In Pursuit of (Daily) Happiness ~ What’s on Your List?

Cassis, France | IPOM

There are things that bring us all happiness in our lives. It could be a quiet moment, or a few hours with a really good book. For some it could be a run in the woods, or a call from a good friend. For me, I can always use a good laugh, and luckily there is no lack of that in my life.

I was at the gym this week, doing my thing on the stair master & catching up on some (mindless but wonderful) magazine reading (this is one of my happy places). In this month’s issue of Canadian FASHION, there is a page dedicated to New Year’s Resolutions (after all, ’tis the season). On this page, a few celebrity clothing designers wax about their goals for the coming year.

There was one I read that particularly struck a chord with me (I love those moments).

“I want to create a ‘happy list’ and encourage my daughters to make their own. A happy list is a list of what quickly and easily puts a smile on my face, like a bubble bath. I will make sure to do at least one of those things every day.”

~ Rachel Roy

Tofino - Photo by Niko Pavlo

An amazing and simple concept, and one that can shockingly fall by the wayside all too easily sometimes. So in my own pursuit of more (happiness, purpose, substance), it strikes me that this all too simple idea simply must factor not just into the bigger picture of life, but into each and every day of my existence (I’ve personally been working on this for a long while).

Photo by Niko Pavlo

So, if you’ll oblige, here are 12 things I would add to my daily ‘happy list’ – it amazes to think that these are actually at times hard to do. I’d LOVE to hear what would be on all of yours!

Here I go with my 12 daily bits of happiness…

  1. A long run in the cold air
  2. An entire day or evening with my family ~ with all of my technology turned off & tucked away out of sight & out of mind
  3. A long walk with a loved one (or two)
  4. Giving something away
  5. A good meal on a truly hungry stomach
  6. Cooking in the kitchen with a favorite record on
  7. A glass of wine on the couch with my husband (love that guy) with a good record on
  8. An afternoon in the garden with my bare hands in the soil
  9. A hot cup of tea, and a moment to just sit still in the quiet
  10. A hot aromatherapy bubble bath (thanks Rachel)
  11. A few deep breaths
  12. A ride though the city on my old creaky bike (usually with the hubby ~ he makes me wear a helmet when I ride alone)

Tofino - Image by Niko Pavlo

It seems so simple, but really the best things in life really always are. So that’s my list off the top of my head ~ what’s on the top of yours? :)

As we move into the final push of the Christmas season, I am struggling to feel as though I really need anything (I really don’t). Everything I really need is already right in front of me, or within me, and I just need to make them happen, every day. To me that is an empowering thought.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic ~ and thanks for reading, as always!

Yours in Less,

Email Handwritten Signature

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

Related Posts:
ShiraIn Pursuit of (Daily) Happiness ~ What’s on Your List?

70 Comments on “In Pursuit of (Daily) Happiness ~ What’s on Your List?”

  1. sustainabilitea

    I, too, am blessed not to need anything for Christmas, even though I know I’ll get some lovely gifts. The entire family will be together for the week of Christmas, a rare blessing on its own. One of my s-i-ls will be there for a few days, another blessing. We are able to afford to have the house (inside) repainted as I get it ready for the market (that’s a blessing) and the three guys who were here for two weeks were not only excellent at their job, but wonderful Christian men who made the time the least chaotic they could. We had a blast and I’ll miss them. :-) They’ll miss my cookies and candies!!

    As I gradually clean the floors for the last time and put things back into place, I’m enjoying how marvelous the house looks and thinking about how nice it will be to get our younger daughter from art school on Monday for her Christmas break. I’ll get to meet two online writing friends Monday before coming back, which will also be a treat. I’m having some wonderful pomegranate oolong tea while typing this. And above all, the birthday of my Lord and Savior is on the way.

    Life doesn’t get much better than this.

    1. Shira

      Wonderful Janet – enjoy this time! Great to hear about your plans and how much you look forward to spending time with your family :)
      I couldn’t agree with you more about this life – we are indeed a blessed bunch :) XX

  2. Heather

    Love a happy list it is a second favorite to my life lists :)
    1. A cup of hot tea after a morning workout sitting in the back garden with the daily newspaper
    2. A good book that I can get lost in within the first chapter
    3. A quiet walk with my pup – just she and I, allowing my mind completely wander
    4. Yoga – a good practice does the mind & body good
    5. Baking, cooking or kneading bread with some she & him or jack johnson blasting on the stereo
    6. snuggles with my handsome orange kitty Spencer
    7. snuggles with my handsome man Justin
    8. Unstoppable laughing fits with my Sister & Mom
    9. Spending an entire day in my garden, sometimes just speaking spanish to my plants (they like spanish, it makes them grow happy)
    10. Afternoon visits with my Dad in the Den for a 4:00 cup of copy & the afternoon paper

    1. Shira

      Fabulous Heather – a great list! I love the laughs and the nuances of how we love to connect with favorite people in our lives, I can just picture you and your dad in the den – it does my heart good! And snuggles with out handsome men? I’m there! :)

  3. annesturetucker

    Love this post Shira!

