How Happy Planner Changed My Life

I know what you’re thinking. My title is dramatic! It’s just a planner. Wrong. It’s a Happy Planner and true to it’s name, it actually made me happier! Here is how Happy Planner changed my life.

Happy Planner Changed My life

One Hot Mess

With an appointment based job, I had always used a planner. When I left the workforce, I remember throwing away my dull, black hourly planner. After all, I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. What did I need a planner for? Stay-at-home moms have all the time in the world, right? Seriously, I thought there would be time for Netflix, Beachbody and scrapbooking. I know…I was clueless! Believe me, I learned the hard way.

Can I be really honest for a second? It’s going to sound awful. But for the first part of that first year, I really hated being a stay-at-home mom. I had lost my identity. But worse, I felt like I was failing at everything!

Mounds of laundry stared at me from my couch. Hampers were spilling over. Dishes were piled in the sink. I’m a hard worker. But I was seriously failing at every chore and responsibility I had. I double-booked myself all the time and flat out forgot my appointments. Also, I was struggling to adjust to only having one income supporting us. I was a mess.

Nothing Else Calmed the Chaos

I tried putting appointments in my phone. After all, this thousand dollar iPhone has to be good for something, right? It can set an alarm to go off so you don’t miss things. Honestly, half the time I forgot to even put things in it. I’ve always worked better with paper, where I can scribble thoughts and write notes to myself. The phone’s calendar really doesn’t allow for that. I even went back to my boring planner, but I had no motivation to open it up.

Discovering Happy Planner ®

I can recall the first day I discovered Happy Planner. It was an exceptionally rough day. I felt like a failure. I was at Hobby Lobby for some scrapbooking stuff and I stumbled across a Happy Planner. Let me say, this was years ago. Back when there was only a couple of covers to choose from. It was a simple black and white striped cover. I remember reluctantly putting it in my cart. Almost like it was a waste of money. Would I really use it? I specifically remember thinking, “maybe if it’s pretty and I can decorate it, I’ll want to use it.” (I’m pretty sure that is the business model of Happy Planner.) Isn’t that why many people don’t use a planner? They forget to open it up and use it!

And the sticker books? Girl, I was a Happy Planner babe before it was cool! Me and My Big Ideas had been around for a while. I had bought their scrapbooking stuff before. But this was still in the infancy of the Happy Planner. This is back in the day before value pack stickers even existed! There was a handful of 4 page sticker packs and the designs were fairly simple still. Can you imagine a time before metallic foiled stickers? It existed. I was there for it! These days, there are hundreds of gorgeous accessories!

Menu Planner

Happy Planner Changed My Life

It Got My Creative Juices Flowing

Switching to Happy Planner totally worked. If you are unfamiliar with it, the pages within are beautiful and cheerful. The monthly dividers are gorgeous and often have inspirational quotes and sayings. Just thumbing through the pages is like opening a book of happiness! And no….Eric Condren doesn’t even come close to measuring up! (Sorry not sorry, Erin). These days, the stickers are to die for…like so pretty you almost don’t want to use them! So pretty, you convince yourself you need every single sticker book. So pretty that you’ll stand near an empty display shelf while a Michael’s employee unboxes the newest release. (Yes, I’ve done that!)

But in all seriousness, it worked. I had no time for arts & crafts. I was a trained artist in Europe. Living without creativity in my life was depressing. Being able to decorate my planner totally made me feel like I got my artistic yearnings out everyday!

Happy Planner stickers

It Increased My Self-Worth

Let me be even more personal. Being a stay-at-home mom is really hard. There are no raises or promotions if you do a good job. There are no IDPs and annual performance reviews. No one is there motivating you to do better. You can feel alone and invisible.

I doubt the ladies over at Happy Planner know just how much those cute little motivational quotes actually do motivate me. No one was feeding me positivity…that is until I found Happy Planner. There are days where I totally don’t feel like adulting and I open my Happy Planner and see exactly what I need to get moving. And as much as I hate to admit this publicly, I need my “gold stars” for a job well done. I need to feel like it matters.

I know what you’re thinking. “It’s a planner for goodness sake!” Happy Planner changed my life. First, it keeps me on task and helps me accomplish things (duh, it’s a planner). Secondly, it’s a record of my motherhood journey – every playdate, every birthday party, their milestones and memories are lovingly recorded in it’s pages. I use their wellness planner to maintain a work/life balance as a mom. It helps me prioritize “me time” and has helped me with my anxiety and depression issues. Their fitness planner helped me track my Gestational Diabetes diet (even my OBGYN was impressed). Furthermore, I use their budget accessories to keep me financially disciplined.

Happy Planner Stickers

It Gave Me Back Control

When I first started staying home, I felt out of control. Frazzled. Overwhelmed. I was a steamy, hot mess! But using a Happy Planner has helped me gain control in every area of my life. I use the Faith Planner to help me maintain my relationship with God. Before the kids get up, I make my coffee, read The Word, and do my bible study. I use the Miss Maker one just for this blog. I use the Teacher Planner for our homeschooling. Honestly, I love it. When I wake up and am tempted to take a day off from homeschooling, all those inspiring teaching and learning quotes, make me want to get back at it and slay the day! It reminds me why I’m doing this! Happy planner changed my life.

It’s Flexible

One thing everyone loves about the Happy Planner is that it is completely customizable. It doesn’t matter if you need hourly, weekly, or a dashboard layout. They’ve got them all! But my favorite part is the discs. The innovative disc system allows you to remove and place any accessories where you want them. And boy do they have accessories! Plastic envelopes, dividers, folders, daily sheets, dry erase boards, more. I’ll be sharing more about the accessories in a follow up post on how to use a Happy Planner to get organized. My point is just that you can tailor it to work for you and your needs. Above all, I love that it’s so flexible to fit my needs.

Over the last few years, I’ve converted so many people over to Happy Planner: friends, family, old co-workers, other moms – even my husband. I had to find a way to make it less girly for him, but he was anxious to see if would help him since he saw a miraculous transformation in me. It worked for him too. I’m so enthusiastic about Happy Planner because it really did help me plan a happy life.

I do not sell Happy Planner. I’m making no money with this post. I simply want to share an amazing product that helped me stay organized and reach my goals.

100 Goal Ideas for the New Year

Learn how to avoid failed resolutions and get goal setting ideas with the help of a free printable and 100 Goal Ideas for the New Year

100 Goal Ideas for the new year
(Photo Courtesy of Unsplash)

Goalsetting. It can be a daunting task. Some people avoid making resolutions altogether because they didn’t accomplish them in the past. If you’re looking to set goals, but don’t know where to start, I’m going to give you some hints on how to achieve them and 100 Goal Ideas for the New Year.

Deciding to Change

First let’s be honest. January 1 is not a magical day. Neither is Monday, for that matter. The truth is, you can begin where you are right now. I think humans are innately inspired by organically occurring changes, like seasons or the new year. Certainly, there is something about the newness of Spring coming and the desire to become clean and organized. 

Once fall starts, it seems like we are perpetually busy – even more than the rest of the year. It’s a constant stream of obligations, parties and events. Therefore, finding time to create habits in an already frenzied season,
is extra challenging. Many people are discouraged by that and consequently choose to wait until the New Year to begin.

Changing Your Mindset

Our brain is a recorder. It remembers how we handled commitments and resolutions in the past. If you never buckle down and finish anything, your brain remembers that and it prepares to be flaky. If you have failed at goals in the past it might be because your drive is based on motivation rather than commitment. Motivation is temporary. It fizzles out. It’s based on feelings. Commitment is different. Commitment means that you do something regardless of how you feel. It isn’t dependent upon inspiration.

That’s why keeping small commitments to yourself is so important. You may not realize it, but you are creating a habit. Following through on obligations not only builds integrity, it builds character and it creates the habit of accomplishing things. If you habitually flake out, you’re programming yourself to be a quitter. I used to have this problem. To be clear…I was lazy. I put as little effort as possible into things and I constantly backed out of obligations.

People who know me now,  might find that hard to believe because I’m the exact opposite today. These days, I’m often called an “overachiever!” But that is because at the age of 23, I decided to change that deeply rooted flaw. 

How To Set Goals

If you’ve ever worked in a corporate setting, you’ll often hear about the acronym S.M.A.R.T. Initially, I rolled my eyes at another corporate buzz word. But over time, I have found it to be incredibly helpful when it comes to setting goals. S.M.A.R.T. Basically asks the questions: Who? What? How? When? 

Specific

Goals should be specific. Being specific helps you map out exactly how you plan to get to the desired result. For example, instead of saying, “I want to be healthy,” break down exactly what that means to you. Does it involve losing weight? If so, how much? Does it mean cutting out carbs or replacing soda for water? Maybe it means you work out 3-4 times per week. Be specific about what it is you actually want. 

When I decided I wanted to be a cleaner person, I made a list of what that meant. Where was I habitually messy or lazy? For me, it meant putting things away immediately after I used it. It meant doing the dishes every night. No excuses! It meant putting my clothes strait into the hamper instead of leaving them on the floor or draped over something. What specifically do you want to change?

Measurable

Goals should be measurable. You should know when you’ve reached the end. You should also know if you are making progress. I have found the best way to do this is by writing goals down and finding someway to track progress.

First, if you have a large goal in front of you, I suggest breaking them down into smaller milestones. Secondly, consider there may be many ways to measure your progress. For example, if your goal is weight loss consider tracking inches and dress sizes as a way of measuring your progress. Some weeks the scale may not move, but your tape measure will!

Attainable

This should go without saying, but your goal should be attainable. No, I’m not trying to be a dream killer. I want you to dream big! Seriously, set your sights high! But lets be clear. Dreaming and goal-setting are not the same thing. Goal setting is about mapping out a realistic way to attain that big dream!

To clarify, let me get personal for a minute. My dream, my big dream is to grow this blog you’re reading. I want it to become my full time job! That’s good, but first I need to set some attainable goals. Subsequently, my goals should be to grow readership and commit to an editorial schedule. Goals should stretch you, but should also be within reach.

Lastly, consider obstacles. What stands in the way of obtaining your goal? Perhaps you tried before in the past. What caused you to fail before? If it’s time management, think about how you will prioritize your schedule. Create a “plan B” or give yourself options for when you get stymied. In other words, if you are prepared for obstacles beforehand, you’ll be less likely to give up when they stand in your way.

Relevant

Relevant simply means that it is germane to your overall business or life outlook. For example, if you want to live a long, active, healthy life, then fitness goals and nutrition goals are going to be a part of reaching that life aspiration. If you want a greater income, then that promotion goal is going to be necessary. In other words, look at the big picture and decide why these goals will help you create the life you want. If you don’t have a strong “why,” you are less likely to follow through to the end.

Time Bound

Finally, your goal should be bound by time. In other words, you need to give yourself a deadline. That doesn’t mean a random date. It should be carefully calculated. For example, let’s say your goal is to lose 50 pounds. To set a deadline carefully consider how many pounds you can reasonably expect to lose each week, then calculate how many weeks it will take to get to that goal. 

On the other hand, you may be doing a goal only for a certain amount of time. For instance, maybe you decide to drink only water for 30 days as a detox. Similarly, you may commit to a 90-day exercise challenge. Either way, your goal should have some sort of time boundary. Even if your goal is a lifestyle change, set a time frame and once you reach it, reset the time again.

100 Goal Ideas for the New Year

Here are goal ideas. You should consider how to specificially tailor them to you. I’ve broken them into ten life categories.

Mental Health / Wellness Goals

  1. Address addictions (smoking, drinking, overeating, pornography, social media, etc)

2. Stop negative self-talk

3. Stop procrastinating

4. Learn a new hobby or skill

5. Take a “me day” once per month

6. Start a journal

7. Take a break from social media

8. Schedule screen-free time every week

9. Go to bed at 10 p.m. every night

10. Get up before the kids everyday

Organizational Goals

11. Organize yourself with a planner

12. Donate one trash bag of decluttered items per month

13. Create a cleaning schedule

14. Figure out a system for keeping a messy area, clean

15. Create a pantry or freezer inventory

16. Keep obligations and be on time to events

17. Completely reorganize a closet

18. Create an organization system for paperwork

19. Reduce waste and disposable items in your lifestyle

20. Give everything in your home a place

Financial Goals

21. Reduce “eating out” budget by $X

22. Create and maintain a budget for 12 months

23. Reduce or pay off one of your debts

24. Save for an emergency fund

25. Track every dollar spent

26. Save for a vacation

27. Create multiple income streams

28. Create a retirement plan

29. Use cash instead of debit and credit cards

30. Reduce your student loan debt

Diet & Fitness Goals

31. Eat less fast food

32. Reduce calories

33. Exercise 3-4 times per week

34. Learn a new sport

35. Do a 30-Day diet challenge

36. Lose one dress size

37. Drink 8 glasses of water per day

38. Reduce / cut out carbohydrates

39. # of Steps per day

40. Participate in a half marathon or full marathon

Spiritual Goals

41. Make a war binder

42. Keep a gratitude journal

43. Commit to going to church every week

44. Read one Bible verse per day

45. Complete an act of kindness or service every week

46. Commit to a ministry for one year

47. Keep a positive attitude

48. Practice and make time for regular meditation or prayer

49. Make friends within the church

50. Read the bible from start to finish.

Relationship Goals

51. Have better sex / Sex more often

52. Commit to a regular date night

53. Replace couch potato time with engaging time together

54. Complete couples devotional together

55. Practice supporting your partner

56. Travel together

57. Show regular appreciation & squash out complaints

58. Focus on practicing regular forgiveness

59. Volunteer as a couple

60. Pray together

Hobby / Skill Goals

61. Learn to draw

62. Learn one new thing a day

63. Learn  a new language

64. Learn woodworking

65. Complete a DIY project

66. Learn how to cook

67. Read more books

68. Learn photography

69. Learn to grow your own veggies and herbs

70. Learn an instrument

Business / Career Goals

71. Update your profile and stay active on LinkedIn

72. Produce more “x”

73. Read one business or career-related book per month

74. Create and organize your paper or digital filing system

75. Go completely paperless

76. Increase social media followers by “x” amount

77. Mentor someone

78. Learn a new aspect of your industry

79. Send thank you notes to people who help you

80. Create a healthy work/life balance

Personal Development / Psychological

81. Become more proactive

82. Stop dwelling on the past

83. Remove false / toxic friendships

84. Practice being more agreeable (getting along with others)

85. Increase confidence / self-esteem

86. Become more generous

87. Accept flaws

88. Overcome anxiety

89. Practice being slow to offend

90. Live with an attitude of forgiveness

Intellectual Goals

91. Learn a new word a day

92. Increase your IQ

93. Learn one history lesson a week

94. Improve geography skills

95. Take online classes

96. Refresh your grammar and spelling skills

97. Read a book a month / join a book club

98. Learn about a subject you’ve previously struggled in (physics, math, etc)

99. Read classic literature for one year

100. Read poetry

I sincerely hope that this post, 100 Goal Ideas for the New Year helps you slay goals. I would love to hear what your goals are for the New Year. Make sure to subscribe via email to receive your FREE Goal Slaying Worksheet to help you obtain your goals for 2019!

The post 100 Goal Ideas for the New Year first appeared on My Beautiful Mess