I wish I was one of those people who used paper planners. I can spend hours on Pinterest lusting over beautiful handwritten journals, knowing that I just don’t have the patience to do something similar myself. However, in an effort to try and become one of these people, I purchased a Happiness Planner.
There is a whole website dedicated to the Happiness Planner, which is described as “a planner like no other. Instead of focusing on productivity, it focuses on your happiness. It is designed to help you welcome more positivity, joy, and happiness into your life by applying the practices of positive thinking, mindfulness, gratitude, and self-development. The focus is on making each day a positive experience, building introspection into your routine and increasing self-awareness.” That’s a big ask for a planner. One of the reasons I chose this was that it offered something different to a traditional planner: I put meetings, appointments, tasks and to-dos in my Google or Outlook calendars; maybe I’d actually use this planner if I was using it for something different.
The planner is undated so you can start using it on any day. The idea is that 100 days is a perfect length of time to make a change, whether that is a change of habit, behaviour or mindset. The Happiness Planner features the following:
- Yearly pages
- Weekly Overview/Plan
- Weekly Reflection
- 100-Day Daily Pages
- 100-Day Reflection
- Daily Inspirational Quotes
- Daily Focus & Goal Setting
- Daily Notes & To-Dos
- Daily Exercise and Meal Plans
- Daily Reflection, Gratitude Log, and Positive Affirmations
I will say that personally, I detest generic inspirational quotes. I say “generic” because I do find value and inspiration in quotes that mean something to me from people I like and respect. Generic quotes, though, I find to be so vague as to be practically meaningless and they just make me roll my eyes. This planner is full of them and they did nothing for me. Each to their own, though. Some people love them, which is fine!
What I did find useful: the daily focus and goal setting, along with the exercise and meal plans. I can’t say I did everything I planned to do (who can?), but this aspect of the planner helped me to structure my days and weeks, helping me to get more exercise and more of the right food, and enabling me to do more of what I wanted to do.
I also liked the reflective aspects of the planner, even if the weekly reflection got a bit tedious after a while. I do struggle with reflection, even though it’s something I need to do on a professional basis. Doing it on a personal basis is new to me but I can see the value in it.
Did I feel happier after the 100 days? I don’t know, I feel these things are hard to tell. I guess so? I feel like I was doing more of what makes me happy, especially socialising: it’s something I can easily neglect but I tried to make more time for it over the hundred days.
I’m kind of glad I didn’t go for the full year happiness planner, as I think that would have been a bit too much for me. I quite liked the 100-Day planner, though, as a way to get started.