We Are What We Repeatedly Do: Habits and Happiness for Teens

We Are What We Repeatedly Do: Habits and Happiness for Teens

Like exercise, I am a big believer in the fact that our happiness has a whole lot to do with our habits. (Aristotle’s famous quote comes to mind: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.)

Today’s post is inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.

The Happiness Project







I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my teenage students who –let’s face it—deal with SO. MUCH. DRAMA. I hear about it all, from break-ups to snap chat sagas. As an adult, I am able to listen to their struggles with greater perspective and maturity, but to them, the world really is ending.

Snap Chat Drama







Aside from listening and giving advice, how can we help them help themselves? What tools can we give them so that when their world starts to crumble, they know how to cheer themselves up? (An invaluable skill to have in life!)

Choose happiness








Rubin’s book is a wonderful way for adults to implement one small habit per month with hopes that it might make them happier. She gives herself the following 12 Commandments, and encourages each of us to come up with our own:

  1. Be Gretchen.
  2. Let it go.
  3. Act the way I want to feel.
  4. Do it now.
  5. Be polite and be fair.
  6. Enjoy the process.
  7. Spend out.
  8. Identify the problem.
  9. Lighten up.
  10. Do what ought to be done.
  11. No calculation.
  12. There is only love.

What about having our teenagers come up with a list of their 12 Commandments?

Make Happiness a Habit