2014 Goals and Resolutions Update, Part 2: My Life Books

This is part 2 of my version of Josh’s Accountability Project wherein I discuss what I have deemed my Life Books.

Basically, my Life Books are the 5 books that I cannot do without.  They help me with my day-to-day activities, surely; but they also help me emotionally and mentally.  They cover each aspect of my life needs: mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and organizational (okay, that’s my life need and doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone).

You may have seen others discuss similar ideas on this topic of various notebooks for different needs.  Specifically, Organized Like Jen recently posted something along the same lines.  By the time I saw this video, I already had my thoughts in mind and was nodding in agreement at what she was saying because of it.  I guess it’s just that time of year when people reassess their yearly goals and resolutions. 

Anyway, this is my take on my Life Books and how I’m using them both individually and as a whole.

The Mental
You may have read my previous posts on my Happiness Binder. 

This book overlaps some with my other books.  At first, I was not happy with that—I’m more of the mind that every one item should be for one purpose and that overlapping is too confusing.  But the more I thought about it, the more the overlap began to make sense to me.  The reason for this is because most aspects of my life happen or don’t because of the way I approach them mentally, and since my Happiness Binder is about my mental perspective on everything and changing the negative thought to positive ones, this makes complete sense to me now.  In essence, this is the umbrella to all of my other Life Books—it contains an overview of many things, while the other books hold the details.

I have recently made some tweaks in my Happiness Binder. 

For the most part, the content is the same.  But I did rework my tabs, streamlined the content, and culled what is no longer needed.  So my sections now include:
  • Quotes – specifically, this includes quotes on happiness and/or general quotes from books that have to do with happiness to remind me why I started this project to begin with
  • Calm – notes on how to keep anxiety at bay; when I feel those anxious feeling starting to stir, I refer back to this section to keep myself in check as best I can
  • Exercise – this is where I keep certain yoga and resistance routines to refer to, information on running (which I haven’t been able to do for a long time due to knee issues), and a list of local hike and bike trails
  • Health – this is a list of health issues I’ve had in the past so that I can refer to specifics, dates, symptoms, and results if necessary
  • Resources – this section includes anything that provides additional information such as books and music to help with my Happiness Project

I refer to this book several times a week.

The Physical
I use my Health Notebook for details covering my health journey. 

Specifically, I use this book to keep track of my health inspiration, my goals, what I’ve achieved, and my health journal.  This is basically an overview—when I journal in this book, it’s bulleted lists stating how I did for a specific week, even if I didn’t accomplish anything, and what I aim to do fox anything that I’m unhappy with.  This allows me to look back and not only track my gains and losses, but to also learn from them.  I update this book once a week, more if the need arises.

The Emotional
I have been writing in a journal since my first year of college, though I have always done some form of writing for as long as I could remember. 

I do this to help me process and get out my feelings on everything and anything.  While I keep track of appointments in my planner, health goals in my health notebook, and an array of things in my Happiness Binder, this is where I write about how I feel about each and every one of these things.  There’s no limit to what I can put down in this notebook.

I always use a spiral-bound notebook for this purpose, one that has a cover that strikes my fancy in some way.  When it comes to writing of this nature, I prefer a book that can fold back on itself and one whose cover provides some sort of inspiration.

I don’t get a chance to journal everyday, usually just twice or three times during a week.  In my planner, I keep a short list of ideas I want to journal about—I will write down the topics as they happen, and when I have time to journal, I will refer to this list so that I don’t forget what I wanted to put down.

The Spiritual
This is my newest notebook and form of therapy.  For my spiritual journey I am using a Raydori (Ray Blake’s version of a Midori notebook).

I will do a proper introduction and go into more detail in my next post, but basically I use this notebook to keep track of anything to do with spirituality and being thankful for all that I have in my life.

I use this book daily.

The Organizational
As I said, this aspect is my need.  Not everyone needs to cover the organizational in his or her life.  But since I’m a planner by nature, I couldn’t live without some form of organizational therapy.  My daily planner is where I keep track of everything.

In addition to keeping tabs on my appointments, food and water journal, tasks, lists, projects, and notes, I also keep track of the rest of my Life Books here.  I write down when to refer to the books above.  So for example, once a week I have written down to update my health notebook.  I also write in when I will have time to journal so that I remember to do it.  Likewise, I write down what exercise to do on which day, and if I have “resistance” scheduled in, I’ll refer to that section in my Happiness Binder.  In my notes section, I’ll write down anything I notice health wise so that if it becomes something more serious, I can add that to my official list of conditions and symptoms.

In short, this is the hub from which everything else grows and gets put into use.

This book obviously gets used several times a day.

~ ~ ~

So there we have my Life Books.  It looks like a lot to keep up with, 5 notebooks.  But honestly, I don’t feel like it’s a lot since the system flows rather easily.  And if they help me to accomplish my goals, then it’s worth it.


  1. This is such a good post - you've inspired me to start my own Happiness Binder! It all gets lost in my home binder and I love the idea of having one place for quotes, happy lists and resources.

    1. Thank you! I'm honored that my post inspired you. I can't take all of the credit though -- my happiness binder originally started out as a "me binder," the idea for which originally came from Laurie (www.plannerisms.com) and her "me binder." (I'm sorry to say I don't have a direct link to the exact post that inspired me.)

      I also could have kept my happiness information in my household binder, but I will be adding to it as I go along, so I needed something dedicated to that purpose only. And I needed a purpose for my Jade Finchley, which makes me smile, so it was a perfect fit. :)

  2. This is inspiring. Thank you for sharing this with us.


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