A YEAR OF HAPPINESS

a year of happiness // artsocial Wow it's been a whole year of the Be Happy linkup and my blog happiness project has officially come to an end. I collaborated, I grew my numbers, I hosted events (!), I worked with brands, I launched services (!!)... crazy how much can happen in a year, huh?

You may be wondering, am I happier? Happier in life? With my blog? With my career? I can wholeheartedly say that I AM. Not in an annoying Susie-Sunshine-every-second-is-rainbows kind of way, but in an I'm-genuinely-excited-and-fulfilled way. Last year at this time I knew I had a lot of growing to do and, more importantly, a lot of soul-searching to do where my career was concerned. This project has helped me immensely. It took a major commitment on my part, but it was SO worth it. Having goals and focusing on them one at a time for a year? Amazingly effective and satisfying.

If you're trying to figure out the next steps in your career, make some serious long-term goals. Take the time to make plans. I know it can feel frustrating and even silly to plan out an entire year in advance, but I'm tellin' ya, friends, really thinking about the future and where you want to be is KEY. The more clarity, the better.

Now the question is: do I start a new happiness project? With new goals and even BIGGER dreams? What do you think? Have you enjoyed hearing about my happiness project and reading the Be Happy linkup posts each week? I wanna know!

Also, I've been thinking - the best part of this linkup is community, right? Right. So guess what? I'm passing the Be Happy linkup baton to Louise of Laid Off Mom for the entire month of October! So starting next week, grab your happiness posts and linkup over on her uhmazing, gorgeous blog. Wahoo! High five to Louise and to everyone in the Be Happy crew! xoxo

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Image by artsocial.

IT'S OKAY TO LET GO

reading by Kelly Nicolaisen I'm not one to shy away from hard work. I'm usually always willing to go above and beyond, and do what needs to be done to reach my goal.

But that mentality can also make me supremely cray and stressed out.

With blogging, planning Eat Drink Create events, and doing more and more graphic design work (yay!), my weeks are pretty full lately. Throw moving into the equation and holy craziness... I'll admit, there were definitely some tears this month.

Believe it or not I'm actually really grateful for this supremely stressful month. I realized something pretty major - BIG thank you to the Glitterbomb Your Biz crew! I realized that I need to give myself permission to let go...

Let go of my crazy high standards. Let go of posting x number of blog posts each week. Let go of tweeting and facebooking and instagramming everyday to keep up my "online presence." Let go of feeling like I have to attend that big blogger conference in January... you know the one.

Release it all. Cuz at the end of the day? It's okay. Better than okay. Everything is unbelievably amazing. Why would I add unnecessary stress to all this amazingness?

We're settled into the new casa. It's almost a new season. It's time to start fresh, yes? Okay. Starting fresh... NOW!

Shout out to artist Kelly Nicolaisen by the way. I'm obsessed with her photos! Seriously, I want them all.

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

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Reading by Kelly Nicolaisen.

TIME TO...

value your time

Lately I've been feeling like I never have enough time. I feel like my days are FLYING by and I'm racing to keep up. When this happens, it usually means I've taken on too much... and with it comes the stress, the anxiety, and oh - sure enough - the tears. Crazy, right?? I'm my own boss! Why would I let that happen?!

Is it just the curse of being a go-getter? Well yes and no. I definitely come from the mindset "I can do EVERYTHING. Let's do this, B." I think I picked that up in grad school... because you have to do everything there. And sure, I can take on every interesting opportunity that comes my way but do I want to? Is it worth the stress?

Being in Yosemite last month with absolutely no work, no cell service, and no wifi made me realize something - I need to value my time more. I need to value my time the same way I value my money. I need to be mindful of where I'm spending it and what I'm investing it in. I need to schedule in downtime and say no more often.

I know this sounds silly and unimportant, but the first step I took in valuing my time was unsubscribing from a TON of email lists. You know, the ones you have to wade through each day to get to the real, important emails? Why would I keep those around?? Be gone, endless newsletters!

It's a small step, but I feel better already...

Image by artsocial.


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HAPPY 4TH TO YOU!

enjoy-today

I hope you're enjoying a day off with friends and family! Or, ya know, chillin' the way YOU WANT TO on this holiday. I have plans with the fam later tonight, but I'm spending the day catching up on some photo projects... and I lurrve it.

Pool parties? BBQs? Sure they're fun, too. But sometimes to be our best, happiest selves, we need to take some time just for us. It's not selfish, it's NECESSARY. So I'm going on a date with my camera. See y'all lataaa! Or in a few minutes on instagram...

Whether you're by the pool, with family, or watching a Netflix-athon, I hope you're doing exactly what you want to do this holiday weekend and I hope it's amaaazing. Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Image by artsocial.

OUT OF THE OFFICE

lesconfettis Hello from Yosemite! Since I'm off enjoying the great outdoors this week, I've passed the Be Happy linkup baton to Laid Off Mom. Head over there to join today's linkup!

Can't wait to get back and catch up on your happiness posts! See you next week, friends! xo

P.S. when I get home, I'm totally redecorating my office like this...

Yes, I am.

Yes, huh.

Image via Les Confettis.

WORK HARD, BE KIND, NEVER GIVE UP

can't stop won't stop I can't believe I only have 2 more months left to go for my blog happiness project! My goal was to slowly but surely work for myself as a blogger. Dudes. I'm doing it. I'm working with brands I love and collaborating with amazing people. Conan is right: “If you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen.” Of course Conan's right!

I'm so grateful for the opportunities that have come about over the last 10 months... and MOST importantly, I'm grateful for all of you, everyone I've connected with since starting artsocial in 2011. It's very humbling and amazing and makes me want to dance around the room! Probably to this song.

