Today I thought I’d share some easy ways to find more happiness in your daily life.
Did you know that 20th March is International Day of Happiness? How great that there’s a day to celebrate happiness! Keep reading to find out more about it.
Easy Ways to Find More Hapiness
1. Write a happy list
It’s really important to know what makes us happy and brings us joy. If we know what makes us happy we can plan to do more of it! Spend time making a list of things that bring you happiness. Aim for 100 things!
I also follow accounts that feature rainbows and dogs because they make me happy. Try to find some accounts that suit your interests and make you smile when they pop up on your feed.
3. Do one thing for your happiness every day
It’s so easy to get caught up in daily life and being busy and to forget to take the time to do the things that bring us joy.
Come up with a list of everyday, easy things that make you happy. (If you’ve started your happy list see what’s on there). And then make a plan to do at least one of these things for your happiness everyday. Try to be ‘in the moment’ as you take this action and recognise you are contributing to your own happiness.
My list includes:
Listening to a playlist of my favourite songs
Getting outside for a walk
Cuddles with my husband, son and dog
Journaling (I write morning pages in the morning and keep a gratitude journal at night)
TIP – set an alarm/reminder to remind you to do your happy thing until it becomes a habit!
4. Practice gratitude
Speaking of gratitude – it’s a great way to recognise the things that make you happy and make your life better. Spend time each day thinking about the things you are grateful for. Bonus points for writing them down!
If you want to explore your happiness and how you can bring more joy to your everyday have a look at Find Your Happy – my journalling workbook full of journalling prompts designed to help you figure out what makes you happy and how to make your daily life more joyful.
The 20th of March is International Day of Happiness. It’s a global celebration to mark the United Nations International Day of Happiness and is coordinated by Action for Happiness which is a non-profit movement.
What I particularly like about this year’s campaign (which you can read more about here) is that it talks about positive ways we can look after ourselves and others during a worldwide crisis. Visit the site to download a Coping Calendar with suggested daily activities to help you feel positive. And there is also access to a 10 day email-coaching programme for happiness. I’ve signed up!
I hope you find these easy ways to find more happiness helpful. I’d love to know which ones work for you – leave me a comment and let me know!
I love documenting life. I love taking photos and making notes about how life looks on a day-to-day basis. Because one day I will look around me and life won’t look anything like it does now.
I am so grateful for the journals, scrapbooks, blog posts, photo books I have that give me an insight into what my everyday was like at those times of my life. I love the nostalgia and the memories that come up.
And in taking the time to document with photos and notes I find myself being more mindful as I go about my day. It helps me realise what stays the same, what changes, where improvements can be made and where I’ve been taking things for granted.
If you’ve never done anything like this I would recommend giving it a go.
A Day in my Life March 2021
Theme for the Day – Getting back to routine
Weather – Sunny. Low of 4 / High of 11
Wake up Time – 7am – much earlier than usual as the kiddo is back at school this week for the first time in 2021 (we’ve been home learning since January)
Breakfast – Burnt Scotch Pancakes with flora and jam and an apple. Is it time for a new toaster?
Lunch – Toasties in the new toastie/waffle/panini press with crisps and crudities. My toastie filling was cheese and pineapple which generated some interest on Instagram when I shared it!
Dinner – Pitta pizzas with tomato paste, oregano, a lot of garlic, ham, pineapple, cheese. Easy and simple dinner.
What I did
Grab my phone earlier than usual to start snapping photos and do a day in the life (DITL) intro on Instagram stories.
Write my morning pages.
Cuddles with my boys then get ready for the day ahead.
Let the dog out, feed everyone breakfast and load up in the car to school.
Say goodbye to the kiddo and take the dog for a walk – feels good to be walking a familiar route from last Autumn and noticing the signs of Spring popping up everywhere (so many daffodils).
Head home and spend time faffing…it always takes me a while to switch from one routine to another. I need to remind myself of my cues to sit down and start work. Grateful that I spent the last few weeks working on my intentions for the year and working out what actions I wanted to take to get there. But still need to remind myself to sit down and DO the work.
