Monday, 28 December 2015

2016: Focus On What Makes You Happy

I like lists. It's no secret among friends that I've been obsessed with making lists for as long as I can remember.
Coupled with my penchant for keeping a daily diary for the last eighteen years (no, seriously) it's fair to say the old fashioned art of using a pen and paper is not lost on me.

Imagine my JOY, when a few months ago I caught wind of The Happiness Planner. A unique brand of stationery that promotes positive thinking in the user, it enables a person to cultivate a way of life based around being grateful for what they have presently and focusing on becoming more excited and productive for the future. And let's face it - it's pretty.

The Happiness Planner 2016 day per page journal acts like a daily workshop in getting the
most out of your life. On each page there is a to do list (high five) along with sections for notes, good things that happened that day, things you are excited about, what your main focus of the day is, what meals you had and what (if any) exercises you did. The Happiness Planner can work by way of forward planning and daily reflection. I imagine it is a book you might wish to get out first thing in the morning and last thing at night to fill out each section.

Granted it sounds like a lot of work. But take it from someone who has formed a lifelong habit of writing in a daily diary that all it requires is a little training and discipline, and before you know it this type of ritual becomes second nature. In the case of The Happiness Planner, I would say it is definitely worth it, and for three main reasons:

1. The Happiness Planner is more than a diary of what you did each day. It also has more in the first ten pages than a map of the London underground and a chart of weight conversions. In fact it doesn't have those things - no love lost there - and what you gain in lieu of those things is by far more valuable.
The front pages contain a wealth of inspirational quotes and insightful charts and questions to really engage your attention and help organise your thoughts and plans. Questions such as 'What Makes You Happy?' and 'What Are You Grateful For In Life?' help to focus and streamline your thoughts and breakdown the mess of noise that can often make our brains feel cluttered and untidy. The useful part is that for each page an example is given to help you know how to go about answering the questions in a structured way so that you can get the most out of the exercise of writing it all down.

2. Inside the presentation box are a collection of A4 (folded) sheets of paper that offer a separate space to make plans for the future. The sheets included are all shown above; 'My Goals', 'My Bucketlist', 'My New Years Resolutions' and 'Change a Habit in 30 Days'. The affect of having these separate sheets is that everything becomes highly visual. For example, instead of writing a list down in the back of a notepad somewhere of the things you wish to do by the time you turn thirty (forty, fifty, sixty etc) you have a beautiful way of displaying visually what you want to achieve alongside tick boxes for when the item has been started and completed. Essentially, this planner is not for the faint hearted. It is for obsessive, meticulous and quite frankly slightly neurotic people who simply can't make do with an old notepad somewhere. In the stationery department, that's me all over. And once again I re-iterate - how pretty?!

3. The 'prep work' prior to the daily sections really help set the pace for completion of the diary and getting into the right frame of mind for the year ahead. Once that has been completed the daily sections are short, sweet and to the point. Again, they have been broken down to be aesthetically pleasing and don't leave a lot of blank space for endless rambling about the ins and outs of what happened that day (something I admit to being guilty of).

So guys there you have it. The 2016 Happiness Planner. I'm off to get started on mine ahead of the new year this Friday. If you want in on the action I suggest you get ordering now in time for January 1st.

Happy New Year all. Happy being the operative word :)


1 comment

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