The One Easy Daily Habit That Makes Life More Awesome

Last week, we shared a video on one man’s equation of happiness.

This week, we’ll look at one of the easiest things you can do to live a happier life in this piece by Laura Vanderkam:


In the late spring of 2012, I created a file on my laptop called “Best Summer Ever.” Each day, I’d write down at least one quirky, memorable, or fun thing that happened. Some research backs up the idea that writing down good things can improve your life; Fast Company recently included keeping a gratitude journal in its roundup of 10 Simple Science-Backed Ways to be Happier Today.

The idea behind my Best Summer Ever list is that I wanted specific evidence–evidence that would conjure up detailed memories–that I had an awesome life.

Sure enough, as I started gathering data every day on why I was having my best summer ever, 2012 did indeed shape up to be the best summer of my life (so far!). So I kept a similar list this summer. The highs have not been as high, but still, looking at a random day and remembering that I went for a bike ride, a trail run, and a swim (a “tri” day!) makes me pretty happy.

And this is the more important takeaway: If I’m having a kind of blah day, I am forced to sit there and think, What would I want to write down on my list? I need to think of something, and so I conjure up a way to create a happy memory. Even something as simple as concocting the world’s best milk shake from the lemon gelato a party guest left in our freezer and some fresh strawberries and blueberries can be enough to rescue a day.

Life happens whether we are mindful of it or not, and being mindful of the quirky, the fun, and the meaningful makes these things stand out more in the mosaic of one’s time. We see what we’re looking for and, as I’m reminded every day, writing things down can help us see.


We are more or less trained to focus on bad experiences, while taking the good for granted. So write down a few good things to remind yourself that life is pretty great!

For more like this and beyond, visit Fast Company.

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