happiness by the hundreds

Ok, so I actually finished the “100 happy days” challenge several weeks ago (over a month ago now) and I’ve been intending to write a post about it, but I guess I just somehow haven’t gotten around to it until now… What I actually wanted to do after the challenge was go through all of my posts – sorry, tweets during those 100 days, and see if there was a recurring theme. Basically, I just wanted to analyse it to see what I tweeted about most. And then I would write a blog entry about it. Yes, I’m a bit of an academic at heart.

This isn’t actually going to be a very thorough analysis, though. (I evidently don’t have time for that!) I pretty much just scrolled through my “100 happy days” tweets and tallied up the theme(s) of each one. The results aren’t actually that surprising.

About a quarter of my posts (I’m giving up on calling them “tweets” because that just doesn’t sound natural to me) were related to food in some way, including at least five that were about cooking. Food was the most common theme, and that was kind of expected because I have to eat every day, and I love food, so it was kind of easy to find “happy” things to post about food.

A lot of posts were also about people – friends, family and colleagues.I wouldn’t say that my social calendar is very full, but when I do go out, it seems that I’ll generally make the most of it.

The final spot on the podium goes to work-related posts. Considering that I spend a great portion of my week at work, this is also not surprising. I also actually like my job, which is something that I’m thankful for. However, to be fair, there might be a bit of bias in this particular statistic because I’d often think about my tweet of the day while coming home from work, so I suppose my thoughts may have naturally focussed on work-related events. Similarly, there were a fair few posts related to my daily commute.

Something else of note, is that there were more home-related posts than ones pertaining to the outdoors (excluding those about the weather or sky). I do consider myself to be a somewhat outdoorsy person, but I can’t deny that I like my home-days.

Anyway, some of you may have noticed that I’m kind of continuing my “happy days” tweets, but not as a daily thing – just for when I remember and/or feel like it. Not sure how long it will last, but I’ll try… Mostly because I don’t include a lot of photos/pictures with my blog posts, so having my Twitter feed on the side kind of helps break up the pages and pages of words here… kind of…

As to whether or not the challenge has changed my life or made me happier: probably not…? I feel like life’s gone back to “normal”, as it was pre-challenge. Perhaps one benefit is that I am more conscious of negative thoughts and will more actively counteract them with positive ones. Well, either way – whether there was direct benefit or not – I do think that it was a worthwhile challenge, so I’m happy I took part and actually made it to 100.

challenge accepted

Keen observers will have noticed that I now have a Twitter feed in the sidebar of my blog. Well, I only just put it there now, so you’d have to have been pretty quick to have seen it before I published this post about it…

Anyway… if you have a look at the second tweet, you’ll notice that I only dug up my Twitter account so that I can do the “100 Happy Days” challenge. I actually only knew about this because my mum happened to be watching … that morning show on Channel Ten… that one after “Wake up”… I really can’t think of the name right now for some reason… Well, it’s not important. Point is that I just heard it mentioned on TV one day.

So I had a read of their website, and convinced myself that I could and should do this (I do like a challenge…) Basically, all you have to do is post a picture of something that made you happy that day, every day for 100 consecutive days. It can be private/anonymous or you can post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. I could have done this privately, and I did consider it, but I thought that’d make it too easy for me to let it fall by the wayside…

But I don’t use Instagram at all, and although I use Facebook, I rarely post anything there, so they were both out. Then I remembered that I have a Twitter account that I created three or so years ago… and then realised that I can put a Twitter widget on my blog… and, hey presto, here we are!

The website says that 71% of people do not actually complete the full 100 days because they don’t have time or something. That seems like a really high failure rate for something that seems so easy to do.

Well, to be fair, I am a little worried about not making the whole 100 days. What if I forget and accidentally skip a day? Is there a provision to allow for late submission or catch-up posts? Am I allowed to post the same thing more than once? Based on the challenge description, I assume you can, but I’m going to try to make all/most of them different (otherwise you might end up with a whole bunch of tweets about blue skies, running and eating…)

Today being my first day of the challenge (you can nominate any day you like as the start date), I’d also like to add a disclaimer of sorts by saying that I cannot guarantee a photo for every day. I’m usually not big on taking photos of everything, so pulling out my phone and snapping up happy moments doesn’t come naturally to me. And since I don’t intend on changing this, some days may only have text, and some might only have unashamedly amateur drawings instead of actual photos.