But. My blog happiness project isn't over yet. June is dedicated to exploring new avenues. Each month this project allows me to reevaluate where I am and decide what I'd like to change. When I first wrote June's goal, I was thinking I'd like to write an ebook, start a service, or create a product. BIG decisions. I wouldn't want to start any of those things halfheartedly. I'm gonna take some time with this one...

What kind of awesome new offering would you like to see on artsocial? Be Happy ebook? One-on-one time to ask me anything about collabs, linkups, sponsorship proposals, events, etc.?  Do you have some writing or graphics you'd like some help with? Maybe I can help you out... leave me a comment, girrrl!

 

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

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Image by artsocial.

EMBRACE YOUR AWESOMENESS

photo by Yann Faucher One of the BEST things about being Tiffany Han's blog manager is getting to chat with her on the phone. Every time we hang up I feel so effing inspired and ready to kick some ASS.

The other day we started talking about alter egos. I had been watching a Beyoncé documentary (obvi) and was telling her how much I'd love an alter ego like Beyoncé's Sasha Fierce (again, obvi). There's something so liberating about adopting an alter ego... it gives you permission to be fearless, strong, confident, sexy - frickin' unstoppable. No excuses. No apologies. Don't we all want that?

I think that's why I love rap music and documentaries about celebrities... and this youtube video. All of these people embrace their awesomeness and they're willing to share it with the world. They may get scared from time to time... but they still show up. They push past their fear and perform.

Maybe I need an alter ego... or maybe I just need to embrace my inner badass in those moments when I'm feeling nervous. After all, I think we're all cooler than we think... we're just too close to our own awesomeness to see it.

 

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

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Image: Caroline Schurch by Yann Faucher, found here.

NETWORKIN IT

blog-happiness-project-update My blog happiness project continues, y'all. I can't believe I'm on month 9! Whoa-za. I'm definitely a happier blogger than when I started. Having these monthly goals has really helped me push myself and dream bigger. I'm learning we're capable of a lot more than we may think...

This month I'm focusing on ad networks. I'd love to join a network that would allow me to bring you amazing folks awesome content on the regular. Ad networks are like the perfect blogger sidekick, there to help you kick ASS.

At Alt Summit in SLC, they touched on ad networks briefly in one of the sessions. Here's what they had to say about finding a network:

+ They may approach you (okay, starting the visualizing NOW) + Look for them at conferences (oh hello, Alt for Everyone) + Look for network badges on sites you read (let the research begin)

Some major ad networks include Lijit, Glam Media, BlogHer, Sway Group, and Federated Media.

I used to think ad networks were only for blogs with a gazillion readers, but I'm finding that there are quite a few options for small to medium blogs. I recently came across a rad new network for bloggers & businesses called Yoked. They'll be teaching a class at Alt for Everyone btdubs... who else is going?? I can't wait to hear what they have to say about crafting the perfect pitch...

Where my bloggers at? I'm curious, do you like the idea of working with an ad network? Would you join one?

Where my bloggers AND non-bloggers at? As a reader, do sidebar ads or sponsored posts bother you? I'd love to hear what you think...

 

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

Image by artsocial.

WHEN THE STUDENT IS READY...

animal shoes by joanna paterson When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

I realllly wanted a teacher when I first started blogging. I just want someone to show me exactly what to do, I'd think to myself... The thing is, teachers were coming into my life. All the time. I just didn't realize they were teachers. Oh universe, you little trickster.

Now that I'm doing so much soul-searching and meditation work (and by work I mean play, cuz really it's my favorite thing ever), I'm noticing that we're always being taught and led to everything and everyone we need. Everything is an opportunity to learn. Everyone is a teacher. We're getting exactly what we need. Phew that takes some of the pressure off, huh?

Okay, I'll stop. Before I get too woo-woo hippie on you. But this week two opportunities came into my life that were exactly what I needed to accomplish/stick to my current goals. My teachers appeared.

First, I was invited to join an incredible group of ladies for The Willpower Council. I'm tellin' ya, spring 2013 is like no-more-effing-excuses time. I've made some big promises to myself to overcome fear and take everything to the next level - love, career, being awesome, everything. Next level, bro. I have no doubts The Willpower Council will help me do this.

THEN, I hear from the super awesome Alyssa of techlovedesign. She's starting a 30 day challenge, do I want in? Umm. It's me. I love challenges and growing and community. Heck yeah, I'm in. It's the perfect extra nudge I needed to keep myself on track. Join us?

I'm keeping and honoring my goals, guys. On the daily. My teachers showed up for me, so I must be ready...

 

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

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Image: Animal Shoes by Joanna Paterson

HASHTAG BE HAPPY LINKUP

happy ness Lately I've been thinking a lot about fear. I know, this is a happiness linkup, but hear me out... in this super awesome book I've been reading, one of the assignments was to witness my fears. Simply make note of every time I feel anxiety, doubt, or any of fear's other compadres. No judging, just observing.

It was surprisingly powerful. Simply checking in with myself throughout the day helped me take a step back and start to recognize my patterns. Email is a big anxiety trigger... and going to the grocery store. Kidding/not kidding.

Throughout the week, I've become more and more aware of each time I have some cray negative thought. Once I become aware of my fearful thoughts, then it's time to do something, make a change. I basically have two choices, continue to believe those cray thoughts OR choose better thoughts. Happy, more empowering thoughts.

I serendipitously came across this video + challenge by the incredibly amazing and inspiring Katherine of Through My Looking Glass. Did you watch the video? I'll wait.... Such a coincidence, right?? There's something in the air, guys. It's time to let go of our fears and conquer some thangs! I'm accepting Katherine's challenge... let's do it together, k? What fear do you have that you'd like to overcome?

 

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

Image by artsocial.