Comparison is something I struggle with on a regular basis. And I have almost all my life. I’m sure you’ve heard the very popular quote…
…and I honestly believe that couldn’t be more true.
Recently I’ve had a serious case of the “I’ll be happy when’s…” You know what I mean? I’ll be happy when I finally lose that weight I want to get rid of. I’ll be happy when we have a new entertainment center and get rid of that old one. I’ll be happy when we own a house and aren’t renting anymore. An all too common one, I’ll be happy when I’m finally pregnant. Or even the simplest of things… I’ll be happy when I get those essential oils I’ve been dying to try. Or that HydroFlask that will keep my water cold ALL DAY LONG! Or that new desk to do my homework and work on my blog! Well you know what? I got some of those things. And guess what else! I still haven’t reached “happy.”
And I know why. Because what I know for sure is that lasting happiness, true JOY, does not come from things. Those material things and beautiful pieces and even righteous and heartfelt desires are not what provide lasting happiness. The things that do provide lasting joy are the things that won’t be left behind when we leave this life. You know what they are.
– Relationships – Family – Experiences – Wisdom – Memories – Faith –
Because I’ve had a realization that I am becoming dependent on “things,” I decided it was time to do something about it. Something that would help me to experience TRUE JOY. So The Joy Project was born.
I am aware that this is a very unoriginal name. It’s been used before I’m sure, but I’m not worried about that. It’s a simple name for what Jason and I are going to do in our lives for the next month. We decided that together we are going to eliminate certain things and add others to our lives that will help us feel joy, and hopefully help those around us feel it as well. Here’s what we’ve come up with.
The Joy Project
For the entire month of August, beginning Tuesday, August 1st, we’re eliminating certain things from our lives in an effort to create room for joy-creating activities. These include:
- Social Media Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, Pinterest. For me, these are a huge reason I compare and want things I don’t necessarily need, because I see that others have them. I know that these platforms can and ARE used for good, and I honestly love them. But I think a small break will be refreshing. We will be keeping YouTube around, as long as it’s for inspiring, uplifting, or educational purposes.
- Television When we’re together we will be choosing more engaging activities, such as a walk, a game, a hike, a picnic, etc. in place of a movie or show.
- Excess spending We’re choosing not purchase things unless it’s essential such as bills, groceries, gas, etc. Because as I said above, material things don’t provide lasting joy. (I keep trying to remind myself of this 😉 )
- Sugar, Dairy, Gluten We know that these particular foods don’t make us feel our best, and eliminating them will create more room for more nutrient dense options.
- Clutter In an attempt to find joy in experiences rather than material items, we plan on decluttering and letting go of things we don’t need and that are just taking up space. I believe that if I get rid of things I don’t need, there is space for new things to come into my life (I’m obsessed with cleaning, so I’m pretty excited about this one!)
There are lots of things that we are adding to our lives in order to create lasting joy! Here are some of those things:
- Daily Exercise I have an exercise routine that I’ve been committed to for a few months that I am literally in love with, which I will be continuing. Jason is working on his and will be starting tomorrow 🙂
- Daily Joy Devotional Our faith is a very important and sacred part of our lives, and we study scriptures together daily, but this month we will be focusing our study on the topic of joy and seeing what we can learn and apply, as well as attending the temple regularly.
- Gratitude Journal There are numerous studies that show that gratitude is a HUGE part of creating happiness in our lives! (You can learn about many of those from Gretchen Rubin.) Looking for the things we love about our lives and focusing on those is a sure fire way to create joy.
- Weekly Date Night We’re going to have to get creative with this one since we plan on not spending much money or watching TV 🙂 We’re looking forward to some much needed quality time together.
- Service It is well known in the world that doing something for someone else is the best way to bring happiness into your own life. We are looking forward to making more of an effort to serve the people in our lives, in big or small ways.
- Everything Else We are aware that we will have much more free time to do other things that are important, such as call people instead of just see them on Facebook, read great books, experience nature and friends and family!
We will be uploading a video tomorrow about The Joy Project to our Youtube Channel The IncrediBiehls (all credit goes to Jason for that clever name!), so stay tuned! (*Update* Our video is now up on our channel.) We may post some updates throughout the month, or we may just wait until the end.
I can’t end this without thanking a few friends for inspiring me on this, including Amy at Freshly Married and Holly Bunker, as they have done similar projects. Go check them out! We are SO excited about this! We have no doubt that this will help nourish us in literally every way, body, mind, and spirit! I can’t wait to see the changes that are made, as well as the memories. We appreciate all the support we can get! We would love your feedback, thoughts, ideas, and whatever else you have to say, as long as it’s nice. But you’ll have to call, text, email, or comment here. Because we obviously won’t be on the the other ones until September.