Friday, 6 January 2017

The 52 Week Journal: A Happiness Planner Review

Navy 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner
Last year, the idea of planning your happiness and writing about the things that make you smile REALLY took off. The Happiness Planner was the main one to take the lead on the happiness scene, but plenty of other alternatives were available. I LOVED the idea of these books, but after much backwards and forwards I decided I just didn't really have the commitment to stick to one. And then when I decided to change my mind and go and get one anyway they'd basically sold out everywhere, making my decision for me!

Recently I've been looking into these books again. I feel my happiness levels really have improved over the last six months or so, but there's still plenty of things that I'm not doing but I really should and I figure that having some kind of journal to keep me on track would be great for me.

I looked through all the options available and The Happiness Planner range was the one that appealed to me the most. However, the original Happiness Planner I just knew wasn't for me. It's a beautiful book, and if you've got the dedication to use it every day I think it will be a perfect option - however, that is definitely not me. I do not have time for that, and being a shift worker means I don't have a real routine so I'd struggle to find time to fit it in every day. Therefore, when I stumbled upon their 52 Week Journal range, I decided that that was MUCH better suited to my needs.

As the name suggests, it's a 52 week journal rather than an every day diary. I'm sure I will be able to find space every couple of days or once a week as a worst case scenario to fill it in, whereas daily is definitely something I'd give in on after a couple of weeks. It's not in anywhere near as much detail as the daily one is - but again, that's something that really suits me. If you're into logging everything the daily one would be great, but I just don't have the time to keep up with that and I also think I won't really find it all that interesting. I KNOW I eat the same meals over and over again, I don't need a book reminding me of that! The other advantage of the 52 week one is that it's not dated - meaning you can get started at any point in the year you so wish.

Anyway, let's have a look shall we?

Box of the navy 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner
My beautifully boxed 52 Week Journal!

Paper slips that come with the 52 Week Planner
 The first thing you see is that you get a couple of sheets to use as well. These include new years resolutions, habits and goals. Normally, I'll be honest and say that as pretty as these are, I probably wouldn't use them. HOWEVER, the front page of the journal itself includes a little paper holder, and this seems like the perfect sort of place to put these. I'll at least attempt to use these, but unfortunately I imagine I'll forget about them pretty fast!

Navy 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner
 My journal itself! As you can probably see, I went for the navy version, although the pink option is there as well if you prefer. It's a sizable book, very solid and well made. I was really impressed with the quality actually, it looks really professional and yet still looks good!

Navy 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner

Navy 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner

Navy 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner

Navy 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner
 As mentioned above, the book is organised by weeks rather than by dates. This means you're free to buy one or start one at whatever point of the year you choose, meaning you've always got the option to pick one up in a couple of months if you don't quite want to commit to the idea of one just yet.

Inside of the 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner
The first pages of the book are for you to fill out before getting started. I'm only going to share a couple of the pages with you, as I feel like it would sort of ruin the book if you already knew absolutely everything about it. Isn't part of the fun of these sort of things getting to discover it yourself?

Inside of the 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner

Inside of the 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner
 Either way, I really like the idea of these first few pages. They allow you to take some time and work yourself out in a way that I certainly don't think about all that often. I like the idea of writing down things that I know make me frustrated and upset and working out ways that maybe I can try and stop being quite so bothered by them this year. On the other hand of the spectrum, I also like the idea of writing down the activities that make you happy and how often you'd like to do them - it makes me realise quite how bad at doing this I am! For example, I can tell you that I really enjoy yoga, but I couldn't tell you when the last time I actually did it was. I love reading, but when was the last time I finished a book? Couldn't tell you. Part of the reason for this is that I work a job that is very unpredictable and often has me changing shifts and finishing very late, and as such I gave in with booking things like yoga classes because that way I wasn't anywhere near as disappointed when they fell through. That won't be the case this year, but even still this is a good reminder to myself to start fitting these things in again.

Inside of the 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner
 Each week, you've got this page to fill out. It includes your personal and work goals, things you're excited about and happy things that you will do. The other page includes an ordinary day to day guide; a little slip that comes with the book advises that you use this page to fill out things you want to focus on, good things about the day, to-do lists, meal and exercise plans, classes, etc. I suppose you can use it for anything you want really! In my case, I'm going to split each section in half. On the first bit, I'm going to note down things that I'm looking forward to and things like exercise plans, but on the second bit I'm going to write out at the end of the day or week any surprises that came up or other things that I enjoyed. This will probably be smaller things, but there's nothing wrong with that!

Inside of the 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner
 This page also comes up each week and is for you to fill out at the end of the week. It asks you to fill out the highs and lows of the week, what you're thankful for, what you learned, and what you want to improve on or hope for. It also includes a little rating box where you can circle how you felt this week - the categories are unhappy/happy, bored/excited, tired/energetic, stressed/calm, unhealthy/healthy. After this, you write your score out of 25 in the box.

I really like this page, although I think some weeks I'll struggle to fill all the boxes out. Hopefully this is something I'll get better at over the course of the 52 weeks! I REALLY like the rating system though, as it's something quick and easy to do and a way to think about parts of yourself you perhaps normally wouldn't.

Inside of the 52 Week Journal, by Happiness Planner
At the end of the 52 weeks, you fill out all of your scores from the year into this grid. The idea, I suppose, being to see how you've improved throughout the year! I'm actually really looking forward to this part.

I'm really looking forward to using my happiness planner. I am ocasionally a victim of forgetting about the smaller happy things whenever something stressful happens, and I'm hoping that writing it all down will help me focus on it. I'm planning on doing an update post on my use of this at about the half way point, and I'm hoping to see an improvement from it - even if it's just remembering to DO the things that make me happy more often rather than sort of just relying on things to happen. I have no regrets about buying the 52 week version - the daily version is awesome, but just not for me.

The 52 Week Journal costs £30, which admittedly is more than I wanted to pay - but I'm happy with my planner, so I don't mind all that much although I do hope these go down in price at some point! They can be quite difficult to find - I bought mine from Naturisimo, or you can buy one through The Happiness Planner's website. When it comes to finding one in person, it's really difficult to come across - I've seen the range in the TCR Paperchase store (though only in pink!) but not in any of their other stores, although if you're near a bigger one you might have some luck there.

Are you thinking of trying a journal like this?
SHARE:

No comments

Post a Comment

Blogger Template Created by pipdig