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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Who's game?

After watching the Happy documentary, I've been mulling over the idea of happiness. One evening, I was reading a magazine, and a single quote gave me a lightbulb moment...

"Happiness isn't being cheerful all the time," says John Sharp, a psychiatrist and Harvard Medical School. "It's being interested in things—finding out more about something, learning how to appreciate something better, incorporating something new that fits with what you already have."

So! Inspired, I decided to have more everyday adventures this fall. Then I wondered if I should make it a new series on the blog, since it's more fun to do things as a group. Would you want to join me?

How it would work: Each week, I'll issue a single challenge. (Think: learn to tell a great joke, write a handwritten letter, go see a movie by yourself.) The following week, we'll regroup and share our experiences! What do you think?!

The challenge for this week, should you choose to accept it, could be to not watch TV for a week. (Or, at least, cut way back.) And see what surprising things unfold in your life...

Thoughts? Are you in? Does this sound fun to you? Fingers crossed, I really hope so!!!

P.S. The no-complaining challenge...

(Photo by Christine Carreira. Graphic design by Rachel for Cup of Jo)

280 comments:

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Kiley Kate said...

I don't watch TV because cable is too expensive and I'm just so busy! It's amazing how much you really don't miss it.

Nina Leung said...

Brilliant idea! I love it! Count me in! Check out this little article in NY Times that came out in January about a guy that learns something new every day:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/education/edlife/renaissance-man.html

Might be good inspiration.

CYLiou said...

Great idea. I don't watch TV, but I surf the web way too much. So I'll cut that out in lieu of TV! Thanks for turning me on to the Happy documentary. I think it'll really have some effect on my life!

Candace said...

I love this idea! I am working my way through Dawson's Creek on Netflix, but I will happily take a break to read more, talk to friends more, write more letters, get into the city more, and take more walks. Of course I need a day to prepare ;) so I'll start Saturday!

Lara said...

Totally love this! When my husband was born, my husband and I decided not to get a cable subscription. That's means no TV for us, except for occasional DVD nights. But that's such a rarity now.

The benefits of no TV are palpable. I feel a clearness of mind and focus and also we get to read more!

Looking forward to more weekend challenges!!!

Jessee said...

you're inspiring in the most unpretentious and down-to-earth way.

Craft and Decorate said...

Great idea! I'm totally in! I'm starting right now actually! :) Keep the good ideas coming!

pigeon pie said...

I dont usually jump on the band wagon for blog challenges but this seems like it will be a great idea!

Linda said...

I'm in :)

Linda said...

I'm in :)

Unknown said...

Great idea! I am totally in. But I do not own television, so it it not really a challenge for me :)

marissa bognanno said...

i love it! what a great idea! i feel happier already. :)

gabrilea said...

I'm in too !!! Definitely. Lets try our best !!! :) I think tv will be the hardest chalange for me.

LuckyRainbowDesigns said...

Oh I'd totally love to watch no TV for a week! - When do we start? :)

amiechristo said...

Hmmmm, this sounds like it could be interesting. I'm definitely game for something new. :)

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Gabrielle said...

Love the idea! But I also love tv... Will try to cut down (:

janinejackson said...

I'm game! Love this idea so much. I love little mini challenges like this. And I'm glad to kick it off with something simple like not watching any TV!

jamaica byles said...

love the idea....especially as the days grow shorter.Less sunlight always makes me a little gloomy.This challenge is sort of a moot one for me, however.I normally don't watch TV at all.I mean never.However, I have been thinking perhaps I should- so I'll reverse this challenge and watch tv this week.No reality shows, however.I'm only willing to do so much....lol.
Love your blog!

BrigittaR said...

I know this is probably a silly comment but I LOVE that this post wasn't hidden behind a 'read more' link. I find I don't read all of those posts so I'm glad I didn't miss out on this one (I guess I presume posts this long are now filed under read more??)

Anyway. This series sounds great. I can't wait for more x

brittany said...

love this! i was just thinking yesterday that all my husband and i do together anymore (since having a kiddo) is watch tv. i hate that! i'm in.

youmakemeswoon said...

I love this and I am in...

http://youmakemeswoon.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/a-challenge/

xx

Bridget Forney said...

I was in up until the part where you said I had to cut back on TV. I barely get to watch it as it is and thank the Lord for DVR!

Next challenge, please.

: )

Kelly said...

I'm in too!

Kristin said...

Not me! I'm deep in a Frasier marathon (thank you, Netflix!) and almost done knitting a sweater (because watching TV doesn't count if you're also doing something productive like knitting or folding laundry, right?) But I love the idea and will catch you next time around.

raemissigman.com said...

i am in. love this.

Jasmine Brink-Li said...

