I've added the Happiness Project to my Google Reader, because hey, who couldn't use more happiness in their lives, right?

Her instructions for Friday were to "make a list."

One thing I’ve noticed with my own Happiness Project is the power of making all sorts of lists. I’ve become zealous about keeping a to-do list. I've listed my ever-growing Secrets of Adulthood in the left column. I check my resolutions chart daily (email me at grubin {at} gretchenrubin {dotcom} if you’d like to see them).

Making these lists keeps me focused on my priorities. Reading the list over and over keeps my priorities uppermost in my mind. And it’s surprisingly FUN to do.

I’ve noticed all sorts of interesting approaches to these kinds of lists. A to-do list is the most common kind, but a list can be so much more. It can be a statement of philosophy, or a collection of favorites, or set of life instructions. A humble list can be an important instrument of self-examination.

also very satisfying to make lists of favorites: favorite movies, favorite books, favorite traditions, favorite songs. You can also put a twist on it, to make it more interesting.

For example, I’m making a list of my favorite transcendent scenes from movies, moments where I felt a big jolt of pleasure at seeing someone perform some exceptionally kind or generous act — just because it gives me so much pleasure to call these scenes to mind.

Making a list is a way of figuring out your core ideas—about goals, about memories, about a subject that interests you.

Funny how I recently posted about that list making thing. But you know what? I am all about trying new things (*cough*cough), so I am going to try a list thing after all (guess I need to drop the list "thing" attitude first, right?). I do enjoy the "year end" list of favorites. This year I could totally do a "Things That Sucked" list too!

I am going to start today with an easy list — places I'd like to visit (to be seen in another post).

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