My current emphasis: how to make good habits and break bad ones (really)

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In Which I Reveal a Big Secret. Well, It’s Big to Me.

Behind-the-curtain

It’s time to admit that I’ve been keeping a secret from my blog. Now all will be revealed! At last, it’s time to confess…not only am I working on a new book, I actually just handed in the draft to my editor! I’ve been working on it for a long time! (I know, this secret may not seem quite as earth-shattering to you as it does to me.)

Happiness is an inexhaustibly fascinating subject; I’d just begun to plumb its depths by the time I’d finished my last book. I wanted to pursue the subject more deeply — but how?

For the first project, I had to develop a framework to understand happiness, and I took a wide, encompassing approach. For this new project, I wanted to go narrower, and deeper. I wanted to put some striking concept at the center, to find a single lens through which to view happiness. But what should that idea be?

As I was pondering this question, I recalled one of my favorite lines from Samuel Johnson: “To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.” HOME! That’s what’s most important to me, I realized. To be happy at home.

Happier at Home is about what I did to try to be happier at home. I was pretty happy when I started — happier than when I started The Happiness Project — but still, I knew I could be happier.

Why am I announcing this today? Well, today my two daughters headed back to school, to start seventh grade and first grade, and I’m reminded, once again, of my Third Splendid Truth: The days are long, but the years are short. (Of everything I’ve written about happiness, I think this piece, as short as it is, is the one that resonates most with people.) Now is the time to be happier.

And for me, throughout my life, September’s back-to-school atmosphere has always given me a new zeal for self-examination and self-mastery. Those fresh clean notebooks, that new schedule…everything seems possible. I make resolutions at New Year’s, and also in September.

For that reason, Happier at Home spans a school year. From September through May, I work on being happier at home, with themes like Possessions, Time, Marriage, Interior Design, Parenthood, Neighborhood, Body, Now.

Happier at Home will come out next August.

Ah, it feels good to talk about it!

What do you think? Does it grab your interest? How do you like the subject and the title? (Subtitle is still a work in progress.) Each time I write a book, I think sadly, “Alas, no book will ever be as much fun to write as this book. It’s all downhill from here.” And each time, I’ve loved my next book even more. And so it is with Happier at Home. It is such a joy to write this book.

* Good news, bad news. Good news: Colleen Wainwright successfully hit her goal for her fiftieth birthday, to raise $50,000 in 50 days for WriteGirl, a project to which she’s deeply committed. Bad news: now she has to keep her promise and shave her head — bald! Learn more about the fabulous “50-for-50 project” here.

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