How to do everything and be happy – by Peter Jones

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve just finished reading this book, by Peter Jones which I thought of buying when I saw his article in the Guardian.

Because I believe in following my intuition when it comes to anything, when I see a book I like the look of, I usually take it as a sign and buy it. If I learn anything new that I use, than I know it’s been worth it.

The things that I found useful in this book were:

Having a diary

Jones loves diaries, and I myself like the idea of being organised, and it’s my job to manage other people’s diaries at work, but I never manage my own diary when it comes to my life. It makes sense that if you want to be successful in achieving what you want to reach in life, then you have to organise time to work on it, just like you would at work, but often people don’t think of keeping a diary when it comes to their personal goals. As a result I have started a diary.

Boxing day

Jones suggests you have what he calls a Boxing day at least once a month. This can be on a weekend. Boxing day is a day, when you should do only what you feel like doing and none of it can be pre-planned.  You obviously need to plan having the Boxing day – put it in your diary – but you can’t pre-plan anything you do on it until the day itself. You can however keep a list of potential Boxing day activities you might like to do on the day.

Now list

Have a ‘now list’, I call it a ‘life list’ which lists all the things, in categories, that you’d like to do before you die. Like for example, learning to play an instrument, or travelling around the world, or meeting the Dalai Lama. To be fair, I did have a life list already, but I wrote it and then never looked at it again, so obviously I hadn’t done any of it. Jones’s advice is to book a ‘Now list day’ or evening or few hours in your diary every week to work on your now list and make arrangements for the things you’d like to do – like book tickets, research, etc. Then book a day in the diary to do something on your now list.

Goal list

Jones also has a ‘goal list’ or ‘wish list’, this is where you write down all the things you want your life to be. These goals have to be specific and formulated using positive wording and also there must be a deadline. So for example you could have:

‘I have written a successful book, which has been published.’ (deadline: 31 December this year)

‘I am a guitarist in a band’ (deadline: 31 December this year)

Out of all your goals you should pick 3 to focus on and put at least 12 goal days in your diary (1 every month) when you work on your 3 goals. When you tick one of the goals off, you can pick another one from your list to work on. As you go along, you can make your goals more specific, as you recognise what needs to be done for each one. Remind yourself of your 3 goals every day, by writing them on your desktop or putting images that remind you of the goals on your screensavers for example.

Trophy and vision board

I also like Jones’s idea of having a trophy board and a vision board. The trophy board is where you keep mementos of nice experiences you’ve had – like concert tickets, photos, parking tickets, postcards and pin them to a cork board, and have a jar for things you can’t pin to a board. This will remind you of all the good times you’ve had in the past year. At the end of the year, take it down, put it in an envelope, write the year on it, put it in the loft, and start afresh. Also have a vision board where you put images of your goals and what you’d like to achieve. You can also do this in scrapbook format or any other format you like. I’ve always wanted to make a scrap book but I never knew what to put in it, but this is a good idea of how to do it.

I liked this book, because it’s very practical. Like a lot of self development books it presents the same information in a different way, but it’s been useful to me because of its practical solutions. It does make free time seem like a lot of hard work, but it’s true that really, if we want to achieve our goals in life, and be happy, we have to work at it. It’s fun working on personal goals though, because we are doing what we want to do and not what we have to do, like in our jobs.

I also like the idea of having a Boxing day. I don’t know if it will work for me and provide the relaxation and enjoyment that Jones says it does for him, but heck it’s worth a try.

My 3 goals are working more on my blog, painting, and the last one is a secret…

What are your goals for 2013?

About Maia

My name is Maia, I live in London, UK, and I originally come from the Czech Republic. Maia's World is my blog where I write about life in general, personal development, and about ideas, beliefs and discoveries on how to live a fuller life.
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2 Responses to How to do everything and be happy – by Peter Jones

  1. Charlene says:

    Thanks for this! I’ll be stopping in with Peter Jones soon. I’m most pleased with the Boxing Day rule. Mad Men box set here I come!

    • Maia says:

      Thanks for the comment Charlene, yes Boxing day sounds great. I just need to find time in the diary now…

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