Joy is a word that we are all familiar with and one that we hear a lot about during the holiday season. But what is joy…really? And how is it different from happiness?
Here’s how I differentiate the two.
Happiness is an outward expression of positive emotions. Joy is a more profound, internal feeling of peace, gratitude, and purpose. Each sentiment is meaningful and necessary. But finding the joy of your soul and building a life around the pursuit of it? Well, now you’ve just leveled up!
How then, do we find our JOY? Well, there are many ways to identify the things in life that bring us joy. One of my favorites comes from the mental state of FLOW. Positive psychologist, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, describes flow as "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost.” You are completely immersed in an activity.
Self care is a hot topic these days. To a lot of people, it means mani-pedis and treating ourselves to a face mask. And while those can certainly be part of a good self care Sunday, they aren’t the whole story. In my opinion, self care is about taking care of your mind, body and soul. It’s about listening to what you need at a particular moment and honoring it.
A great way to learn this practice is to write things down in…wait for it…your Happy Planner! You can start by using the worksheet download listed below. At the beginning or end of every day, take a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions:
I believe that we are all creative beings. That there is magic inside all of us that can create something from nothing! Creativity is not reserved for artists or writers. It’s for all of us who dare to put our imaginations to work. There’s no room for fear and here’s the best part…you can’t fail. Trying = success in the creative space. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Do you ever find yourself somewhere and your mind starts wandering…thinking about ALL THE THINGS that you have to do? You may as well not even be there at all because you are a million miles away, obsessing about the future. Or the past. What a waste of a perfectly good moment in time. I do this ALL. THE. TIME…and I don’t like it. So it’s REALLY important for me to focus on being in the moment and mindful of what is happening in my life right now.
During the busy holiday season, it’s way too easy to be three steps ahead of ourselves and miss what’s going on around us. You’re not alone. It happens to ALL of us and it will continue to happen. But I have identified 4 tips and ideas to help you fully enjoy the Gift of Presence this holiday season. Here they are!
This week, we are putting the HEALTHY in Happy & Healthy Holidays. I know it's not what we are usually focusing on during the hustle and bustle of the season but it's what we NEED to be focusing on to get the most out of this magical time of year.
Think about it. When we were kids, the holiday season was a time of delight and wonder. We didn't feel stressed out and exhausted. Why? Well, for one, we had someone looking out for our health and well-being. I mean, even Santa was watching to make sure we got enough sleep every night. Now, as we are firmly planted in adulthood, we're on our own. If you don't take care of yourself during the holiday season (or beyond), Santa isn't coming to save you from your unhealthy habits.
Hey everyone, it’s Stephanie! The holidays are my FAVORITE time of the year, but this can also be a season of OVER-COMMITTING, OVER-INDULGENCE, and OVER-SPENDING — if you’re not careful. However, if we enter into this season being a little bit more INTENTIONAL & MINDFUL about our actions we can totally change that. That’s great news!
The Happy & Healthy Holiday challenge + emails are here to help remind you of what this season is all about. We love and appreciate that everyone celebrates this holiday season differently and we want to encourage you to embrace what makes you HAPPY & HEALTHY.
Let’s do this together! Sign up for this meaningful challenge and join me. Here’s what you can expect!
I'm a little late on the check-in, but man-oh-man am I in the groove!
February was a good month. It wasn't all smooth sailing. (Bear with me, I like to speak in metaphors and use symbolism to express my feelings. Such a Pisces!) I had to navigate some rogue waves but I also got to experience some amazing sunrises. And you know what, I'm really okay with that because that means that I was able to make progress through the tough times as well as the easy days.
In this month's vlog, I share my progress and also tell you what my goals (and BIG plans) are for March. So be sure to check it out and let me know what else you want to see or know about my process or journey. Your support along the way has meant so much to me! I would love to be able to be there for you too!
I have always loved photos. In fact, we started me & my BIG ideas 20 years ago designing stickers that were the perfect addition to our scrapbooks. Today, my memories are documented in our Happy Memory Keeping™ planners. It's the perfect combination of two things I love so much...planners and scrapbooks.
I get asked a lot of questions about the process of memory keeping in a planner...like how I print my pictures? What I do when I don't have a lot (or any) pictures? And what's the best way to get started? Those are all great questions, so I recorded a Plan with Me video that walks you through my process and answers all your pressing questions.
