Don’t worry lads, I haven’t given up on happiness – I’ve just given up on the Happiness Planner.
A few months back, I was drawn into the idea of journaling and had seen The Happiness Planner pop up a lot on my Instagram feed. After a few weeks of contemplating, I finally caved and bought the planner online.
Fast forward to when it turned up, I couldn’t wait to crack it open and start using it to “become happier”. I wasn’t particularly unhappy, but as I said in *this post*, I wanted to start living more intentionally – to really record those moments and remember them. I wanted to track my progress week on week to see if being more intentional did make me a happier person.
And it did for a while. But then The Happiness Planner just started to feel like a chore.
If you’re thinking of buying The Happiness Planner, I’m not here to stop you. I 100% think it could work for people that really want to make it work for them. But for me, I started forgetting to fill it in.
First I would forget the odd day or two and have to recall from my (useless) memory in order to fill out the pages. Then I started missing larger chunks. Why? Because I simply didn’t get round to filling it in. I considered taking it to Dubrovnik to make sure I continued to use it while away, but then I felt like it would just feel like “another thing to remember to do” when all I wanted to do in Dubrovnik was relax.
So, I left it at home and I’m fairly certain I haven’t used it since.
The Happiness Planner daily pages let you add your focus for the day, what you’re looking forward to, what you ate, the exercise you did, a schedule of your day, a to-do list, and a reflection section for what you are most grateful about and what you hope for the next day. It is really an amped up gratitude journal. What it isn’t however, is a “planner” for my lifestyle.
I needed a planner which was more focused on the schedule aspect and had more space for to-do’s. I am at my happiest when I’m hella productive, and I felt like The Happiness Planner just didn’t facilitate that. I also found the weekly recaps to be difficult to fill out and was always stumped at filling out the section that asked for 3 words to describe the week. Why did I find that so difficult?!
All my niggles with The Happiness Planner will probably be things that other people love about it. If you do want a gratitude journal that also kind of incorporates other elements, then this is for you. But for me? I needed something more goals-driven.
Enter – This Is My Era.
Oh, I know, what a cringy name. But after a few weeks of research and frantically scouring the web for a planner that ticked all my boxes, this is the one that did it for me.
But what exactly was I looking for, that The Happiness Planner didn’t deliver?
I am shit at goal setting, and I needed a planner that was focused around goals without making it daunting. The This Is My Era planner does exactly that, with a Master Goals section to come up with goals around the different aspects of your life (e.g. Career, Family etc), as well as a S.M.A.R.T goal planner to break each of those goals into actionable steps.
Usually, goal setting gives me a stress headache and makes me want to pack it all in and watch a Shane Dawson video on Youtube, but the structure in this planner really helped me stay committed to not only setting goals but figuring out how to keep track of them too.
The This Is My Era planner also has monthly, weekly and daily planning pages. They are separated out into their own sections which will mean a bit of flicking back and forth, but it has two bookmarking ribbons to help keep your place. This was one of the only planners I could find that offered all 3 options for planning. I like having a monthly overview to plot in “big things”, a weekly for rounding up the week’s progress, and a daily for well…the day-to-day.
The daily planning is really the stand out of this planner though. Hot damn, it literally has exactly what I need.
It has a morning reflection section for listing what you are thankful for (I love that this is in the morning section rather than end of the day, as it starts you in the right mood!), a top 3 priorities section which is exactly how I usually structure my top tasks anyway, a to-do list, a place to write a daily affirmation and sections at the bottom for evening reflection – wins or accomplishments and things I learned or key follow-ups.
On top of that, it has a My Schedule section with the time between 6am – 9pm split into 30 min chunks. This was the element I was struggling with most when finding a planner because I prefer having a proper “paper scheduler” to get a greater overview of my day. The Happiness Planner was so restricted in space that if I changed my schedule for one reason or another, it would be a mess of scribbles.
Finally, there’s a whole section for notes, which I’ve been using to record any other bits that don’t fit on the scheduler for whatever reason, as well as my food and water intake because a few of my goals are tied into this.
It’s early days, but I’m excited to start fresh with the This Is My Era Planner. Oh, and FYI this isn’t an ad…I just really love it and wanted to share my experience of it versus The Happiness Planner for anyone else who might be thinking about journaling.
You can buy the planner from Amazon *here* (affiliate link)