I'm totally into this idea! Although, I've already cut back the tv time in my life waaay down, so I think I've got that challenge completed! :)

Iris said...

What a fantastic idea! I'm totally in. Can't wait to see what other challenges we do!

Also, the glasses are marvelous! Have you ever looked into Warby Parker? Their glasses are around the same price, are super cute, and they are like the Toms of eyewear in that for every pair purchased they donate a pair to someone who needs glasses but can't afford them. Talk about the gift of sight!

Happy weekend!

Stephanie said...

Count me in, Joanna. I love this idea!

I secretly think about giving up TV all the time. I really enjoy watching TV, but I'm always wondering if there is something else I could be doing that I would enjoy more - like reading or having a long chat with my husband.

Caitlin said...

Joanna, I really love this idea. A series of fall challenges will be so much fun, and I think small goals lead me to do more overall. I can't wait to see what else you come up with! Meredith's comment about all she achieved without TV is great -- and so true! I also love Claire's idea of a "Break-up Bucket List." I just broke up w/ my boyfriend of 9 years (I'm 23!) and moved to a new state for a job. I'm going to incorporate that idea and The Happiness Project book into my own bucket/goal list. It will give me something to focus on, help me meet new people, and just be fun. Thanks for the inspiration! I'll stayed tuned for how this challenge goes & what's happening next week!

Mad Max and Family said...

Great goal! I try to enjoy the everyday in my days - esp weekends now that I have a toddler. It's great exposing them to everything.

I don't think I can do your goal for the week though - Football and Basketball season. I don't watch too much TV - too busy with being a teacher. But I do watch Netflix with my husband (so that may count as TV).

-Tara

http://madmaxandfamily.blogspot.com
http://blog.chron.com/madabouttown/

Michelle said...

I love this challenge. I'm in!

Natalie said...

Love this!!! I am so in. I am so making him do the challenges with me!

xo
Natalie
dishesrunwaysandbreifcases.blogspot.com

Maria said...

YES! Great idea! Does watching DVDs of TV shows count as watching TV?

Maria xx
www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

Suse said...

Can't do this during the playoffs, sorry. Go Nats!

Corey Pak said...

amazing idea! I just watched the movie too, but havent put anything in to action. I have to admit we've been w/o TV for 4 years, and find that we waste an equal amount of time on the internet... ;-(
I love the No complaining!

canlıtvizle said...

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Nicole said...

sounds awesome! I'm in!

April said...

We didn't have a TV for nearly 3 years. We then bought a GIANT one so we could host big TV related events like the Super Bowl. But since we went without one for so long, I hardly ever think to turn it on anymore. I love just having the radio on while I'm at home.

Jam-packed Life said...

We haven't had a television in more than five years. There's one show we watch on Hulu very occasionally. It had freed up a ton of time for us to do things we love: explore the city, spend time with friends, go to lectures. Of course, now that we have a baby, we don't really have time to do any of these. But we also don't veg out in front of the TV in the evenings. Instead, I just catch some extra zzzs or use the time to read a book (recommendations piling up), while my son sleeps in the room next door.

Ittny said...

I am all in! I think this challenge series is a great idea :)

Casi Leigh said...

Love. This. Just, so much. I always get more into "challenges" for myself when I have a group of some sort to confer with along the way!

I have been thinking a lot on this subject lately, myself.

Ok, totally down with this week's challenge but I watch almost no television at all anyway, for a myriad of reasons. We don't have cable and between jobs and school, I don't have much time. BUT I do tend to watch an episode or two of The Simpsons (I know, it's an addiction lol) right before going to bed. This week, I will try to replace that with reading a few pages in my current book! Can't wait to hear how everyone does with this one. <3

m said...

Jo, do you know this book? http://www.amazon.com/One-Good-Deed-Chronicle-Books/dp/1452106681 It is all about little happy challenges :)

Jess said...

I LOVE this idea!!!

Shan said...

This is a great idea! We don't have a TV in our apartment, so I think I'll customize this challenge to no Netflix!

Jamie said...

Oh man, no TV?? We can try... it definitely would be interesting to see what we would come up with to do without our beloved shows each evening! As for the idea to go all Vegan for a week, NO THANKS!!! That sounds awful lol! Way too involved and complicated, not to mention expensive. Checking for additives that come from animals? WTH... These are meant to be fun, not a chore.

Heldine said...

I don't want TV much. I have actually been trying to watch more for my job as an actor. So I think I'm going to skip out on this challenge.

Paula said...

Love it! I'm in! this is a real big challenge for us! :s

XO

Paula & Laura

Ali said...

I love this idea! It's funny because I just read an article in Business Time on "How to be Happier: 10 things to stop doing now" I'm also going to have to check out the Happy documentary, it sounds pretty fascinating.

Lizzetta said...

