Join My Happiness Challenge!

January 27th, 2014

I have started something called The Happiness Challenge with Glamour.comAnd today the challenge hit Week 4.

Here’s how it works: I have created a total of 5 Challenges. Each challenge is built around the idea that if you embrace all the best aspects of yourself and your life in a balanced way. The hope is, by the time you complete all 5 challenges—you will end up feeling stronger, more loving, more confident, more fulfilled and happier all-around.

If you’re just starting today and want to take the challenge on. Do it! Show life you mean business. And nothing makes me happier than hearing you’ve been inspired to live a better life. Here are the challenges so far:

Challenge #1: Bravery

Challenge #2: Self-worth

Challenge #3: Independence

Today’s Challenge #4: Generosity

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Next week is the final challenge—and the sweetest and the easiest of all.

It’s not too late to join in, because there’s no such thing as being too late for happiness. Every single day, it’s up to us if we want to embrace a happy, fulfilled life in the small moments we face, minute after minute, hour after hour.

This is your year, remember. So take the steps to show life you mean it.

#happinesschallenge #gethappy

—Amy

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P.S. If you’re enjoying this positive, proactive approach to life, order your copy of The Happy Life Checklist so you can keep the challenge going all year long.

Because the way I see it, life isn’t just about the big goals ahead of you, it’s also about the small, beautiful things you can stop and savor right now. And those happy moments are all around you.

Remember: Happiness comes in the seconds and minutes of life, as well as in the years. So keep on living, loving and celebrating the small things that make life worth it.

The Happiest Video About Happiness Ever

January 27th, 2014

Want to know the real secret to happiness?

This 2-minute video will reveal it to you—and may make you want to jump up and hug someone when you’re done.

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A happy life checklist can change your life. So watch this and find out how.

And if you’re inspired by the video and want more ideas on how to savor the small moments of happiness every day, grab the brand new book that inspired it today! Buy The Happy Life Checklist: 654 Ways To Find Your Bliss on Amazon.com.

—Amy

My New Book The Happy Life Checklist is Almost Here!

January 23rd, 2014

The way I see it, we all have at least a couple of areas in our life where we feel pretty darn good, right?

Maybe, for instance, you’re feeling confident about work or you’re good at giving yourself little moments of tranquility, but you could really use a boost in the love department or the engaging-with-others-with grace one. But the way I see, the more balance you have, gratefully appreciating all areas of your life—from being busy to kicking back; from time with others to time alone—the more fulfilled you allow yourself to feel.

That’s why I wrote my new book The Happy Life Checklist: 654 Simple Ways to Find Your Bliss, which will (holy cow!) be on shelves in just over a week. (Release date: Feb. 4) It’s a collection of small ideas that will help you savor and celebrate every day in every area of  life that produces happiness.

For this reason, the book covers ten areas you can focus on that contribute to a life of beautiful balance. So you can flip through the book and pluck small ideas from the places where you could a boost, be it delightvitality, wonder or comfort.

Here’s a big happiness secret: If you are always focused on the big goals ahead, always gunning in one or two areas of your life but ignoring the rest, you won’t feel as blissful as you could. So slow down. Savor the little things. Experience it all. Because happiness is in the second and minutes of life, not just in the years. Start filling your list with more fun and fruitful things today.

The Happy Life Checklist is available now for pre-order on Amazon.com. So…ready to get your happy on?

—Amy

Happy Life Trick: Pick a New Year’s Theme Word

January 2nd, 2014

Successful companies know a little something about branding. They decide how they want us to view their company, and they run with it. Looking to “save money” on your car insurance? You think Geico. Looking to “think different” about your technology? You might pick Apple. A company can’t be considered a master in comfort, price and innovation. It’s better to pick one element and aim right for it.

Beauty? Peace? Gratitude? Choose a word or phrase for the year that speaks to how you want to live. (Image: Ken Spencer, Hummingbird)

Beauty? Peace? Gratitude? Choose a word or phrase for the year that speaks to how you want to live. (Image: Ken Spencer, Hummingbird)

And the same goes with branding our own lives. To achieve our dreams, we have to know how we want to live, in order to make the choices that get us there.

That’s why, a few years ago, I started giving my life a theme word. One year it was “Authenticity” and another was all about “Passion.” This past year was about “Freedom and Abundance.” So for me this past year, I ran every opportunity past my theme to see if the choice was right for me. Hmm, some extra paying work that also fed my curiosity about a topic I wanted to research? That was an abundant yes.

