Today, I want to talk about a project I’m doing for the first time this year that I call “Monthly Mirror Messages.” This project is pretty simple and is exactly what it sounds like. Each month, I’ll tape an affirmation on my mirror to motivate me during those 30 days. Then on the first day of the next month, I’ll switch out one affirmation for another one. That’s it! Here are the step-by-step instructions if you’d like to do it yourself:
Write down 12 affirmations (one for each month of 2022), each on its own small piece of paper.
Here are the affirmations I chose:
I make a difference in the world by simply existing in it.
I focus on what I can control and I let go of what I can’t.
I attract positive people and experiences into my life.
Success follows me.
I am the master of my abundance.
“I am in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing.” – Louise Hay
The perfect moment is this one – Jon Kabat-Zinn
I am full of energy and optimism. I am ready to have fun.
Creativity runs through me and leads me to great ideas.
I don’t chase. What belongs to me will simply find me.
I listen to my intuition and trust my gut.
I am well-rested and excited for a fun day.
Looking for others? You can get great ideas for affirmations by searching Pinterest for “inspiring affirmations,” “affirmations for self love,” “affirmations for confidence,” etc.
Optional: Decorate the pieces of paper around the affirmation. You can add paint, doodles, stickers, or whatever you’d like or keep it simple. I glued some dried flowers from my garden onto the paper and used those as the art.
Put every affirmation card into a bowl or jar.
At the beginning of each month, choose one affirmation at random. I believe that whichever one you happen to choose will be the perfect one for that month.
Use washi tape or clear tape to put it on your bathroom mirror where you’ll see it when you brush your teeth every day. Say that affirmation out loud or to yourself every day.
Curious if there’s science that backs affirmations? I was too. I was pleasantly surprised that there is quite a bit of good research on daily affirmations. Here are a few benefits of using affirmations:
Affirmations have been shown to decrease health-deteriorating stress (Sherman et al., 2009; Critcher & Dunning, 2015)
They have been used effectively in interventions that led people to increase their physical behavior (Cooke et al., 2014)
They may help us to perceive otherwise “threatening” messages with less resistance, including interventions (Logel & Cohen, 2012)
They can make us less likely to dismiss harmful health messages, responding instead with the intention to change for the better (Harris et al., 2007) and to eat more fruit and vegetables (Epton & Harris, 2008)
They have been linked positively to academic achievement by mitigating GPA decline in students who feel left out at college (Layous et al., 2017)
They have been demonstrated to lower stress and rumination (Koole et al., 1999; Wiesenfeld et al., 2001).
Have you ever created affirmation cards or mirror messages for yourself? Do you plan to? Tell me in the comments section!
P.S. Living with Kindness interviewed me recently about what I call the 4 G’s of happiness. Check it out here.
In the last post, we talked about lessons learned in 2021. Now I think many of us are ready to look toward the future and manifest some amazing things for 2022! In this post, we’ll dive into a few of my favorite things: Vision boards, manifesting, and words of the year.
Now if you know me, you know I’m into all the crafty things. Give me some glue, paper, and markers and I won’t come out of the room for a day. Anyone else spend hours and hours with their childhood friends making huge poster boards filled with magazine images of their favorite bands, glittery backgrounds, and Jonathan Taylor Thomas (JTT)? Shout out to my 6th grade BFF, Danielle, for doing with this with me.
I look at those poster boards from 20 years ago as the training ground for making vision boards as an adult. And while I usually make real vision boards with paper and pen, this year I decided to try something new and create a digital vision board with Canva that I’ll use as my phone background.
Below are the steps to creating your own 2022 digital vision board:
The first step to manifesting is to get clear on what it is that you want. I wrote a bulleted list of about 20 things I want to happen in 2022 including places I want to go, goals I have for the year, hobbies I want to do more of, people I want to be with, feelings I want to have, etc.
Next, decide if you’re going to stick with a color theme. One major benefit of creating a virtual vision board is that it’s easier to choose photos from the same color family than if you were cutting pages out of a magazine because there are more photo options online to choose from.
Now is the fun part where you’ll find your photos. I chose a pink and white theme for my virtual vision board, so I searched in Canva for images like “rose quartz,” “pink ocean,” and “white flowers” to find the perfect photos that matched my vision. If you can’t find ones you love on Canva, there are other free photo sites like Pixabay.com that you can get great quality images from.
