 

January 21st: Great Escape

“This planet has — or rather had — a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much all of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.” — Douglas Adams. We love Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. What’s your favourite sci-fi or fantasy world to escape into?

 

January 22nd: Great Outdoors

Studies show that fresh air boosts positivity and happiness levels. Head outside and explore, even if just for a quick 20-minute stroll. Enjoy the fresh air.

 

January 23rd: Keep It Simple

Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Keep your day simple. Wear jeans and a t-shirt. Eat fresh bread and butter. Sip green tea.

 

January 24th: Old Friends

Don’t let good friendships slip away just because life is busy. Take ten minutes out of your day to write an email or letter or call an old friend. Tag them in a photo.

 

January 25th: #FOODPORN

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” — J.R.R. Tolkien. What’s your favourite food?

 

January 26th: Candlelight

Buddha said, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of a candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Candles are also super relaxing. Light your favourite candle and enjoy the calming glow.

 

January 27th: The Best Medicine

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.” — William Arthur Ward. Share a picture or meme that always makes you laugh.

 

January 28th: Express Yourself

Many of us suppress our feelings in order to keep the peace with others. Have the strength to express your feelings and the courage to live the life you want. Share your favourite inspiring quote.

 

January 29th: Let It Go

Buddha said, “Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness.” Let go of your inhibitions and do something spontaneous. Take an improv class. Sing karaoke. Make a snow angel.

 

January 30th: Go Green

“The grass is always greener where you water it.” Though it’s unknown who originally said these wise words, take heed and get yourself a houseplant. They’re good for your health and happiness.

 

January 31st: Surprise

“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.” — Ashley Montagu. What surprised you today?

 


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 Everyday Happiness

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