Life happens, which means that to find more joy, to experience greater happiness, we need to be intentional. Whether you are a seasoned goal-setter or are new to the arena of setting targets and objectives for your life, a Happiness Planner is an essential tool for getting the most out of every day. By utilizing the inspirational journal and time management planner for just a few minutes a day, you will begin to notice significant enhancements in all areas of your life.
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What Is A Happiness Planner and How Is It Different?
A Happiness Planner is more than your average journal or day-planner, it is a guidebook to the soul that encourages you to engage and grow your self-awareness. You likely feel like you are always chasing time, whether it’s an eighty-hour workweek, two kids in soccer, piano lessons, and dance OR all this and more. It’s likely you rarely find the time to stop and reflect.
If you feel stuck, unfilled or wonder what you could be doing to find more joy, you are not alone.
In the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee, a Happiness Journal will guide you to plan your day and set yourself up to live with more intention and experience the success you crave. Motivational quotes beautifully inscribed on each page act as cheerleaders, reminding you that you are worthy and already have what it takes to achieve your dreams.
In addition, a precise system of checkpoints and self-awareness building questions can help you clarify your core values so you can keep in alignment with the path you choose to walk. As well, you’ll gain a better understanding of your weaknesses and learn to recognize and leverage your talents.
Gratitude exercises help to cultivate an appreciation for the past and focus on the present moment; revealing the positive, even in many challenging situations. With a daily task calendar built-in, the planner will enable you to finally find the balance you seek, making sure you can comfortably keep tabs on each piece of your life’s pie, while also facilitating the creation of life-changing habits.
From struggling to heal past hurts to feeling overwhelmed by a financial mess or a crossroads in your life, a Happiness Planner incites answers from deep within, treasures that will cultivate self-awareness and dispel old fears that up until now, may be responsible for stunting your personal growth or your satisfaction with your life.
This thought-provoking agenda ‘formula’ will unveil insights, which you can use to face and overcome your demons and achieve your heart’s desires. There is something magical about a daily journal that ties your goals, tasks, gratitude, and hope into one little bundle.
Change Your Habits, Change Your Life
Another added perk that is unique to a Happiness Planner versus a regular agenda is the element of reflection at the end of the day. This journaling process encourages you to take stock of all of the things that went well throughout your day, along with those that didn’t have a positive outcome.
As you take a moment to analyze each situation (the good, the bad, and the ugly) you are able to see what role you played in the end result. In this way, recurring themes or repetitive behaviors and patterns become clear. From this point, you can see what habits lead to your overall happiness and those that cause suffering. Over time you start to notice even the small things you accomplish each day that you previously took for granted.
Take Responsibility, Take Back Your Power
One of the most imperative habits to observe in the reflection process is your reaction to circumstances. Often we think “responsibility” is just another obligation, but in reality, it is the key to resuming personal power.
People experience a diverse range of experiences from small and annoying up to devastating things every day around the world. There is not always a clear answer or explanation that justifies these painful occurrences or actions, even the fact that what to one person may be small, may have a huge impact on a different person.
It’s not uncommon to experience an underlying turmoil, which rages through your being for years, due to fruitless attempts to make sense of it all. We all to easily hold on pain, anger or regret, but when we do so, we become victims who feel stuck or like failures.
If you allow it, these defining events can drain your hope and your passion. To escape this trap we need to see that we indeed have a choice. Although in the midst of despair or frustration over life’s injustices, it may seem preposterous, I ask you to consider the possibility that various events do not happen to you, but for you. Reframing your circumstances can be immensely freeing.
By seeing things from a new or different viewpoint, your entire life to shift. A Happiness Planner (or gratitude journal) actively support us in seeing life events differently.
If this concept is curious to you, you might enjoy the book, Change Your Mind And Your Life Will Follow: 12 Simple Principles, by best-selling author Karen Casey. In this book, she offers some of the best practical tools available for managing your responses to obstacles. Her pragmatic advice will open your mind and affirm that you can thrive, no matter what your environment.
