Instead of beating ourselves up over what we don’t do and using language that sidelines our efforts — scrap the word “just” for instance, as I was reminded recently — we’re intelligent enough to recognize that not every win comes with fanfare. Sometimes a win is making small changes to our lives: emptying the dishwasher instead of letting the counter become a hazard, walking 30 minutes more per week than we did the previous week, or getting our lives under control with a bit of planning and self-care. It’s the overriding theme around here this week and we’re happy to share the love for what makes our lives a bit happier every day.
Candace Derickx – I abhor planning. It hurts my soul to schedule every single moment of a day but as the publisher of this site, the Manager of Influencer Relations at Ehm & Co., and the person behind Sunwing Vacations Kidcation Expert Panel to name but a few of the hats I wear, it’s a must. Enter my Happy Planner. I tripped across this planner at Michael’s in the fall and have since converted many of my friends to it. It comes with removable pages, great accessory packs and STICKERS! What? Grown ass woman with big responsibilities can still delight in stickers. Sheesh. Check out this awesome video on how the Happy Planner works. While I’ll always find planning ugly, at least I can make it look pretty.
Katja Wulfers – I’m a runner who periodically falls of the running wagon. Subtle cues, like mood swings and general grouchiness, make me realize I’m missing something, and that something is usually the zen that comes from lacing up my shoes and being blissfully alone. No phone calls, no one asking questions, no one waiting for emails – it’s just me, Linkin Park, and the road. But lately I’ve wondered about my heart rate and if I’m doing this health thing right. I don’t want to wear a chest strap—there’s enough going on in that area—so I found the Polar A 360 Fitness tracker. I don’t have it, but I’ve read great reviews and it’s slim enough it won’t be in my way as I tear up the pavement.
Laureen Farnam – I don’t know if anyone reading this remembers The Sims, but in the game if there is anything unsightly near the door as you exit to go to work your Sim’s mood is affected and then has kind of a cruddy day. Then when your Sim arrives back home, its mood gets even worse because the same troublesome item is still exactly where it was when they left. Of course! This is pretty logical and way back in the ‘90s it was a pretty remarkable development in gaming. Enter real life. I live in a small space and as such must use that space wisely to maintain any workable organization system. So, we have been keeping (though not for long!) the recycling near the door out of sheer convenience. When we have boxes or cans or flyers, it’s easy to process them and place them directly into a recycling bin and carry them away the very next time we leave home. You see where this is going right? Over the time that we have been living here my shoulders have risen slightly closer to my ears each time I exit and reenter my home. Because UNSIGHTLY! Even when a system works from a logical standpoint, it doesn’t mean it’s going to make you a happy Sim – er – Human! So, last week I decided that the entryway needed some help and these SORTERA bins are about to be my new BFF. They are crisp and clean looking in their bright white colour and they are the epitome of functionality. I have carved out a spot for them in the laundry room, which is no less convenient than where we were placing recycling before, but these are so perfectly simple and clean looking they might even get to stay by the door.
Kelly Williams – I have a hard time waking up and an even harder time getting out of bed. This morning I woke on time and then stayed in bed for half an hour reading trying to muster up the gumption to haul myself out from under my oh so cozy blankets. This is my modus operandi from October to April as I particularly dislike getting out of bed while it’s still dark. I may have found a solution though in the way of a Wake Up Light from Phillips. It imitates a natural sunrise by gradually increasing the amount of light and noise over a 30 minute period. This sounds like a godsend to me and I am coveting hard.
Melissa Gaston – Busy. It’s our constant state, and we need a way to help us focus on being present. Headspace is a meditation app that bills itself as “a gym membership for the mind.” Andy Puddicombe, founder and former monk, is the soothing voice behind the approachable meditation platform. You can download the app for free (on both iOS and Android) and try their “Take 10” series for free; 10 minutes of meditation for 10 days. You’ll be hooked and want to sign up for a yearly subscription that includes specialty meditations (think commuting, eating, sports and relationships). It even has a few for kids! Cost for the yearly subscription is USD$12.95 a month, or USD$96 a year. I love that it helps me breathe easier and focus on what’s in front of me.