Do some reading and journaling for 2 courses I am currently working on, sort out some payments, send some emails and do some posts/updates in groups I am in
Grab the reusable bags and head out for the tescos click and collect. We’ve been doing our weekly shop online and collecting it since Summer last year. Occasionally pop into a shop for a top-up of fruit, vegetables, bread and milk but try to avoid shops where possible.
Home to unpack the shopping and try out our new toastie maker for lunch.
Chat with the husband while we eat.
Join an accountability session with fellow freelancers. Set out to get my FTGE inbox tamed. Get my unread messages from 126 down to 15. Super pleased with that. Plus archive and sort lots of read mail and even unsubscribe from a few things that are no longer relevant.
Check back in with the accountability session to report on progress and cheer everyone else on.
Carry on sorting out my emails and actioning some things that have been on the back burner during home learning.
Update IG stories with what I’ve been up to.
Leave for the school pick up, stop at the park on the way home for some exercise in the sunshine for the kiddo.
Home to supply snacks and pop on Animal Crossing to do some daily jobs for 15 mins before the kiddo plays online with friends.
More faffing – the return to school means a lot of adjustments for me as well as the kiddo – hope to use this time between school pick up and dinner for jobs around the house and finishing anything on my to do list for the day.
Husband takes dog for his evening walk pre-dinner as he has a run planned for after dinner
I make dinner and tidy the kitchen while watching some YouTube.
We sit down for dinner – we usually watch TV while we eat and the current favourite is Richard Osman’s House of Games.
Hubby leaves for his running session, doggo is unsettled with all the routine changes and has a cry.
I start reading my book, the kiddo plays some Animal Crossing.
Time for vitamins (so grateful we linked taking vitamins with the kiddo going to bed – he pulls the tub out and reminds me to take mine!) and then up to bed.
Show the kiddo all my DITL photos and read a chapter of our current family read (Simply the Quest by Maz Evans – it’s part of a series which features lots of mythological gods and creatures – it’s funny and great to read together).
Kiddo gets tucked in and reads his own book (an Artemis Fowl – he’s working his way through a series of 8). It makes me so happy that he loves reading.
Decide to put my pyjamas on early.
Hubby has an 830pm work call.
I update IG stories and scroll for a while then get back into my book.
At 10pm I sign off from my DITL on IG stories, I write in my gratitude and sentence a day journals and get ready for bed.
Can’t get to sleep so end up reading until past midnight.
I am grateful for –
1) My pre-order of The Devil Wears Black by LJ Shen arrived and I’ve started reading it
2) Another good day at school for the kiddo
3) Life feels good today
I am proud of –
(I’ve been writing 3 things I am proud of each day in my gratitude journal since November last year – it’s part of the mindset work I’ve been doing and I recommend giving it a go to celebrate all the wins – big and small!)
1) Documenting a day in my life March 2021 via IG stories
2) Getting my FTGE inbox sorted out
3) Doing the work – lots of mindset stuff this week
No. of steps – 6,629
Today’s Self Nurturing Activity – Reading!
Currently Reading – The Devil Wears Black by LJ Shen
Bedtime – Read in bed from about 8.50pm ish. At 10pm I signed off on IG stories, wrote in my journals and plugged my phone in the office. Tried to get to sleep and couldn’t. Ended up reading until around 12.40am.
And that was a Day in my Life March 2021!
So what do I do with all this stuff I document? I shared snippets from the day via IG stories live on the day. I’m creating this blog post (which is great for comparing previous days as I tend to use a similar format each time). And I’ve also created and ordered a photo book with photos from the day and simple captions to put on our photo album shelf.
And that’s it until next time. I may take part in Week in the Life which usually happens around May time. I will see if I feel motivated nearer the time.
You can, of course, pick any day or week to document and get stuck in but I find it helpful to play along on the days that Ali Edwards suggests as there is a community of people that join in and I find that encouraging.
Let me know if you have a go at documenting a day in your life and how you get on.
I’m feeling old school right now after rummaging in my old blog archives and I want to share this post which I’m calling Around Here Right Now.
I used to love both reading and writing posts like this one. A look at life right now. And it feels like a good time to take that snapshot.