Where Your Mind Goes, Your Energy Flows
Indeed, something magical and transformative happens when you actively build self-awareness of your life journey within the pages of a Happiness Planner. As you consciously direct your concentration towards the silver linings in the clouds and to the celebration of small victories, you’ll realize that there is nothing that can stop you from achieving your best life.
That which once seemed a distant dream or totally unrealistic becomes possible.
As you learn how to own and manage the idea that everything happens for you, you acquire freedom. No longer in bondage or a victim of your circumstances, you will experience more peace, seeing that instead of obstacles, your life is now filled with opportunities that deliver a greater sense of satisfaction to your life experience.
Your Road To Happiness Begins With a Journal
Journaling and reflection exercises help you pinpoint what thoughts, actions, and habits serve you and which ones you need to let go of. What fills you up and gives you a zest for life is unique to you. You may not experience the same exhilarating sensation from a dripping hot and sweaty yoga class that I do. You may find yourself crawling through the steam to the door two minutes in, and that is okay. Each of us is unique and your experience of joy will be different than mine, or than that of your best friend, your mom or even your daughter.
Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages journals and practice have been used for over 20 years and are still a best seller on Amazon, precisely because journaling is so important, not only to artists but for all of us.
Selfcare is not about dedicating hours a week to facials and massages. It’s about taking notice of the little things that make YOU tick. You may feel energized by baking a batch of [healthy or unhealthy] breakfast muffins or listening to a classical playlist at the office. You may feel fully recharged after a chat with your mom, or a wine night out with the girls. If you don’t know what brings you joy, then experiment with the new; join a book club, take a photography class, or travel somewhere you’ve never been.
Adding varied activities into your planner will prove highly beneficial when it comes to outlining your happiness roadmap. If you encounter a twinge of joy, make a note, and before you know it, you will start to understand why and how you are wonderfully unique. This process of reflection can take time, so don’t give up if you don’t have answers overnight, but rest assured that it is through self-awareness that self-compassion and real, solid, self-care develop.
As you continue on the journey with your journal or day planner in hand, one almost perfect day rolls into an awesome week, which merges into your best year yet. Be patient with yourself and celebrate you, celebrate the journey, and celebrate even the tiniest hint of progress.
Core Values, Beliefs, and Goals
Even if you’ve never set a goal in your life or your good intentions typically remain in the idea phase, setting goals is an imperative part of your happiness journey. Whether you realize or not, you’ve already accomplished things to be proud of. Have you quit smoking, or switched from sugary soda to bubbly water? Did you finally muster up the courage to say ‘No’ when you were asked to volunteer for the fifth consecutive year as Treasurer of the Board? Those decisions honor self and develop integrity. You learn to trust that guiding voice within.
Before you contemplate your goals, it is crucial that you decide what is important to you. Take the time to identify your core values and definition of success. Would you like to be heart-healthy for your family, or would you like a six-pack? Does making three million dollars in profits next year stir your excitement, or does the idea of publishing a short story light you up?
Forget society’s ideals and the ‘I shoulds’. Those standards are not always in alignment with what you seek and you will set yourself up for failure. Determine your own vision of happiness and compose your list from this point.
Are Goals Really Necessary?
You’ve got this far in life without goals, so why bother with the list? The wide range of benefits that accompany the process of goal setting will surprise you.
Regularly reviewing taking daily action towards your goals focuses your attention on what you are passionate about. When your thoughts are on the things that ignite your soul, you tend to be a happier person. With each milestone that is achieved, your confidence receives a boost. As you encounter setbacks and hardships, but continue to strive for success, you stay motivated and positive during the trials that will undoubtedly arise. This creates the assurance that you have what it takes to push through.
Goals help you to hone your inner compass and to achieve what matters most to you. In a world that is inundated with distractions, dazzling opportunities in the form of a new position or project can take your eye off the prize. When you have a concrete goal on paper, you can ask yourself, ‘Is this opportunity going to take me closer or farther away from goal?’
Most importantly, having a purpose in life, a burning desire within your heart, gives you the inspiration to live purposefully, ultimately leading to your best life. Research has shown that a brain that is continually stimulated and challenged results in a more enlivened, dynamic lifestyle.
