The Sunshine Project

I came up with the Sunshine Project in 2010 when I was going through a hectic time and wanted to make sure I was doing what I could do to create joy in my daily life in the midst of tasks and responsibilties.

You can do the Sunshine Project at any time of the year, it is not just a summertime tool.  It’s called the Sunshine Project because it is all about being intentional in bringing sunshine to your own life, even in hectic, stressful or unpleasant times.  You can also do The Sunshine Project alongside the Summer of Intentionality as they don’t have the same intention.

Interested in whether or not The Sunshine Project might be right for you?  Here are the steps.

Step # 1  Create a list of things you can do easily in your daily life that bring joy or sunshine to your life.  For example, here’s an excerpt from my list:

8 hours of sleep~Solitude~ A walk~Reading a good book~Listening to music~Sleeping in~Time at the ocean~ Yoga~Meditation/Prayer~Fresh food~Cooking at home~Being creative~Painting~Organizing~Change of scenery~Stand up Paddle boarding~Cuddling with my boy~Hot Tea~ Talking to a friend~Being with a Friend~Playing with Happy~Enjoying actual sunshine~running~Pilates~Lifting weights~Watching football~ Enjoying A New Challenge~Driving in the countryside~Napping~Dressing Up~Being Kind, Helpful~Being Productive~A hearty laugh~Time with someone special~Gardening~Taking photographs~Being in nature~ Stretching~Massage~Teaching~Celebrating~Writing Thank You Notes~Listening to an audio book~Talking to my parents~Going to see a movie ~Being with family~ Eating chocolate

Step # 2 Create a chart like the one below (except your blocks under 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 will be empty initially).

Step # 3 Each day, log what you did from your sunshine list into the chart.  You want to aim for at least 5 Sunshine items a day.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Monday  Dressing Up  Playing with Happy  Speaking in Spanish  Cardio  Listening to a book
Tuesday  Playing with Happy   Being with family  Running   Enjoying Sunshine  Being with friends
Wednesday  Running  Speaking in Spanish  Being with friends  Reading a book  Cuddling with Happy
Thursday  Gardening   Fresh food  Being with friends  Lifting weights  Sitting on the porch
Friday   Playing with Happy    Cooking at home   Going to the movies  Running  Speaking Spanish
Saturday   Being with Friends   Playing with Happy   Being Productive    Pilates   Reading a book
Sunday   Celebrating   Playing with Happy   Being Productive    Meditation/ Prayer   8 hours of sleep

Now, go!  But before you go too far, share with me what is on your sunshine list (I might need to crib your sunbeams for my own list!).

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6 responses to “The Sunshine Project”

  1. Teresa Shepp

    Love this Rosie…definately going to make this chart. I am really struggling this summer and being more intentional with creating joy sounds like a great way to improve my mood.
    Teresa Shepp recently posted..Finalizing your Program Outline–Build a road map…

  2. Julie D

    What a great idea. I am going through a difficult time right now in terms of energy and mood, and being behind on all work projects, so I am procrastinating like crazy, but doing things that zap my energy instead of lifting it, so I am going to make a sunshine list, and even if I feel like I am procrastinating instead of getting work done, I will be doing things that increase the sunshine in my life.
    Riding my bike ~ Walking ~ Reading in the Sunshine (as a break) ~ Hot Bath ~ Visit with a Friend (telephone or in-person) ~ wearing a favourite dress~ painting my nails ~ cooking healthy food ~ listening to some dancing music on my iPod ~ putting away clean laundry ~ playing with the new kitten ~ putting fresh linen on the bed ~ organizing my stuff ~ sharing an idea or helping a friend with a problem ~ drinking a glass of water ~ Eating some fresh fruit ~ Connecting with my children ~ laughing with my husband ~ (and to borrow from your list) Taking photographs.

  3. Cecile

    Rosie, how inspiring once again! I was looking for ways to track the positive things I do for myself, but I thought mainly in terms of health. You give me the better way! My list is quite detailled… Thanks for enabling me this good brain-storming!

    take a long relaxing bath / feet care / face care / body care / workout / walk for at least 20 min and enjoy how good my back feels / dance / tai-chi / play badminton / have enough rest / have a break when needed / work in the garden / harvest something from my garden and enjoy it for dinner / try a new recipe / plan meals / add some flavour in my water as a special treat – my favorite: violet

    do something new with Delight / read books with her / sing with her / cook with her / cuddle with her / laugh with her / spring into rain puddles with her / learn from her

    do something for Delight to enjoy / do something for my husband to enjoy* / compliment somebody

    open the windows after getting up and enjoy the fresh morning air / go through the garden and enjoy the various smells of the plants and the earth / enjoy the miracle of a growing plant / feel the sunshine on my skin / listen to the birds singing / look at them searching for their “meal” in our garden / look at the trees balacing in the wind / appreciate the natural light and what it highlights in our garden or public areas / cut one smelling flower and put it in a vase, to enjoy it throughout the day / look at the sunrise or sunset / look at the clouds / look at the immensity of the starry sky / hug a very old tree / stroke diverse materials (trees, stones, grass, sand, water, fabric…) / move my hands slowly and delightfully in a bowl or sink filled up with water / swim / feel the rain on my face / enjoy the silence

    the smell of clean laundry (I agree with Julie D.!) / the way ironing helps me clear my mind, almost meditative / a clear kitchen sink and coffee table

    write in my gratefulness journal / hear to Brother David’s video “A Good Day” / pray / light a candle / breathing exercise / write memories down or save them anyhow / find ways to grow spiritually, to know me better / reflect on inspiring quotes, blog posts, articles and apply into my life

    be creative by crafting / find creative solutions for little problems / brainstorming / plan and project far ahead of time / move pieces of furniture / finish a long-run project / knead dough of any kind / spend time with my husband , with friends , with my parents / play chest / play tarot with friends, well in fact play parlor games of many kinds / daydream /

    find ways to improve our quality of life, babystep-wise / learn something new / make new acquaintanceships, learn more about and from somebody / speak a foreign language, means learn AND practice / visit a new place / find new ways to look at the places I know well, remain curious / read a book or a good magazine / listen to an interesting reportage / help people around me / find ways to help improving this world, babystep-wise (even a tiny something is better than nothing!)

    * I’ve read that for a partnership to last, it is good when we notice at least 10 things that our partner likes, and we do one of it everyday. From our list: spend time together in the garden on evenings, massage his head, a favorite meal, a tidied-up dinner room when he comes home, enable him to spend some relaxing extra-time alone, enjoy good moments both of us together with Delight, compliment him or thank him for something he did (from his point of vue: he just likes me to notice it), do one of the chores he usually does, have a good talk, laugh together, plan on some new project, etc…

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