Posted in Random Round Up, What Makes You Happy?

Minimalism & Happiness

7tinystepsIn the age of body dsyphoria, try to capture and celebrate any moments you can of body euphoria. Thank you, body, for being what I need, for getting me where I need to go, for housing my experiences and thoughts. Have you ever felt like this?

Who wants to play a minimalist game? Anybody brave enough to do this with me? I’m thinking I could use this framework to get through edits on manuscripts I’ve been neglecting and recycle the pages I’ve reviewed.

It’s not what we buy, it’s whyAnd: can you define your dream wardrobe style in just three words? Mine might include words like: colorful/bright, movement/flow, pockets, happy, easy to modify ie “convertible,” and maybe flowers…

Minimalism starter kit

You know my eyes were drawn to the rainbow design, but this was super interesting!

Posted in Cool Tools, What Makes You Happy?

My Planner Isn’t a Bullet Journal. (It’s Actually a Sticker Book.)

E99C2305-00D7-45BD-89B4-3D802320474CThis is my Happy Planner. For those who care, it’s the middle size available. I chose the Happy Planner over other cool options because the pages are colorful. I got it at Michael’s on sale (you can catch the sales at the ends and beginnings of each year) and I bought extra cover sets on ebay. This is my current favorite cover, and it says, “If you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine.” I feel like I do that, or try to do that, for those around me. I wear the brightest colored clothing and hair colors I can find (and I wish other people would too). But maybe I just like it best because it’s got bright yellow on it, and yellow’s my favorite. In any case, you can catch a glimpse of my work desk and the Adventure Time skirt I got on etsy. I buy a lot of stuff on etsy. When you open the cover, you can see all the stickers I’ve placed inside, taped in sheets to the laminated pages.

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And that gets us to the back cover. The stickers in my planner take up about 1/3 of the heft of the book. I mostly buy them from all over etsy, but in case you’re dying to know, I’ve included what I hope is a comprehensive list at the bottom of this post.3525FFD0-95DC-4582-89C9-2A3E579F78BF Some of the sticker types I use are filler: rainbows, rainbow hearts, rainbow stars, pink hearts, yellow stars, yellow smiley faces, So So Happy encouragement stickers. They don’t really stand for anything, I just like the way they look, and they take up space and make everything more “filled out” looking. But for the bulk of my stickers, each one represents an action, a mood, something I want to regularly track. So rather than “make a plan” for the day or the week or the month, I actually use my planner as a visually recorded account of what I did/accomplished, and how I was feeling. Since I don’t want stickers for every action I take (poops, for example, which some people wish to track, but I do not) I try to focus my sticker collection on habits I want to encourage myself to keep doing / do more of: exercise, writing, reading, chores. I also want to track things like my period, if I was sick, my mood (I have cry-faces and happy faces and angry faces, etc.) and YES, I do actually write down upcoming appointments and To Do lists as well. Just not maybe to the extent that (actual) planning people do.

Some of my month spreads end up looking gorgeous and amazing. For Nanowrimo, for example, I used extra special stickers to track my daily word counts on rainbow typewriters. So my November month-view ended up extra gorgeous and hyper-focused. Winning! (On the sidebar, Doug’s homework word count, impressive!)

Glorious November spread

Another month that ended up looking gorgeous and amazing was my February spread, thanks to my awesome and amazing friend Karen, who bought a Valentine’s Day-themed sticker pack for me at Target. I held nothing back, as you can see. (Those little green guys are recyle days and paydays.)

Fabulous February spread

And then there’s the weekly view, which is the bread and butter of this industry. I love the way the Happy Planner breaks the week into seven days and the days into thirds. I use them for 1) before work 2) at work 3) after work. There’s a weekly sidebar on the left that I use for To Do’s. And different planner companies will give you the option, or not, to start your week on Sunday or Monday. Some people want the work week sandwiched by the weekend on either side, like bookends. I’m not about that life. The reason the weekend is beautiful is because it’s two days together, and hopefully, two days off together.

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I hope you enjoyed my sticker book, I mean “planner.” It must be a planner, right? It has the word right there in the name… So some of the stickers featured here I bought at the Container Store (these and these). But most of the stickers featured here were made by etsy artists:

Happy Cutie Studio UK
Planner Frenzy New Hampshire
Anna’s Planner Bubble Poland
Planner Studio California
iArtisans Canada
Plan Gorgeously California
Tiny Little Tulip Arkansas
Brianna Nicole Designz Wisconsin
Keena Prints Philippines
Domino 626 Virginia
Once More With Love Canada
S. G. Stationery Arizona
Hello Stickers Georgia
Ashwood Arts Texas

Posted in What Makes You Happy?

What Makes You Happy? w Jobe

Hello and welcome to a special edition of What Makes You Happy: Goals Edition! We all have goals we drag our feet on, things we’d like to accomplish but can’t seem to make time for. I want each and every one of you to pick a goal you’ve been “saving for later.”


In order to achieve a goal, you have to break it down into bite-sized chunks. If you want to write 100 pages in 100 days, you’ll need to average 1 page per day. Breaking it down helps disperse intimidation. Anything is possible if you do it tiny piece at a time.


You’ve probably seen this or something like it. Basically a “smart” goal is something that meets the “smart” criteria. You can’t have a goal like “get famous.” It’s not specific enough. Instead, you could make a goal like “publish first novel.” Likewise, if “publish a novel” feels unattainable, you could “publish a short story.” Or even “collection 30 rejections.” That’s a great goal, because it doesn’t depend on anyone but you! You can’t control whether you get published or not. But you can control your own efforts. “Submit to 10 publications.” Specific, measurable, attainable! Relevant is just another way of saying important to you. Don’t pick something you don’t care about. High stakes! Make it count. And a time limit helps to make the goal concrete. It isn’t just a “whenever” goal. It’s a real goal with a real time limit: you decide!


But how do I do it? Well of course most of accomplishing a goal is to do the hard work! Most of achieving a goal is repetition. Form the habit, be strict with yourself. Even if your goal is about relaxation! Protect your time from other infringements. Do the work and you will be so happy you did.


But Jobe, Can I really do it? Can I really accomplish my goal?


Posted in What Makes You Happy?

What Makes You Happy? w Jobe

“Know thyself, love thyself.” I used to have bookends that said this, and when I was young I thought they were very hippy-dippy. Then when I was a teen they made me snicker because my mind was in the gutter. Now, thinking back, they may have been on to something. Part of making yourself happy has to do with knowing who you are and what your needs are. To get you started, here’s a common personality test, and a book recommendation from FlavorWire based on your result. Which one are you? Do the results ring true? Spend some time getting to know you, and the things that make you feel strong, replenished, peaceful, energized.