    My happy list looks like this:
    1. A wonderful early morning run while the sun is rising
    2. meditating – and finding the peaceful spot within
    3. a cup of favorite tea with a friend
    4. a table full of friends and family sharing time, conversation, laughter and delicious home cooked food
    5. lighting a candle in the dark
    6. fresh flowers
    7. giving
    8. nature – I live in the most beautiful place in the world
    9. the hummingbirds in my garden
    10. creating
    11. spending time with my kids and feeling endless love for them
    12. a long walk alone or with someone I love
    Thank you my friend :-)

  4. amiramelody

    I have one of these as well. Along with doing activities which have brought me happiness in the past, I try to think of things I am grateful for, which usually makes me feel better about a bad situation.

    1. Shira

      Me too Amira! This is such a great point to make – gratitude for all we have is such a fabulous starting point for any list – ‘happy’ or otherwise :) Thank you for the reminder!

    1. Shira

      I love your list Liz! Starting with coffee – honestly that should really be on the very top of mine too 😉 Everything is better after a cup or two of coffee!

  5. nikkimmascali

    Reblogged this on Run, Nikki, Run and commented:
    Shira always has so many wonderful blogs, but this one, by far, is my favorite – especially as this time of year always makes me want to reflect on how thankful I am for all that I have, even when I sometimes feel like grumbling about life or how I feel about my body.

    I used to be in the habit of doing what I called “Happy Lists,” which I got from my most-favorite blog, “Rockstar Diaries,” and they’ve really fallen to the wayside the past few years.

    But they’ll be back, for sure, now that Shira reminded me there’s ALWAYS something to be happy about.


    1. Shira

      Nikki, this is wonderful and so true! It is easy to get caught up in so many little things that can consume and seem more important than what is really important: safety, gratitude, and taking time for ourselves :) I’m so happy to inspire more ‘happy’ lists out there :) Wonderful!

  6. frugalfeeding

    I’m not nearly a good enough person to have a list of ten things that sound quite so virtuous 😀 (see my latest post for my take on life :D) – but I do like going out for coffee/tea when it’s exceedingly bitter outside! Also, get a new chain!

    1. Shira

      Haha! I love this Nick! Would you believe that chain is not mine? This is one of my favorite pics from my trip to France this summer – an old bike just parked in an alley in Cassis – I don’t even know if this was rideable….from the looks of it not so much? 😉

  7. myhealthyohana

    I loved this post, Shira! It’s the little things in life that bring the most joy! Thank you for helping me refocus on that. I’m going to have to think about my list and blog about it :)

  8. Liz

    1. Walking in the woods with my dog. (my little house sits on 8 acres of woods in NW Montana with the mountains of the continental divide to my east)
    2. A morning snuggle with my cat.
    3. Coffee in a dark kitchen with just a few undercounter lights glowing.
    4. Sitting on the front porch or my chair in the sideyard with a cuppa and my dog and cat near.
    5. Sitting in front of the woodstove with a small fire going
    6. Most of the time – my work! (I am fortunate to love what I do and am self-employed working from my home office)
    7. Puttering in the kitchen making anything!
    8. Watching the snow fall.
    9. Snowshoeing in the woods with my dog (is this a repeat of #1?)
    10. Anything, anything quiet, at my home, with my pets.

    I am a happy person, fortunate through opportunity and choice to be living exactly where I choose and doing things I love 95+% of the time.

    My family stopped with the gift thing some years ago. We give when we see something we would like the other to have from us. We spend $$ getting together. My Christmas giving is typically to animal organizations: Morris Foundation, local vet’s “mooch” fund. I had idyllic childhood Christmases and now I often spend the day quietly, talking to family, enjoying memories and making simple food that I love with beautiful music sometimes and sometimes just the silence of the woods.

    Peace and serenity to all!

    1. Shira

      Hi Liz I read this through this morning while enjoying a coffee in my bed – what a wonderful picture you paint of what sounds like a perfectly serene and wonderful life of your choosing – honestly your 95% comment is truly admirable :) I’d love a few of those quiet moments walking in the woods or in the snow with a beloved dog, thank you so much for sharing with all of us!

  9. A Dog With Fleas

    The “Happy List” is the best thing I heard today! Such a simple idea, but one that can bring such goodness and richness into your life. Will need to take a good thought of what I want on my list. A couple I know of 1.) Create new memories everyday with friends and family. 2) Take more photos of these good memories to have for posterity. 3) enjoying the fun in cooking a homemade meal 4.) stress less so I can enjoy my Happy List!! Hope you enjoy your list for the upcoming New Year! They are sound fantastic.

    1. Shira

      Thank you for sharing with us! I love your point about remembering to take pictures for memories – such an important one and one that can easily be missed if we are not aware :)

  10. blissfulbritt

    I love this idea. Your list is great and I can say I’d have a few of your ideas on mine. A great meal on a truly empty stomach is at the top for me along with a good run/walk!