Since the launch of The Happy Planner® 3 years ago, I have had the opportunity to meet so many of you. You've shared your stories and your planners with enthusiasm and authenticity. It's been such an honor. We even took our cameras to some of our latest events to capture some of these interactions to share with the world. And when our team was finished creating this tribute, we were brought to tears. Our love for YOU is why we do what we do every day. The Happy Planner® community is like no other. I just want to watch this video over and over and OVER! YOU make me HAPPY! I wish I could give each and every one of you a BIG hug...yep, I'm a hugger!
So please accept this Valentine's Day tribute and know that you are LOVED and so very appreciated. Oh yeah, we also created some cute wallpaper designs for you to jazz up your phones. Feel free to share the love!
When it comes to sharing my favorite Happy Planner® products, the only challenge I have is where to stop. I honestly have SO many! But there are a few that I seem to use all the time. If you were to look in my planner bag, you'd find these Happy Planner All Stars and a few other supplies that help me Plan a Happy Life™.
We are SO fortunate to have some of the most talented designers on our team. They work so hard to bring you all the beautiful Happy Planner® products that you have grown to love. I want to introduce you to them because I just know that you're gonna love them as much as we do.
Before we get to know Kristin, let me answer a question that we get asked a lot. "What is the difference between your designers and the Design Team?" Great question...thanks for asking. Our staff designers are employees of me & my BIG ideas® who work with us to design and create the products we offer. The Design Team, however, is a team of influencers that we select each year to partner with us to promote all things Happy Planner®. I know, I can see how it gets a little confusing. That's why we are making some changes to our 2018 Design Team...stay tuned for more details.
You guys! I posted my first VLOG! I wanted to check in with you in a really authentic and personal way. So I set my camera up on a tripod at home, lit up that Diva Ring light and just started recording. I can be a bit all over the place so I edited it a bit...to remove about 100 "ums" and I love the result. I hope you'll give it a click and check it out.
It's about 15 minutes and I share my wellness journey through January. My Happy Planner Wellness extension pack is proving to be an all-star for me and I love how I've tweaked my recording process to really suit my needs. It's the best 10 bucks I ever spent. Well, I didn't actually buy it but you know what I mean. (wink wink)
We all know what a BUCKET LIST is but I've created something a little different...a VISUAL bucket list! I made my first one in 2014 and again in 2016. You can see I changed things up a bit. I hope you put your own personal twist on yours too!
Now is the perfect time to create one of your own and it's a really easy project.
Create your BUCKET LIST. I like adding BIG and small adventures. That way, when you're looking for something to do, you have a lot of options!
Find images that represent the items on your list. You can use magazine clippings, images from Pinterest or a Google search. I just took screenshots and that worked perfectly.
Next, size your images to 2x2 (or whatever size your page protectors are) and trim.
I’ve been thinking a lot about goals vs. resolutions. What’s the difference and what does this even have to do with The Happy Planner®?
Well, for years, I would make New Year’s Resolutions (UGH) about all the things I wanted to change. It felt very restrictive. Don’t do this or do less of this. It always seemed to focus on what I perceived as bad in my life. And eventually, not too long after the ball had dropped in Times Square, I was back to square one. I would rebel against changing my “bad habit” and go back to the freedom of doing what I wanted…and feeling quite guilty about it. Enter negative self-talk and a destructive narrative. A vicious cycle.
Until one day, something changed. I started setting GOALS instead. Goals were forward thinking, empowering and involved a PLAN for success. See where I’m going with this? I started PLANNING! I set very specific goals and held myself to a timeline to reach my success. I was passionate but flexible and I started to achieve the goals I had set for myself.
Hello! My name is Stephanie Fleming. I'm co-owner and founder of me & my BIG ideas® and The Happy Planner®...that's me on the right. I'm so excited to launch our new website, dedicated to all things Happy Planner!
Many of you know the story of how my mom and I started our company, me & my BIG ideas®, but for those of you who don't, here's the short and sweet version. In the fall of 1998...almost 20 years ago...my mom and I had an idea. One idea. To create clear stickers designed specifically for scrapbookers. We took a BIG leap of faith and decided to go for it. After a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, our tiny garage based business turned into an industry leading brand, offering a wide variety of products that inspired our customers to LIVE CREATIVELY™! Of course there's more to the story but I'll save that for another time.