Here in England we will soon be easing out of our 3rd national lockdown. My son returns to school in March and if things go well we will start to be allowed back out into the wild again! It’s been a tough time for so many. But, for me, also a time of discovery and reflection. When you take away “normal life” you can start to see what you miss about “normal” and what you don’t. So without further ado…
Around Here Right Now…
Excited to have my COVID vaccination booked in for next week (I have Rheumatoid Arthritis which puts me in group 6 here in the UK). And for all the signs of Spring on our daily walks.
Grateful that I bought a big, warm, snuggly coat in Autumn when I could go to the shops. It’s earned its keep this winter for the daily dog walks. The weather is feeling much more mild this week and it’s wonderful to go out without being bundled up for the first time in months. My walking shoes were also a great purchase when the shops were open. I want to increase my walking beyond the local blocks and paths as lockdown eases and I’ve been busy wearing them in. They are so comfy.
Listening to my 39 Playlist on Spotify. I’m picking a song each month between my birthdays to create a soundtrack for age 39. I’ve done it in previous years too. It’s fun both picking the songs and also listening to the playlists (especially after the year is up).
Reading LOTS. Mostly fiction. A mix of kindle (on my phone) and old school paper books. Lots of romance (always). Books provide wonderful escapism when you can’t leave your house.
Watching New Girl on Netflix. I used to love it but haven’t seen all of them. They are the perfect length at around 20-25 minutes to squeeze in at the end of the day for a few laughs before bed.
Changing up our home office this month. Ordered a new desk (which is a sit to stand desk) and rehomed our old desk (which we bought in Palmerston North, New Zealand what feels like a lifetime ago and it came over on the boat in 2016). We had a big old sort out of boxes, books and paperwork. It’s looking good. And it makes me so happy to see all my books organised on the shelves!
Feeling mostly hopeful about the return to school on 8th March. I’m hoping it will free up some time and mental capacity to do more with my writing and the blog.
Trying to be kind to myself. Give myself grace. And not beat myself up about things I want to do but I am not getting to. It’s been such an unsettled time.
Looking forward to longer days, seeing friends, HUGS, exploring further afield, ploughman’s lunches, a meal out and time to get things done!
How about you? What does it look like around here right now for you? Feel free to use these prompts to get you thinking/scribbling.
Curiosity kept popping up for me towards the end of 2020. I saw a few quotes I liked about it and it kept winding its way into conversation around me. I attended (virtually) a couple of different year end review workshops and did some work around vision boarding and goal setting and curiosity popped up each time.
So before 2020 came to a close I decided that it was a good word to guide me in these strange, uncertain times and officially* chose it as my 2021 word. (*wrote it down, saved related images to a Pinterest board and told my husband.)
I think the reason it resonated with me was because I’m quite a curious person anyway (also known as: nosy and enjoys exploring) and it feels flexible. It doesn’t feel at all demanding or set in stone. The word itself allows for exploration, experimentation and an open mind. Which is exactly what I think I need this year when I really have no clue how the year is going to pan out:
Will we get to travel again?
How long will lockdown last?
What will happen next?
The Meaning of Curiosity
Firstly – wouldn’t that ^ be a great book title? That would draw me in straight away!
For me, curiosity is all all about:
Keeping an Open Mind
Here are some quotes I found that helped me get a feeling for what curiosity means to me:
“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.” – Henri Matisse
“The sky tells me there are no limits and curiosity tells me to explore.” – Duncan Sham
“Be curious not judgemental.” – Walt Whitman
“When you replace judgement with curiosity, everything changes.” – Robyn Conley Downs
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” – Dorothy Parker
I’d like to display my 2021 word somewhere to remind me throughout the year. And I wonder if it’s time to create some new Word Pebbles for the latest words I’ve collected!
Have you chosen a word for 2021? If so I’d love to know what it is. If you haven’t and this idea intrigues you it’s definitely not too late!
I want to share 20 Happy Things from 2020. If you’ve been around a while you’ll know I love a happy list! And given that this past year has been a *challenging* one I think there’s even more need to celebrate the things that make us happy. So let’s dig deep and find the good in 2020…
20 Happy Things from 2020
1 Releasing Find Your Happy
I’m so proud of myself for creating my journalling workbook and putting it out into the world. You can read more about it here. And I’ll definitely do a happy dance if you buy a copy!
2 Learning with the kiddo
My son spent 5 ½ months at home this year due to the worldwide pandemic. I feel very lucky that I was in the position to drop commitments in order to focus on him and his learning. That unexpected time with him was a gift and I will cherish the memories of us solving complicated maths problems and arguing about spelling!
Ah Reggie. My gorgeous, damaged greyhound. He came home with us in January and it’s like he’s always been here. He was scared of most things and full of quirks – it’s been lovely (& sometimes frustrating) getting him settled in and getting to know him.
4 The Rainbow Fence of Dreams
It has its own hashtag and it makes me smile – especially on the grey and miserable days! It’s my rainbow fence in my back garden. Painted mostly by me with a little help from the husband and kiddo. Reggie supervised.
Putting pen to paper has definitely helped me this year. Journalling, writing blog posts (not as many as I’d like), taking notes, planning, trying my hand at pitching article ideas – I’ve enjoyed it all. I love writing.
That leads on nicely to the next one. I bloody love stationery. I own far too much but I am getting better at using it rather than admiring it and being scared to use it!
I wasn’t new to Zoom and I have been a fan for a while but it feels like it’s been a saviour in the craziness of 2020. We thoroughly enjoyed participating in a regular music quiz via Zoom during lockdown. It kept us connected with loved ones. And I have even taken yoga and other classes with it.
I am a lifelong learner and I’m so happy when I’m scribbling notes and absorbing new information. I managed to do so much awesome learning this year – mostly virtually. Here are some of the things I learnt/courses I took:
Pitching to Publications course with Fiona Thomas as well as some of her webinars and workshops
The Freelance Summit with Emma Cossey and lots of awesome speakers
Various Grow & Glow training such as – productivity, building a personal brand, pitching, content planning, goal setting
Freelance and pitching webinars with Jenna Farmer
Sewing lessons with Beautiful Things
Mindset work, Year End Reviews and 2021 Vision Boarding and Goal Setting with Sophie Cliff, The Joyful Coach
My monthly subscription to Spotify has earnt its keep this year. Music is so good for turning my mood around and also for letting me wallow when I need it. I have so many playlists and use it to listen to podcasts too. During lockdown my husband, the kiddo and I took part in the 30 day song challenge and now we have a family playlist of 90 songs that hold meaning for each of us. Check out my Find the Good Everyday Playlist here.
10 Getting Outside Every Day
Reggie has certainly helped with this one – expecting his daily walks regardless of the weather. And the time spent outside was so valuable particularly during the lockdown periods when we weren’t going back and forth to school or going anywhere else!
I’ve heard that a lot of people completely disregarded their planners and diaries this year and that’s totally understandable. I felt something soothing in continuing to make daily to do lists and update my trackers so I carried on. For most of the year I used my trusty bullet journal but since September I’ve been using a Happy Planner (including Planner stickers – insert lots of heart eyes!). I really enjoy sitting down at the weekend and planning out the following week. But I do miss the daily lists of my Bujo… I might try some kind of hybrid planning system for 2021.
12 Online Communities and Groups
Online communities and groups played a massive part in keeping me feeling connected this year. I love the community on Instagram and enjoy the regular chats with some lovely people there. I’m still a member of Grow & Glow and enjoyed their regular calls and training sessions through the year. And I joined the Freelance Business Lounge back in June and the twice-weekly group coaching calls have been super helpful for my mental health and my productivity!
13 Being near my Mum
There have been many times this year I have dreamt of being back in New Zealand where they have managed the pandemic much better than the UK (helped by closing their borders). And I feel lucky to have lots of wonderful friends based in New Zealand.
(If you don’t know – I lived in NZ between 2005 and 2016. My son was born there and I have dual nationality with NZ and the UK).
But I’ve also been so grateful to be in the UK and near my Mum. We are her bubble and I found it comforting to know I could go to see her, do her shopping for her and other jobs she needed done while shielding.
14 Finally getting Netflix!
We were so late to the party on this but we finally have Netflix. I haven’t made it as far as the Tiger King yet but I am working my way through The Crown and love it! It’s great that we can each have our own favourites list. The trickiest thing is deciding on something for the 3 of us to enjoy!
15 Baby Yoda
My husband (who is likely to be rolling his eyes at my use of the name “Baby Yoda”) is a Star Wars fan so we watched the first series of The Mandalorian back in March when it was released in the UK. We’re currently working through the second series and I just adore Baby Yoda – such a cute character! I’m tempted to buy Baby Yoda fabric and make myself a dress!
16 Cadbury’s Giant Buttons
I love them! Perfect for sharing while watching a movie!
Where would I be without lists? They fit well with planning, writing and stationery too! As you probably know – I love a happy list and it’s fun encouraging others to write their own. This year there have been:
To do lists
Things I enjoy about Lockdown
Stuff that was put on hold because of the pandemic
Things I’m looking forward to when the pandemic is done
My 38 @ 38 list – having this list of fun things to do really helped me to keep seeking joy this year!
I’ve always loved books and reading – they (like a lot of things on this list actually) could easily make the top 20 of most year’s happy things! Some favourites this year have been:
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary
And a lot of romances on the Kindle app on my phone!
19 The Dishwasher
We finally got a dishwasher late August after over 4 years without one. It’s made such a difference. I’ve been able to put the time saved from not washing up multiple times a day to better use! And it’s helped my hands and wrists which tend to flare up with aches and pains (thanks Rheumatoid Arthritis!)
20 Documenting Life
Once a scrapbooker – always a life documenter! I enjoyed taking part in Day in the Life and Week in the Life this year and it will be interesting to look back on those projects in years to come. I’ve also collated a video full of 1 second videos from each day this year using an app called 1SE. I did it a couple of years ago and it’s fascinating to see which parts of daily life have stayed the same and which have changed. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to take a snapshot of daily life I’d recommend giving it a go!
It feels so good to have written my 20 Happy Things from 2020 list. I wonder if they’ll be any more additions before the year is out?
What are your happy things from 2020?
If you want to write your own Happy List check out these posts:
Get kiddo ready for high school (uniform/kit, equipment etc)
What This Project Means to Me
As I’ve talked about before – the purpose of this list/project isn’t to give me more stuff to do. It’s to plan some fun activities as well as ones that can improve my life. And to document it all along the way. Having a project like this can make life feel more meaningful and whimsical. And I will amend and update the list as necessary as the year goes on.
It’s 6 weeks since my birthday and I’m pleased to report some of these activities have already been completed or are in progress.
I’ll be sure to provide updates as the year goes on! If you don’t already – follow me on Instagram where I can be found most often online.
Today I want to share three ways of finding time for happy things!
I talk a lot about making time to be happy and doing the things you enjoy. But I can appreciate that sometimes we don’t think we have any spare time and that we are too busy to find the time for fun.
So how can we make room for the things that bring us joy?
I’ve also filmed this as an IGTV video so if you’d prefer to hear me tell you the suggestions hop over there to watch!
Firstly – and this is part of a prompt in my Find Your Happy workbook – why not take a look at the things that you don’t enjoy and that don’t light you up.
How can you do LESS of those things? This will free up time for the things you love.
For me, checking my phone and scrolling too often takes up time when I could be doing more happy things! So if I really focus on not doing that (& it takes a lot of reminding and work to remember not to do it some days!) I magically free up some time for things I enjoy.
Another example is I don’t enjoy sorting the recycling so I pay my son pocket money to do it!
The next thing to think about… what things do you enjoy that you could pair with things you don’t like so much?
For example – I often watch TV shows I like or YouTube or IGTV videos while I’m folding and hanging up laundry. And I listen to my favourite music or a podcast while I’m tidying and cleaning the kitchen.
This has the double whammy of doing more happy things but also making the less fun things more enjoyable!
And one last thing to think about – which things make you happy as well as being important to your health (physical and/or mental)?
I love walking outside in nature. It’s great for getting my steps up and is so important to my mental health. I am usually more productive when I take the time to get outside and walk. So how can I not prioritise time for being outside?
What happy things should you prioritise because they are beneficial to your health?