    1. Shira

      I love this Britt – I’m so glad we share in this! Nothing is better than getting truly hungry and enjoying a well deserved few bites of sustenance :)

  11. ames.

    lovely lovely post. been MIA lately, but glad i checked in today and read this post! so inspiring! need to create a list of my own now! haha. hope you are doing well! it’s been a while since i’ve just sat and had a cup of tea while enjoying the moment…..warm fuzzies. happy friday!

  12. goodg1rl

    Reblogged this on 365 and commented:
    Creating your very own happy list! Love the idea. I think in some ways trying to document these things can feel quite contrived at times. Surely we should know what simple activities makes us happy and not have to remind ourselves? Well the complete opposite is true for me, when i need my happy list the most its when I am most likely to make poor decisions for myself. Go on try it, I dare you. Maybe just maybe, having an awareness of the simple things we can do for ourselves to make a hard day better may just create a small shift in the world. In times like these the more happiness in the world the better. Lets end our own suffering so we are not inclined to impose our suffering onto others. My love and support goes to those effected by the Connecticut Primary School shootings.
    Love Kylie x

  13. Sarah

    Love your list, Shira! Number 2 resonates with me. I get so tired of the tie that binds everyone to their electronic device, so a day like that every once in a while would make me SO happy! 😀

    1. Shira

      Thanks Sarah! It is SO hard to do at times as we are always scared we will ‘miss’ something. The crazy thing is we are usually missing what is right in front of us – and being truly present with loved ones is too important not to make the time for. So glad to share :)

  14. zellie

    This is a great idea! I definitely think this is something I’ll need in my life within the next year! Ah, now to think of the list! 😀

  15. Pingback: Inspiring Blog Award!!!!!! « Have Life, Will Travel!

  16. spree

    If only we knew how little we “lacked” and how near our happiness truly is. Thanks for sharing your top ten Shira! It’s lovely to see! Each day one of the things I do is sit in my quiet chair early in the morning and remember things from the day before that I’m grateful for. I’ll write them down and frequently add a little drawing. It’s so easy to be distracted from the blessedness of this life! It takes a kind of vigor. Thank you for the reminder and for this look into your heart.
    xx spree

    1. Shira

      Spree – so true about our lackings – I absolutely love the sound of your morning ritual … a truly simple and aware start to your day, counting blessings and practicing gratitude are so important :) I love that we share that, among other things!

  17. Gabby @ the veggie nook

    Yours and Heather’s lists are actually perfect- I would steal so many items from them for my own happy list! I would have to add: waking up early, watching the sun come up and listening to the peace and quiet. Honestly nothing makes me happier than slow, easy, lazy mornings :)

  18. hardygirls

    I think this happy list creating idea will be my first new years resolution! My daughters and I only get 50% of our time together (the other half is spent with daddy) and we often forget to slow down and enjoy the precious moments that are occurring each and every day! Happy holidays to you and your family :)

  19. Pingback: My Go-to Happy List « Have Life, Will Travel!

  20. Pingback: Recipe: Classic Vegan Shepherd’s Pie | in pursuit of more

  21. Simran

    Oh this is such a lovely list and has inspired me to write my own. Will do that and link back to this post :) Happy Holidays Shira!!

  22. Pingback: Day 26 – Daily list of Happiness! | ChipsnChutzpah

  23. eastbaybounty

    Fantastic idea.
    1. A sunrise run.
    2. Teaching – especially the first time a student reads his first book, all on his own.
    3. Snuggling with my 7-year old.
    4. Cooking from scratch with fresh local food
    5. Girl’s night out
    6. Walks in nature
    7. The Pacific Ocean
    8. A good book that keeps me reading all night
    9. A hot aromatherapy bath
    10. Laughing with my family
    11. Seeing old friends
    12 Hanging with my best friend

  24. Kristy

    I love this idea! I’m going to write up a list and put it on my fridge, so I always have it in mind. A few that are definitely making the list:

    1. Spooning with my canine roommate first thing in the morning
    2. A good run by the beach
    3. Cuddling with my husband on the couch, after dinner, while watching a good movie
    4. Laughing
    5. Cooking while listening to some of my favorite music

  25. Katie (A Fork in Hand)

    What a great post! One thing that never fails to put a smile on my face is seeing my sweet puppy dog’s face looking up at me as I get out of bed each morning, always eager with anticipation for what’s to come on this brand new day.

  26. Pingback: What’s on your happy list? « My Healthy 'Ohana

  27. Pingback: What Would ‘Really’ Make You Happy? | A Fresh Start

  28. Pingback: Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Brownies | In Pursuit of More

  29. Pingback: My List | BlissfulBritt

  30. Jane

    I love this idea – if only there were always enough hours in the day! I am going to try and make a list of ‘5 minute happies’ that I can squeeze in even when I don’t have time for anything else!

    Love the blog, thank you :)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *