If you found that question a little difficult to answer spontaneously, Kaia Roman’ book “The Joy Plan: How I Took 30 Days to Stop Worrying, Quit Complaining, and Find Ridiculous Happiness” is here to steer you towards a resounding “YES”
Yes, we are talking about long-term happiness here.
The Joy Plan chronicles the author’s deliberate plan to cultivate joy in thirty days—a plan she grabbed onto like a life raft when she faced a devastating failure and didn’t know how to move forward.
It’s different from other books about happiness. Rather than aim at enjoying life more, she focused on turning her life around—fast!
So while The Joy Plan is her story, it isn’t just about her.
A few years ago, when the author’s business crashed and her self-esteem took a nosedive, it seemed like the last straw. Of course there are worse things in life than the failure of a business, yet, but it seemed to highlight her inability to do anything right. As depression enveloped her, her friend suggested that if she focused on making joy her top priority for a month, it would transform her life. For want of a better idea, and considering she had no job, and no plan, Kaia decided to give it a try.
For 30 days, she went after joy from every angle—the scientific, the spiritual and everything in between. She explored every tool and trick, read every self-help book she could get her hands on to see what worked, and what didn’t.
Thirty days later, she found she had experienced enough changes in her life to continue with her Joy Plan and had enough motivation to write a book about what happened over the next six months. Today, The Joy Plan is a way of life and the discoveries she made in the process have become habit with her.
The good news is, you and I don’t have to take 30 days to make big changes in our lives to do these things—they are simple enough to get started right away!
Here then, are five tips gleaned from the book, to find joy in your life.
Mindfulness is all about doing whatever it takes to bring your attention to the present moment, into your body, and out of your chattering mind. And it’s been shown to have multiple health and brain benefits. Start today.
Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
I start each day with a prayer of gratitude. Just ten minutes is enough. I write in my gratitude journal and am conscious about all the things I am grateful for. This takes me to a good place in my mind and sets the tone for the day. Of course there’ll be ups and downs, which is why keeping an attitude of gratitude really helps make things better, and bearable.
Practice Acts of Kindness
Being kind to others feels good. In fact, it releases dopamine in the brain. It helps take our attention off of our own troubles, and also creates a feeling of interconnectedness. I try to do something kind every day. Sometimes it is as small as smiling at everyone I see, or doing something big—like making a difference in someone’s life—sponsoring a child’s education or living expenses.
Focus on Solutions Rather than Problems
This I learned from my Mom. Complaining was something she wouldn’t tolerate and encouraged me to be the change—to focus on a solution rather than a problem. Makes a huge difference.
When in Doubt, Laugh
Laughter really is the best medicine, but the truth is, it may not always be easy. Find ways to keep your spirit up with humor. And of course, learn to laugh at yourself. Several times a day. Smile. Never a problem for me, because I live with folks with a big sense of humor. If nothing works, watch your favorite comedy.
Unfortunately, joy doesn’t come easily for everyone. But with practice and repetition, joy is a habit that anyone can cultivate. As we shift our mental habits, we change our experience of life.
Can you see yourself practicing the five tips outlined above?
For more tips, exercises and actionable words of wisdom, buy The Joy Plan by Kaia Roman. You will love it!
The author has written a touching memoir, sharing her own story. I can vouch for the fact that you will want to create your own joy plan by the time you finish reading the book. Written with several actionable takeaways in each chapter and a comprehensive Appendix with resources you need to make your own joy plan, the book shows you how to find joy in your current life. Even when it looks unattainable.
Disclosure: I received a digital ARC of the book from NetGalley. The book title link in this post is my Amazon affiliate link. If you use it, you will help make a difference in a little girl’s life. Thank you!
The Joy Plan: book blurb
As a mother, a wife, and a businesswoman, Kaia Roman always had a plan. But when her biggest plan, the business she cofounded, collapsed, Kaia found herself crushed by depression. And what felt even worse was that, with a husband and two kids relying on her to get out of bed, she didn’t have a plan to move forward.
Determined to turn her life around and put her ingrained habits of stress and anxiety behind her, Kaia decided to put everything else on hold and dedicate thirty days to the singular pursuit of joy. The results were astonishing-and lasted much longer than the initial monthlong project.
In this uplifting and eye-opening memoir, Kaia uses her business savvy to create a concrete Joy Plan to get back on her feet fast. Using scientific research on hormones, neurotransmitters, and mindfulness, along with the daily dedication to creating a more joyful existence, Kaia teaches readers how to move past temporary happiness and succeed in creating joy that lasts.
Complete with advice, exercises, and key takeaways, The Joy Plan is Kaia’s step-by-step guide to how she, and everyone else, can ditch the negative and plan for the joy in their lives.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks (July 11, 2017)
About the author
Kaia is the author of the new book, The Joy Plan (Sourcebooks, July 2017). She teaches Mindfulness to elementary school students in Santa Cruz, California and is a blogger for minbodygreen and other sites. She writes about how she went from joyless and anxious to grateful and optimistic so she can remember how she did it if she forgets. She’s also a communications consultant to some of Silicon Valley’s largest companies. For everyday joy and mindfulness tips, sign up for Kaia’s newsletter at TheJoyPlan.com. You’ll find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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“Today, we are celebrating the Day of Joy in conjunction with the publication The Joy Plan by Kaia Roman! Read on for ways to bring joy into your life today, and every day, and enter for a chance to win a Joy Book Basket.”