Category: happiness

How to use your ‘failures’ to plan for success (It’s easier than you’d think!)

Use your failures to plan for success? Yes. If you're looking for productivity tips or an unusual life hack, click through for great tips!

“I mean, no offense, but….”

That’s a great thing to hear on a Monday morning, right? When you’re 10 minutes into an hour-long walk with a friend?

I put on my Polite Midwestern I Won’t Be Offended Face and prepare for my friend to say something vaguely offensive.

“I really didn’t think it would work. I’ve read tons of books on this stuff. I’ve downloaded, like, five different apps. But this worked when nothing else did.”

My friend is talking about my course Bank Boost (shameless plug! It opened for enrollment yesterday!)

I’m flattered and blushy and I tell her so. I totally believe in the stuff we talk about in Bank Boost. It is full of great, insightful information and we approach money in a fun, doable, way!

But.

There are other differences. The stuff my friend tried that hadn’t worked for her? The books and apps? They were solo endeavors. She had no support, no accountability, nobody to bounce ideas off of.

Maybe if she’d had that, those other things would have worked for her.

And if my friend knew this about herself – that she needs support + accountability to get where she wants to go – she’d be able to use that knowledge in every area of her life.

If she wanted to change careers, eat differently, train for a marathon, buy a home, sell everything and travel the world … she’d make sure she had support and accountability to do those things.

She’d stop buying books she doesn’t read, self-paced courses she doesn’t complete, and apps that take up space on her phone. She’d think about what has worked for her in the past and do more of it if she wants to find success in her future.

So I guess the good news is: If something has worked for you in the past, it’ll probably work again for you in the future!

And the bad news is: If something didn’t work for you in the past, it probably won’t magically start working now.

You already have all the information you need to set yourself up for success (or failure). Just look at what has worked in the past and do more of it. And stop doing shit that has never worked for you. Click To Tweet

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Why You Need To Literally Schedule Fun Into Your Life + How To Do It

Want more fun in your life? Schedule fun! This might not sound like a budgeting tip, but having more fun makes like on a budget more bearable!

 

I did not plan on leading anyone towards an epiphany.

I mean, I knew what I was teaching people was helpful and useful. I knew that my course would help people bring in a lot of extra money, pay off debt, etc. etc. etc.

But I didn’t expect one tiny suggestion – something I thought was so-obvious-it’s-barely-worth-mentioning – to change everything for my students.

What did I tell my Bank Boost students to do?

I told them to schedule fun into their week.

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Are You Putting Off Happiness? 5 Ways To Feel Happy NOW

Are you putting off happiness? It's incredibly common! Read on for 5 happiness tips that will make it easier to do more of what you love. #selfdevelopment #happinesstips #selfhelp #feelbetter

It’s a rainy Tuesday night and I’ve successfully convinced my friend that grocery shopping counts as a “friend date” and we’re poking through the aisles of Super Target.

I’m weirdly excited to grocery shop with said friend because she always brings the best, most impressive dishes to parties. MAYBE SHE’LL BE THE ONE WHO FINALLY HELPS ME FIGURE OUT CHEESE FONDUE.

We turn down the tv dinner aisle and my friend – my loves-to-cook, Julia-Child-esque friend – shovels 654 Lean Cuisines into her cart. “It seems ridiculous make a real meal when it’s just me, you know?” she shrugs.

I nod but I don’t really get it. Is she saying that she doesn’t deserve the same sort of lovely meals she makes and shares with her friends?

Later, on my drive home, I think of all the places I’ve heard something like this before.

I think of the friend who moved to a new city for a one-year academic program. She isn’t bothering to make friends because she “isn’t going to be around that long.”

Another friend signed a six-month lease while she house hunts. She’s usually very stylish and decor-conscious, but she’s living out of boxes. Her framed art is still on the floor because she’s “just going to move soon.”

We can all see the common denominator here, right? Putting off or avoiding happy-making, life-improving things because they’re an inconvenience?

Friends, a bit of real talk:
There is no ‘perfect time’ to do things that make you happy or improve your life. Click To Tweet
If we want to find them, there will always be excuses for why we don’t need to treat ourselves with the same thought and consideration that we treat others. And honestly? SOMETIMES HAPPINESS IS A TOTAL HASSLE.

Making friends in a new city is vulnerable and weird (here’s how to make friends as an adult). Cooking An Actual Meal is a lot harder than heating up a Lean Cuisine. Making your living space lovely requires time and thought.

It’s so much easier to convince ourselves that we’re too busy or we don’t really care. It’s easier to convince ourselves that the inconvenient, happy-making thing won’t really make that much of a difference.

I’m here to tell you
a) that’s rubbish
b) it’s possible to make happiness easier
c) you deserve to feel happy now, not some imaginary time in the future when the stars align

5 ways to stop putting off happiness + make it easier

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Constraints can breed creativity + Limitations can create freedom

Looking for creativity tips? Add constraints or limitations! It's amazing the amount of freedom and creativity that can come from limitations! Click through to find out how

“Dude, I dunno. I don’t think you’re going to like having a CSA,” my friend intones, leveling her eyes at me over the top of her drink. She picks at her appetizer while making that I’m-telling-you-this-for-your-own-good face.

“It’s $400 for four months of vegetables you’d never choose yourself. How much kohlrabi can you possibly eat? NOBODY LIKES SWISS CHARD THAT MUCH, SARAH.”

So I’m preemptively annoyed and swiss-chard-aware when I pick up my first farm share. I squint skeptically into my box of greens and weird herbs. But instead of feeling angry about lemon balm I feel … relief. And inspiration. And a bubbling up of culinary creativity.

I can sprinkle lemon balm on top of all those ripe peaches sitting on my counter! I’ve heard grilled spring onions are amazing! I have everything I need to make a frittata! And, yes, I’m even excited to find recipes that feature kohlrabi.

Instead of wandering the aisles of a giant grocery store, unsure of what to buy, the choices have been made for me. Instead of using all my energy examining produce and deciding what to buy, I can use my energy making the most of what I’ve been given.
Crazy as it sounds, there can be freedom in limitations + creativity within constraints. Click To Tweet

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We pay for our choices with the lives we lead

Do you pay for your choices? How do you habits show up in your daily life? What we do every day become our daily lives ... so let's choose accordingly. #selfdevelopment #selfhelp #habits #motivation #productivity

 

It’s 2004 and Chung Li, Taiwan is hot and muggy. As per the usual. I’m choosing to celebrate the weather by living in flip flops and sundresses. I’m swapping out my full-faced scooter helmet for something lighter and breezier and significantly, uh, less protective.

Meanwhile, the brakes on my scooter have been squeaking and requiring more squeezing than usual but I’m choosing to put off the repairs till my monthly paycheck comes through. My commute is short! I rarely drive faster than 15 mph! IT’S FINE.

I imagine, dear reader, you can see where this is going. Can you see me tootling along the street on my way to work, thinking about my lesson plans for the day? Can you see the black Mercedes cutting me off and me tumbling into the street in my cotton dress? Can you see the hospital and the stitches and the scar tissue?

Perhaps I should have chosen a different outfit. A different helmet. To get my brakes fixed.

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How To Help Other People Make You Happier

Can you enlist the people in your life to help you be happier? Yes! Sort of! If you're looking for happiness tips or relationship advice, tap through for suggestions on how to make your needs and expectations known - lovingly. #happinesstips #selfhelp #selfdevelopment #fullfillment

It’s August 29th, 2004 and things are NOT going as planned. I wake up: zero ‘Happy Birthday!” texts. I open my email: three pieces of spam and one email from a colleague asking me to teach his Friday evening class.

I push through the glass doors of the school where I teach and my co-workers barely glance up from their grading. My work BFF pulls me aside for a quick gossip about our boss and points out I have a marker stain on my shirt. I head into my kindergarten class hoping this is some sort of elaborate ruse: A setup to lower my expectations before everyone jumps out and yells ‘Surpriiiiiise!’

Friends, there was no surprise party. My 26th birthday was commemorated with a voicemail from my parents and two belated emails from high school friends.

After I spent a few days sulking and eating my feelings, I realized there was exactly one person to blame for The Sad Birthday Debacle Of ’04.

Me.

Had I told anyone my birthday was coming up? I had not.

Had I given my roommate or my friends a head’s up that my birthday was a big deal to me and one of my love languages is ‘fuss-making’? Nope.

Had I done anything to make it easier for my friends to show me they loved me? No. If anything, I’d made it oddly hard. I’d created one of those “If you don’t know, then I’m not telling you” scenarios.

What if we made it easier for our friends and family to make us happy? What if we helped people make us happier?

Of course, a giant preamble: Really, you’re the only person who’s responsible for your happiness

In a perfect world, the people who love us add to our lives. They help us be our best selves. They’re interested in knowing what makes us happy. Once they have that information, they want to do things that will add more happiness to our lives.

That said, your best friend is busy. Your partner has hobbies. Your family members have lots of things on their proverbial plates. They all love you and want you to be happy! They do not necessarily have time to make your happiness a priority in their lives!

So let’s do our very best to hold two truths in our big, clever minds and hearts simultaneously:
1. People probably won’t know how to make us happy unless we tell them.
2. Even if they know how to make us happy, the people in our lives are not required to spend their time and energy making us happy every minute of every day.

Yes? Yes.

Now that we’ve established that, let’s talk about how we can help people make us happier.

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