Finding Time for Happy Things
So that’s 3 things you could look at to try and free up more time for the things that make you happy.
I’d love to know which ones you might try and what happy things you’re trying to make room for! Let me know in the comments below.
If you’re looking for some advice on finding out what makes you happy check out these posts:
Find Your Happy is a book filled with 21 journalling prompts. Each prompt should take around 10 minutes and has been included to help you think about the things that bring you joy and happiness… and how you can get more of them in your everyday life.
There’s space for your writing on each page (if you purchase the digital eBook version you could print the prompts out to complete by hand, fill it in on your device or write your notes in a separate notebook).
You can also choose how to work through the prompts:
Do 1 a day for the next 3 weeks
Do 1 section (containing 7 prompts) at a time and allow around an hour & a half
Dip in and out when you feel inspired
There are some other suggestions in the book too. I do recommend you do them in order as they are designed to build on each other and take you on a journalling journey.
How did the workbook come about?
I’m a long time journaller. I’ve tried many types of journalling over the years and if you’ve been around a while you’ve probably heard me talking about:
Getting my thoughts down on paper is how I deal with life! I make lists, I write down my thoughts and feelings, I weigh up pro’s and con’s of major life decisions, I keep track of what’s happening in my life.
Journalling helps me in so many different areas!
But I know not everyone has had the chance to build a journalling habit. Or perhaps you’ve been a journaller in the past and have fallen out of the habit.
I decided to create a workbook for journalling prompts to help people bring more joy into their everyday lives. I’ve purposely set the workbook up so that each prompt can take 10 minutes. If you want to you can spend more time but I can appreciate how hard it can be to find time for a new habit so I’ve kept it short.
I had a lot of fun putting the whole thing together and I am so pleased with how it’s turned out. Of course – it has a rainbow design (because rainbows feature very highly on my happy list!)
Feedback and Reviews
I’ve already received some wonderful comments about the workbook and I want to share them with you…
“I bought and downloaded your workbook, it is amazing! You’ve done a lot of hard work on it. Can’t wait to print it off and start working on it! Thank you.” – Amy
“Find Your Happy is a rainbow of joy in a bit of a cloudy 2020! I loved the collection of prompts, and Katie has clearly thought out the journey the reader goes through when using them. If you’re looking to get into journalling, or need a refresher, Find Your Happy is a must buy.” – Emma
Is Find Your Happy for me?
Are you keen to give journalling a try?
Have you journalled in the past and you’re keen to get back into it?
Do you feel like you spend a lot of time making the people around you happy and run out of time for the things that bring you joy?
Are you keen to make positive changes to your everyday life to bring you more joy and happiness?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes- I really think you might enjoy Find Your Happy!
This is a new feature for Find the Good Everyday. Every now and again I’ll share an updated list of what’s making me happy! They may not be monthly – I might make them seasonal but it’s great to get started today.
Just think – if you write down 5 things every month for a year you’ll end up with a list of 60 happy things!
August’s Happy List
My Son turned 10 this month and we got to celebrate his first decade on earth! I shared 10 insights from 10 years of parenting earlier this month. He had a low key birthday but really enjoyed it.
Big Little Lies (TV Show) – I don’t watch heaps of TV but I’ve been meaning to watch this for ages. I binged both series across 5 days and really enjoyed it. It’s an amazing cast including Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. I loved the soundtrack and found lots of great songs to add to my playlists.
We got fish! My uncle gave us a fish tank and lots of supplies so we headed to the pet shop to buy some fish. We got 3 little minnows. One hasn’t survived unfortunately but the other 2 are so fun to watch zipping around the tank!
Walking in the woods. I’ve been walking in the woods a fair bit recently. First because it was cooler during the hot days for walking the doggo. And it’s also a great place to go when it’s raining because we get a bit less wet!
We got a Dishwasher! This was on my 38 @ 38 List so it’s good to get it ticked off. We had to reorganise the kitchen to remove a cupboard to get it plumbed in so it wasn’t a straightforward job but such a worthwhile one. Now to figure out how it works!
Tell me – what’s making you happy right now? I’d love to know.
I’ll be back soon with another Happy List! In the meantime don’t forget to check out these posts: