Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and your year is off to a great start.
Towards the end of December, I mentioned that I was feeling very overwhelmed. I had made a lot of major decisions in the Fall about the kind of life I want to live, but I had yet to implement them. There were a lot of things that I was doing, some out of routine to just keep going, that really didn’t need doing at all. And that contributed to my overwhelm. I’ve taken the time to pause what I was doing, for the most part, to figure out what really needed to be done. In my last post, I talked about seeking God in “my” plans for the year and He has definitely answered.
During that time, I came across a planner that helped to guide me through all of that. It emphasizes mindful planning. This basically means discovering your values and creating goals and plans that prioritizes these values. So, not so much doing “all the things”, but taking a balanced approach to accomplish meaningful goals without burnout. The planner is by a Canadian company called Hemlock and Oak. They’re currently sold out of the 2021 planner but have a digital option as well as various printables to try.
With regards to Hey Sister, I’ve taken all this time to figure out what it is exactly that I want to do, what’s important and in line with my purpose, and then to create an actual plan for that. I think, in the past, that this has been something I did when I had the time. So, I wasn’t very intentional about doing it well. One important change I’ve made is I deleted my Instagram account at the end of the year. It was a major consumer of my time, and is just too fast-paced and overwhelming for me in general.
I also made some changes to the blog to simplify it, remove some of the maintenance, so that I could focus on just writing. The ETSY shop is temporarily closed but I’m planning to have it back up soon. And the YouTube channel will continue to be a place where I share my journey.
My Happy Journal this year is a guided journal by The Happy Planner.
Last year, I used the remains of a vertical layout Happy Planner for journaling. This year I decided to use – wait for it – an actual journal. This is the Happy Life guided Journal. It’s part of the Stephanie’s Favourites collection which was released back in September, I believe, of last year.
Now, this collection is very colourful! So, it’s not really my style but I do like the overall vibe. It resonates with where I am right now in pursuing my passions while also being focused on wellness.
The journal has a combination of dot grid pages and guided pages. Each guided page has sections for reflection and gratitude each day. But, I don’t plan on using it this way. I’ll just use the entire spread for the week and incorporate gratitude into my journaling.
I have the usual encouraging quotes, as well as some empty boxes for my takeaways for the week. Takeaways are things I’ve learned, insights I’ve received, over the course of the week that I want to remember and apply going forward. Something new I’ve included this week are two habit trackers.
I’m currently taking a course online called The Science of Well-being. It was recommended by a close friend of mine as we often talk about wellness. The course looks at recent studies in psychological science to learn how we can be happier, feel less stressed, and essentially thrive. Part of the course involves putting what we learn into practice and building habits that will lead to a happier, more fulfilling life. This has become like weekly wellness challenges for me.
I’m currently on the third week. The first week had to do with discovering our strengths and being intentional about using them. Week 2 was about practicing gratitude, and savouring (which is about being present and attentive in the things we’re doing). This week, the challenge is to perform random acts of kindness and make social connections. So the habit trackers here serve as reminders, and I’ll journal that experience elsewhere. The course itself is free, I’ve found it very interesting so far. I’ve linked it above if you’d like to check it out.
Here’s to an amazing year of intentionally living out our purposes in 2021!
Joy & Peace, Sister!