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I'm the author of "Happier at Home" and "The Happiness Project," about my experiences as I test-drove the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happy, to see what really worked. Happily, both books became New York Times bestsellers. My newest book "Better Than Before", releases March 17, 2015.
On my blog, www.gretchenrubin.com, I write about my daily adventures in happiness.
My previous books include a bestselling biography of Winston Churchill, "Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill," and one of John Kennedy, "Forty Ways to Look at JFK." My first book, "Power Money Fame S..: A User's Guide," is social criticism in the guise of a user's manual. "Profane Waste" was a collaboration with artist Dana Hoey. I've also written three dreadful novels that are safely locked away in a drawer.
Before turning to writing, I had a career in law. A graduate of Yale and Yale Law School, I clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. I live in New York City with my husband and two daughters.
The practice of writing, even just one sentence a day, can be a powerful tool in gaining perspective on your happiness, fulfillment and pleasure.
This book is laid out so that you log one sentence a day for five years, and you cycle back through the journal each year to do so. This means Your five Feb. 14 entries will be on the same page, one under the other. Having just started this particular journaling practice, I'm not sure how I will feel about rereading the journal this way, but have been enjoying the invitation to maintain a brief daily journaling practice.
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I bought this book for myself and for my daughter. We are both huge fans of Gretchen Rubin and her happiness project. I thought it would be a nice way to quickly journal ideas and blessings. But the book, while well made and attractive, is too small to be able to easily write in. I find I am scrunching my handwriting so I have room to write enough of a thought to make it meaningful. I have made the commitment to doing this for at least a year, but I find it more frustrating than fun. I can't imagine doing it for the full 5 years.
I'm a big fan of the Happiness Project book and website, and I really liked the concept of this journal. However, I was disappointed to discover that it isn't standard-sized book (I didn't pay attention to the dimensions before buying...). The book is very thick and small, which makes it difficult to open and hold the pages back for writing. The lines for writing are also very close together; I prefer not to "cram" my words.
If you like to write and look back over your life and activities over a period of years, this is a great journal in which to do so. The daily quotes on happiness at the top of the page are a fun addition. I love the appearance of this journal and the happy blue and yellow color scheme with handy blue ribbon to mark your place.
My grandmother used to keep a 5-Year Journal and after looking at old notebook Journals of mine I realized how interesting it was to look back at the different chapters of my life: going to school, raising children, working etc. Sometimes a few sentences can put you back into that day. For authors, aspiring or published, it might provide ideas for stories and books.
Buy yourself a pen you love and writing in this daily is a treat. I bought it along with Q and A a Day: 5-Year Journal which asks you a random question each day for 5 years and you can stretch your creative thinking with it. I write in both these journals at the same time each day. If you like this HAPPINESS PROJECT Journal, you should check out Rubin's THE HAPPINESS PROJECT book on how she applied happiness research to her own life to see how it changed her life. It is a very rewarding read and offers ideas on new activities to try.
This would make a great gift for someone you love who is reflective and likes to write.
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