For 2014, I’m playing around with the ideas of “Fortify” and “Family,” and I want to give you a chance to think about whatyou want from your next year, too.

Try this: Instead of making New Year’s resolutions about little goals in your health or habits, think bigger: Think about how you want to feel in your body, among your friends, as you walk through the world. The come up with an adjective or phrase that best describes that feeling. To make it easy, picture this: You run into an old friend on the street and talk for a bit. Then, she suddenly stops and says, “It’s funny. But looking at you, I see such ______________.” What do you want her to see? What feeling do you want oozing out of your pores? Strength? Contentment? Joy?

Here are some other ideas to get you thinking:

 Brave/Bravery. Perhaps you want to feel more bold with your work choices, your travels, your heart.

• Persistence. One of my friends has said she’s through being told “Maybe” by potential clients, and she’s determined to make her company a success by trying again and again and again until she makes it. And when she’s walked out of another maybe meeting, she’ll think, ‘Persistence, baby,” and throw her shoulders back and schedule another one.

• Love & Tenderness. Maybe you’ve been a bulldog go-getter all year, and you could use a reminder to soften up and make more loving choices in the months ahead.

 Light/Lightness. If this year has been particularly grave and serious, maybe your new year could be about lifting the weights, breathing, letting loose, and letting go.

Take your time. Think about how you want to feel strolling down the sidewalk of life this next year. Go deep. Brand your heart’s choices. And aim for a truly new year.

Big love,

Amy

If you want to receive inspiring posts like this, sign up for my happy email Vitamin Optimism at amyspencer.com.

Singles, Here’s What You’re Doing Wrong!

December 31st, 2013

The other day, I was trying to get a spark going in our fire pit, when a friend of mine stopped me and said, “Here’s what you’re doing wrong…” I found myself stiffen a bit, a precursory defense, steadying myself for the blow. It turns out I wasn’t pulling the butane lighter’s saftey back while I was pressing the flame button. A simple fix. Too bad all of life isn’t that easy, right—especially in dating. Well, maybe it is.

Are you tying yourself up in knots with the negatives?

Are you tying yourself up in knots with the negatives?

I realized after fixing my butane button issue that hearing “Here’s what you’re doing wrong” is enough to make anyone stop in their tracks and pay attention. This isn’t easy for me to do that for you: I’m a dating optimist. My first book, Meeting Your Half-Orange, is all about loving who you are and being authentically, gloriously happy in your own skin while you focus all your energy on how you want to feel in your ideal relationship. Which is to say I believe every “single” person is uniquely awesome and that you’re not doing anything “wrong.”

But if you’re killing yourself trying to come up with the end-all reason for why you’re still frustratingly single, the fact is, you are doing something wrong. And to be all “meta” about it, here’s what it is:

What you’re doing wrong is that you’re focusing on what you’re doing wrong.

What you focus on, you see, is everything. And that’s because what you choose to focus on actually affects the neuronal pathways in your brain, which affects how you perceive the world and how the world perceives you. The scientific term in play is neuroplasticity, and I explain how it all works in relation to dating and love in Half-Orange. It is utterly fascinating stuff and it’s no joke!

If you’re single and focusing on “what you’re doing wrong,” then it’s all you’ll see, and it’s all your brain will store in its implicit memory. In other word, it’s time to stop the cycle. Today, focus on what’s right—and only what’s right. Just for today, at least, don’t think about how old you are, or how long you’ve been single, or what past boyfriends or girlfriends or spouses have said about you for a minute. That’s all irrelevant. All that matters is who you are right now, this minute. And if you can look at what’s right about your dating life, you can change what ensues from this minute on.

So do this for me: List three things that you’re doing right, right this minute:

1.

2.

3.

Visualize what you’d write in those blank spots—the awesome things you’re doing that are spot-on. Maybe how you’re giving it a shot with dates you’re not 100% on, because you’re open to seeing what might happen. Maybe how you’ve come to love a physical aspect about yourself—a mole, a height, a curve—and will settle for nothing less than a partner who loves you for it. Maybe how you’ve mastered making tapenade and can’t wait to show it off.

Fill in those blanks your own way. If you don’t, well, that’s what you’re doing wrong. You owe it to yourself and to your love life to give yourself positive props every single day. The more right you see, the less wrong your life will feel, and the better the energy you’ll be putting out there for your wonderful other half to come find you. It’s an easy fix: Pull back the safety and push the right button, and you’ll light the spark you’re working on, too.

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Whaddaya Doin’ New Year’s Eve?

Big love and happy listing,

Amy Signature 4