Setting SMART+ Goals
When sitting down to write what your aspirations for each area of your life, the acronym SMART offers a helpful guideline to follow.
S – Specific. If the goal is too general – I want to be healthy – it will not be clear enough to motivate you to continue. Add defined actions and even a picture of your ideal outcome. For example, you might write down, I will work out three times a week for forty-five minutes and drink eight glasses of water a day for ninety days. Your mind has conceived a clear plan and you know exactly what you have to do to work towards your health objectives.
M – Measurable. By including a definite target, you give yourself measurable steps so that you can celebrate milestones and small achievements along the way. If your goal is to open a wellness center, start with your business plan. Then come the location and interior design. Next, you would hire staff and finally your inauguration date. It is a timeline of tangible deliverables.
A – Attainable. Are you truly willing to do what it takes to achieve your goal? If running a marathon is on your list, decide and commit to a training schedule that is required to be able to complete it.
R – Relevant. Take into account an appropriate timeline and consider if the goal is realistic. You may have to analyze and reshape your goal along the way based on the resources and the experience you have. You may have miscalculated a reasonable timeline because of a misstep or a problem you could not foresee. Adjust, but don’t give up!
T – Time-bound. Goals are not meant to be comfortable but push the boundaries of your comfort zone. They test and refine your true character. Be realistic, but put a date on your goal that will require you to rise up. If you recall, diamonds are created under pressure. The longer you wait, the less chance you have at succeeding. There is never a perfect time to start. Take time to map it out, but don’t be afraid to dive in. Your future self will thank you for it!
+ Accountable. What is your accountability plan? A friend? Your partner? A bullet-journal? A life coach? An accountability partner? Personally, I use a mix of all three. In fact, my accountability partner and I just celebrated our 2 year anniversary! We’ve never even met in person, but we message nearly every day via Whatsapp and this relationship has certainly helped me stay accountable to myself. I also leverage a personal coach and my planner.
These are real life pictures of my 2019 and 2020 planners. The pre-made one didn’t suit me perfectly as it restricted my creativity. I love the freedom of the dotted bullet journals. Whatever fits your style, use it!
Choosing The Right Happiness Planner
With dozens of attractive Happiness Planners on Amazon alone, how do you know which one is right for you? Some are simple happiness diaries, while others are all-encompassing workbook-type agendas. In addition to happiness journals, there are 100-day planners, which aim to establish positive habits and lifestyles. Perhaps you would like to begin with the basics and work your way up to an immersive experience.
For 2019 I used a premade planner called the Day Designer.
For 2020 I’ve decided to design my own with a simple dotted bullet journal.
Like any other product, it is important to read the happiness planner reviews to evaluate which features and added bonuses you think will generate the best results for you. If you are totally new to the idea, you might best go for a premade happiness and task planner like a Panda Planner (even the name makes you happy).
Of course, you can create your own happiness journal. Simply getting your words on paper, setting goals and reflecting on your day is a healthy step towards becoming better acquainted with your highest self. However, if you want to take this journey one step further, each page of a Happiness Planner has been carefully curated to propel you beyond your limiting beliefs and your emotional safe zones.
Think of it as using a personal trainer versus going to a gym and working out on your own. Most of us won’t push through an extra five reps when our arms are on fire, without someone nudging us on. Plus, a personal trainer is an expert at mixing up the workouts, which keeps things fresh and interesting. Unlike the mundane gym regimes, we fall into when we endeavor to get fit on our own.
This is also one reason you might also want to hire a coach — we help you to stay accountable, build your self-awareness and get you to where you want to be faster. Curious to know more? Schedule a free “curiosity call” with me today.
One thing is for certain, no matter which planner you choose, you are on the right track to unlocking the secrets to your potential and to your ultimate fulfillment. Change is never easy, but a Happiness Planner makes the process a joyful one. By planning your life one journal entry at a time, you plan for success and happiness.
The life of your dreams may be just one-page turn and a colorful doodle away.