Category: money and happiness

How To Define Success For Yourself (no, but REALLY)

How do you define success for yourself? How do you distance yourself from family and social expectations of what you 'should' be doing? Click through for 5 questions that will help you define success on your own terms.

We’ve all seen those hand-lettered quotes floating around Pinterest, haven’t we?

“Write your own definition of success!” “Success is: [photo collage of six pack abs, checked off lists, and lattes]” or that illustration of the imagined path to success versus the reality.

If you’re anything like me – you nod at your computer screen. You think “Yes! I should write my own definition of success!”

Then we forget about it.  We go back to subconsciously believing the version of success marketed by every magazine, tv show, and movie.  And based on those standards we’re doing life wrong.

It took me yearrrrs to realize that I – like everyone else, ever – had quietly absorbed all these ideas about success.

I’d watched enough sitcoms to know that success looks like stainless steel kitchen appliances and European cars. I’d read enough women’s magazines to know success looks like a high, tight butt and a high-earning husband. I’d been an American long enough to know that success looks like a six-figure salary, 2.5 children, and good teeth.

I’d never opted into these beliefs. They seeped into me by osmosis.

But somehow, one day, a light switch flipped on in my brain. I realized that if I actually wrote my own definition of success, it’d probably be a lot easier to achieve and a lot more fulfilling once I got there.

At the risk of rhyming/making you roll your eyes: If you can’t name it, you can’t claim it. Click To Tweet

Want to know what my version of success looks like?


9 Surprisingly Easy Ways To Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

Do you ever have buyer's remorse? We all do! One of the best budgeting tips is "buy fewer things you don't need" Click through to find out how!

For many years, my closet was stuffed to over flowing with cute vintage dresses, novelty ballet flats, and slightly stretched out, faded pieces of regret.

Where does one purchase regret? you ask. Well, it's for sale pretty much everywhere. Click To Tweet

It’s particularly easy to find on sales racks and in thrift stores where things are allllllmost what you’re looking for if you’re just willing to hem it, belt it, or wear a blazer over it.

(Do you ever actually hem anything? I don’t.)

If you go shopping when you’re feeling sad, tired, hungry, or celebratory it’s even easier to find. Why, I’ve purchased bags upon bags of regret when I’m in right mood!

Heavy-handed metaphors aside, we’ve all experienced buyer’s remorse. We’ve all bought things that seemed cuter in the store. We’ve all shopped in hopes that it would cure what ails us ($17 sundresses from Target rarely cure deep-seated emotional issues)

We’ve all purchased things that seemed ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY in the moment but two weeks later are gathering dust, tags still on.

While my life isn’t 100% buyer’s remorse-proof, I’ve dramatically cut down on my returns and guilt-filled Goodwill donations by asking myself these questions before I make a big purchase (or a little one I’m not sure of!)


Money Doesn’t Matter If Everything Else Sucks

All the budgeting tips and tricks for saving money won't help if everything is sucks. Money isn't magic. No matter where you go, there you are. You're you at $34,000 a year and you're you at $340,000. Money can't buy you happiness if you don't know what makes you happy. But once you figure out what makes you happy? Well, happiness probably costs a lot less than you think. >>

How many times has someone wisely intoned “Money can’t buy happiness” at you?

And how successfully have you stifled the urge to say “That’s hilaaaaarious because I’ve got a $700 flight to Greece in my cart right and that looks A LOT like happiness, my dude”?

Friends, I am not going to tell you that money can’t buy you happiness because I have purchased happiness, freedom, connection, and support many, many times.

I bought happiness and free time and a cleaner, calmer home in the form of a $400 robot vacuumI bought sweeter, slower mornings in the form of a dawn simulator. I bought better sleep, easier breakfasts, and a healthier diet in the form of a Nutribullet smoothie maker.

So I’m not going to pat you condescendingly on the arm, smile over my latte, and murmur “Money can’t buy you happiness.” I’ve got a truer, slightly less optimistic saying for all of us to adopt:
Money doesn’t matter if everything else sucks. Click To Tweet

Money can pay for the therapist but it can’t make you change your behavior.

Money can buy you a membership, but it can’t make your dates any kinder, smarter, or more likely to laugh at that story about your dog.

Money can pay for the home delivery of a lightly dressed green salad, but it can’t prevent you from eating an entire bag of pizza rolls at 11 pm on a Wednesday night.

Because here’s the thing we know but need to be reminded of:

Money isn't magic. No matter where you go, there you are. Click To TweetYou’re you at $34,000 a year and you’re you at $340,000.

Money can’t buy you happiness if you don’t know what makes you happy. But once you figure out what makes you happy? Well, happiness probably costs a lot less than you think.

P.S. Did you know I have a (free) private Facebook group dedicated solely to the topics of money and happiness? And the stuff we talk about has helped members change jobs, save thousands of dollars, and fight less with their partners? Join us!

Why we resist things we know will make us happy + What to do about it

Do you resist happiness or put off doing things you KNOW will make you happy? So many of us do this! Click through to find out why + how to stop!

30 minutes across town happiness is waiting for me.

In this case, it takes the form of a dance class filled with The Perfect Playlist,  women I like, and a teacher I adore. I HAVE ALREADY PAID FOR IT and every class I miss is a $20 bill I’m starting on fire and waving in the air.

And yet! Even though I know this class will make me happy, even though I’ve already paid for it, instead of going I’m … not. I’m saying “Hey, Happiness! I see you over there, waving frantically. I see you and Imma opt to sit here in my dirty yoga pants and watch Parks And Rec reruns instead of hanging out with you.”

Have you ever done this? If you’re a human who is alive, I’m pretty sure you have.

If you haven’t, will you teach me your ways?

There are all sorts of reasons we resist doing things that make us happy. Just like anything, when we notice what we’re doing and start to understand why, we’re a million times more likely to change our habits.

4 reasons we resist happiness + what we can do about it


17 Ways To Feel Happier + Calmer When You Only Have 10 Minutes

There are lots of ways to feel happier right now - even if you're busy or broke or kind of overwhelmed. Don't 'save' happiness for later! Read on for happiness tips, ideas for self-care, and ways to feel calmer, even when you're busy >> yesandyes.orgI have a weird, type-A tendency to put off doing things I know make me happy. I know I’ll feel sooooo much better if I get out of the house but putting on real clothes and walking to the coffee shop IS SO MUCH WORK.

Sure, I could read a chapter of my favorite book or I could do another load of laundry! Yes, I know exploring new cities makes me happy but I have tons of work to do, it’s rush hour, and wouldn’t my time be ‘better spent’ optimizing old blog posts?

Don't 'save' happiness for when things are easier and calmer (because they might never be) Click To Tweet

I’m calling shenanigans on myself and on you, fellow ‘I’m too busy to experience calm and happiness’ types. To help us get past this B.S., I’ve assembled this list.

Ways to feel happier + calmer when you only have 10 minutes


The Truth About Work Life Balance and How To Get It

Are you searching for work life balance? Who's not?! It's not necessarily easy - and it's not for everyone! - but here are 4 epiphanies that have helped me work less and enjoy my life more. Click through to see if they'll work for you >>

When you hear the phrase work life balance, do you:

a. want to reach through the computer and strangle me for referencing lifestyle blog/self development cliches
b. imagine an Instagram photo of a thin blond woman doing yoga on the beach
d. circle all of the above

Me, too.

Very few of us have lives that are perfectly divided into work and play. Maybe you work 60 hours a week and never see your partner. Maybe you’ve got an amazing social life but you’re working a dead-end job. Maybe you’re in perfect shape … but you spend so much time training for marathons you never see your non-running friends.

Work life balance isn’t necessarily easy and – honestly – it’s not for everyone! But if you’d like a bit more play than work (or a bit more work than play) read on for 4 epiphanies that have helped me find more balance in my life.