To me, a new challenge (such as to give something up) is a different animal from the happiness prescription you quoted of "being interested in things".

Nicolette said...

Great idea! I try to do this anyway but I'd love having some new ideas and accountability. I'm in!

Nicolette said...

Great idea! I try to do this anyway but it would be great to have new ideas and some accountability! I'm in!

POMpon said...

yes! I'm in

Sarah said...

My boyfriend and I split up 3 weeks. After being together for almost 5 years, I feel a little lost. I had already started a list of things to Get My Single On. I think this Happy challenge falls right in line!

Lee Tenhoeve said...

So, my husband and I realized one day about three years ago the t.v. hadn't gone on for almost a month before we decided that meant it wasn't something we needed. We donated it to Goodwill that day. The cable company still doesn't believe we actually don't have t.v. they think we just changed carriers and don't want to tell them. They only stopped stalking us about a month ago. Anyway, almost immediately we noticed how wonderfully connected we felt without the incessant drone of the talking box invading our privacy. I think you'll discover so many wonderful surprises. Time you used to spend "trying to find something to watch" becomes time you actively use and enjoy. Your attention spans lengthens. Your time for snuggling and cozying up with a cup of tea and a great read is never cut short. You read more. You are less inclined to listen to or add to idle chatter. You look into your partners eyes more. I will never go back. So, I might be lacking a few pop culture references and touch stones every now and then but what I've gained in my quality of life and depth of intimacy with my husband put that to shame. I once heard someone say that you can live life or spend it watching other people live theirs. When faced with the choice so clearly, who would choose the latter?

Paola Albergate said...

I love this idea, Joanna! Looking forward to it:)
THANK YOU !!!

CHRISTLE, NZ said...

such a great idea- i'm so in!
the tv challenge won't be too difficult, excited to see the rest of the challenges.

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kate said...

I'm in!

Erin said...

I'm loving this so far! This morning I have a couple projects to do around the house and I would usually have the TV on as background noise, but not today. I feel much more focused, and I'm listening to great music.

Roma Girn said...

Love the idea and the quote. Although I can't do this weeks challenge - TV shows starting back up is one of my favourite things about fall (along with the leaves changing colour, baking with pumpkins, lighting candles in the evening, sipping hot chocolate........). I will pass on this one but will start next week.

domonique matthews said...

the tv one is a cinch. we (me, hubbie, 3 kids) watch no more than 1-2 hours a week during the fall&winter and next to none during the summer. (except when the sf giants for in the playoffs!)
i really enjoyed that documentary, it has definitely stuck with me since i saw it last spring. happiness is relative and it has nothing to do with money and lots to do with people.

Rissie Grace said...

I'm in!

Rissie Grace said...

I'm in!

pve design said...

Yes. Game on, please.
I am big on learning new things. I also think happiness for me is in doing for others and I often need reminders that it is ok to do nice things for me...to make me happy.
pve

kaylasview said...

I am GAME!!!!

AHonora said...

I am in! Starting tomorrow:) This is the week I am starting. Good luck everyone!

La bohème or something like it. said...

Read THE HAPPINESS PROJECT!! There is book and blog, really excellent. By Gretchen Rubin... I go back to the back almost once a year! http://happiness-project.com/

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c & b said...

This was an easy challenge to meet.


... as our tv broke about two weeks ago! Lol

cg

Mayela said...

I love the idea!!! And agree with Nina, that would be a wonderful challenge ;)

Admirar said...

This makes me so happy. I just moved to New York this weekend and am feeling particularly overwhelmed by losing my immediate friend group. Normally, I am a passive blog reader - but this will get me participating.

Epic idea.

inspir-ed. said...

I recently saw this documentary and haven't stopped thinking about it since! My 2012 resolution was to take a class of some kind each month of the year: cheese & wine pairing, zumba, scuba lessons, knife skills, etc. It has been such a wonderful experience and a great way to continue to challenge myself. I will absolutely continue it in 2013. Read more here: http://the-ed-chronicles.blogspot.com/2012/10/life-experienc-ed.html

460f197c-1891-11e2-8edf-000bcdcb5194 said...

this is wonderful.

the happy documentary is so inspiring and the whole happiness movement seems to be catching fire. i absolutely love the idea of living life with intention, and the notions that we are the determiners of our own happiness and that happiness is something we can actively strive to create for ourselves.

i really hope you continue this challenge series, jo!

Valerie Marie said...

I love this idea. I am definitely looking forward to the challenges!

Johnny said...

YES! I am memorising it as we speak ;) I really love this challenge. I wrote about it on my blog here: http://www.lovejohnny.nl (with pictures of the poem hanging on our wall, I learn it the way my mother told me)
Thank you for being an inspiration! xo Imke

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