Next, drag and drop your photos to the location you want them to be in. If you are layering them on top of each other, click “position” on the top right if you want to move the photo in front or behind another one.
You may want to also add in words using Canva’s “Text” function. The word I chose for 2022 is “fun,” so I included that word on my board. If you’re looking for some more word of the year inspiration, a few past words of mine have been community, connection, and joy. I also love the idea of adding in an affirmation, so I chose one of my favorites: “I lead with kindness.”
Once you’re happy with your design, you can download it and add it as your phone background. The size that worked for my iPhone was 1080 (width) x 1920 (height) px. You can resize your design through Canva for a different type of phone or you can make it your computer background. Another great option if you love having a physical item is to print your design and have it both digitally and in your office or bedroom.
Here is my 2022 digital vision board:
This vision board includes many of the things I want to fill 2022 with: Art, gardening, giving flowers, community (as noted by the ice cream cones), writing on this blog (the typewriter), fun, kindness, nature (the beach and mountains), and as many crystals as my pockets can hold. I just love seeing it every time I look at my phone as a reminder of what I’m calling into my life.
Feel free to use this for your phone vision board if you like it. You can make changes to it by clicking here.
Are you planning to make a vision board this year? I’d love to see yours!
Use Notion to organize my entire life (trust me: it’s free and easy and this is not an ad!)
Get dressed even if I don’t leave the house the whole day (work from home life). People told me to do this throughout 2020, but my stubborn Aries came out and I didn’t do it. I get it now.
Decorate for all holidays. It’s worth the hassle and makes me happy.
One of the biggest lessons I learned is to release expectations and go with the flow. Easier said than done, right? While this is going to always be a work in progress, it came up big time at the end of 2020 when my husband, Billy, and I got our first dog. He was the cutest, sweetest puppy and we couldn’t have been more excited! Once we got him though, we quickly realized that I was allergic to him. There were many tears and conversations about whether or not we could keep him, but we ultimately decided after a week that we couldn’t. We ended up finding the best family to give him to whose son had been wanting that type of dog and they were able to pick him up on Christmas Eve and give him to their son on Christmas morning. A true Christmas miracle!
Very soon after we released our expectations of what we thought our lives would be like as dog parents and gave him to his new family, a neighborhood cat started coming around every day. I grew up with cats, so this was a thrill for me. We quickly found out that he’s an outdoor cat who has an owner a few houses down from us. His owner loves that he comes over to our house and it now feels like we share this amazing kitty with our neighbors! He’s brought such joy to our lives and even my husband, who did not like cats previously, is so in love with him. We call him Peaches and he spends so much time at our house that we got him a cat bed (among many other things), where he watches TV with us every night. Releasing expectations allowed us to bond with Peaches (Instagram video of him being adorable here) and now he’s truly a part of our family. We feel like he adopted us and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
In addition to my own lessons, I asked others what their biggest lessons this year were. First, I want to share a beautiful heartfelt answer from Kirsten Allen, who said her biggest lesson was:
“Don’t take anything for granted. Be a good person and live each day in a way that brings you joy.”
When I asked if she would elaborate, here’s what she said:
“Ok, the short answer is that my dad suddenly passed away in May. He was 59 and healthy. It was a shock to everyone.”
“The long answer… I’m incredibly fortunate because we had a wonderful relationship my whole life, and especially in the past few years. He was big into rock climbing – a pioneer in the southeastern US and climbing wouldn’t be what it is today in this region without what he and his friends did to establish access in the 70s and 80s. He also worked until the day he died to ensure proper mentoring in the younger generation. He and I were climbing partners for the last 5 or so years. He taught me a lot through that and I learned even more about him as a person. I was so lucky to take a 3 week road trip with him out west in sept 2020. We lived in the van that we built out and that I have now inherited. On that trip, we had many conversations about life and death and I know without a doubt he left this world with no regrets. I feel like because of that time, I have more closure than others around me do and I’m so grateful for that…”
“Basically, he was a really good person. If you met him, you were a friend, and friends were considered family. I’ve tried to emulate that in my own life. I’m working every day to go to bed with no regrets and to make sure the people in my life know what they mean to me. I’ve learned to be more open about my feelings and gratitude than ever before. We aren’t promised tomorrow.”
Thank you, Kirsten for sharing your profound lesson with the Happsters community. Sending you and your family so much love during this difficult time.
Other powerful lessons that were shared include:
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I need to advocate for myself in all aspects. You need to ask for the jobs you want, the love you want, the things you want. I used to wait and wish they would just happen to me. Once I took charge of that, that’s when the magic happened!” – Steph Clark
“In order to learn and grow, I needed to put myself first for the first time ever! Even if that means letting go of relationships that didn’t serve me any longer.” – Mary Maheux (Instagram: @bigmommamare)
“I think the biggest [lesson] I have learned was patience and to truly live in the present. I lived my whole life worrying about the future and sitting too much in the past. It always really put a toll on my mental health. Once I realized that and practiced being more patient and truly living in NOW, and accepting sometimes things can’t be changed and just work with what life has thrown at me, my mental health and mood has gotten so so much better.” – Hannah Albert (Instagram: @flowitoutcreations)
“I have learned that finding the humor, absurdity, and silliness in a situation is the easiest way to dispel any feelings of frustration, irritation, or anger. I’ve embraced not having control in the best way. All I can do is be present, be loving, and do my best and what will be, will be. Que sera, sera!” – Annie Kell
“If you believe in your dreams, you have to do something about it and not wait for them to show up! Loving yourself will allow more to flow in.” – AnnaLynn Waterman
“You do not have to hold any guilt for other people’s actions and priorities. Helped me so much in dealing with my relationship with my dad (or lack thereof!)” – Anonymous
“It’s okay to ask for help. And it’s okay to feel all of your feelings.” – Anonymous
“It’s okay to set boundaries and stick to those boundaries regardless if it’s family or friends. It’s okay to walk away from things and my absolute favorite “No” can be a complete sentence!” – Anonymous
What’s a lesson you learned in 2021 (big or small)?
Snapchat is my new obsession. I cannot get enough of the behind-the-scenes looks at peoples’ lives. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that it isn’t easy to find inspirational accounts to follow so I wanted to solve that problem! Here are 5 motivational and inspirational Snapchat accounts you should follow.
Katie is a southern California fitness professional and blogger who kills it on Snapchat. I love watching her days whether she’s filming a new YouTube video or just showing what her grocery haul is and chatting about her favorite products. Love her! Add her at: LoveSweatandFit
Michelle Obama recently just got her own Snapchat account. I love her personality and have found it incredibly inspirational to peek into her life and see all the good she’s accomplishing in the world on a daily basis. Add her at: MichelleObama
I’m a fan of Sophia Bush from her days on “One Tree Hill” and her Snapchat does not disappoint. She snaps lots of photos and videos on set of her TV show and highlights causes that she’s an activist for. Add her at: SophiaBushSnaps
Rachel Brathen is also known as “Yoga_Girl” on Instagram with 1.9 million followers. She gives a glimpse into her life being a yogini in Aruba with her husband and adorable dog. What you see is what you get with her and I love her down-to-earth real vibe. Add her at: Rachel_Brathen
This is my Happsters Snapchat account! I post happiness Snapchat challenges, happiness tips and a peek into my daily life (which lately has a lot of art, my fiancé, friends, beach time, and neighborhood walks). Add me at: KelliDav
P.S. I just realized all of these inspiring Snapchat accounts happen to be women – girl power!
I share a positive quote a day on my Instagram page with over 72,000 followers, but many of you have requested another way to access these quotes. So, here we go! If you don’t have Instagram or would simply rather have them delivered to you via email, this is your chance!
Happy *almost* Thanksgiving! I wanted to share with you a few things that have been happening lately:
1) $250 WHOLE FOODS GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY: I’ve teamed up with some incredible Instagram friends to bring you the best giveaway I’ve ever run. All you have to do is click on this like to enter. It will just take 30 seconds. Think of all the delicious food you could buy!
2) INTERVIEW ON WHATSHAPPYNING.COM: The other day, I had the pleasure of chatting with Jessica from whatshappyning.com about the importance of social connections as they relate to happiness. The interview just went up! Check it out here.
3) I’M STARTING A PODCAST: I’m hooked on podcasts and loving them so much that I’ve teamed up with my friend, Gina at fullonhappiness.com to create one! We will interview all kinds of people, from happiness experts to happy people we look up to, about their happiness secrets and their definition of happiness. Do you have happiness questions that you want us to ask our guests or suggestions on who to interview? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Launch date coming soon!
That’s all for now! As always, you can keep up with me on a daily basis on Instagram. Tell me: Do you ever listen to podcasts? What are some of your favorites?