How to Take Control of Your Own Happiness

Hello, how’s 2019 treating you? We are over six weeks into the new year, are you still on track for your resolutions? Have you made some changes and stuck to them daily to reach your goals?

Many people begin to lose focus about this time of year. Everyday things seem to get in the way of the goals that we established at the beginning of the New Year. The dark days and cold weather tend to make people less positive here. Everyone starts to push things off, and before you know it, we will be through the first quarter of 2019.

Don’t let this happen to you! Take a few moments today to re-evaluate your goals for the year, the month, the week, and for today. See where you need to make changes to keep yourself on track, keep yourself happy and headed in the direction that you want to go.

My ‘regular’ job is in hospitality, and I had a job performance review this week. Now, I can feel the grimaces from everyone. But my review went wonderful, I scored top marks in all categories (9-10 out of 10) EXCEPT taking initiative. (8 out of ten). I received the maximum raise, as my job performance is well above average. Now, I am a motivated person, but it is not one of my goals to move up in the company. I know that sounds strange, but I really LIKE my current job, I’m VERY good at it, and can see myself doing this for the next ten years.

This may sound odd to many of you. We are trained and socialized to want MORE, to MOVE UP, to be SUCCESSFUL in our careers. It’s a competitive market out there. For me, being happy means doing something that I’m very good at, a job that I am appreciated at, and that allows me to do the things in my life that make me happy. If I were to take on more responsibility at work or accept a promotion, I would limit the time and attention that I could give my family, my writing, and my little farm.

This does mean that I have turned down promotions to remain in my current job. It also means that we live below our means so that we can enjoy our lives more. One of the benefits of working in hospitality is that it allows my family to get away several times a year very inexpensively for vacation. And spending a lot of quality time with my family is ONE OF MY LIFE GOALS.

Make sure that some of your goals are for you, and are focused on your happiness. I use a planner to keep me focused on both my day-to-day life and my larger goals. I know as a parent and a spouse, my goals are often tied up with those for my family. But remember that you are a better person, parent, spouse, sibling, etc. if you take of yourself and your own happiness too.

Today’s Toolbox:

Have A Great Day!

Dottie Lake


Happy New Year 2019! A New Year, A New You!

Excited about 2019? I know that I am! I recently found the art of Heather Stillufsen and I love it! You can find it on Etsy: Her “Every day Art” is inspiring and thoughtful. Perfect for the new year and the new and improved me.

What about you?

Every year, we all make new year’s resolutions to be better: more than we were last year. To eat healthy, lose weight, be more productive/assertive/caring/effective, etc.

This year, I want to publish two books, I published one is 2018 (Emma’s Heart, the first in the Echo Village Series).

To help us along our journey in this new year, here are some books, articles, and products that I have found.

Guide to Weight Watchers Including a 30 Day Meal Plan for Rapid Weight Loss (Weight Watchers Cookbook) (Volume 1)

This is a healthy and easy to follow plan that can help begin the weight-loss/healthy eating plan that many of us promise ourselves that we will do each year. It includes menu plans and easy to follow recipes.

As we all try to build new positive habits and break old negative habits, a good reference is:

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

It’s a great read and has information that everyone could use.

A blog that I find inspiring and that has me questioning myself and changing my internal dialogue is:

Pointless Overthinking: Understanding Ourselves And The World That We Live In.

With the right tools, a positive attitude, and determination, I believe that we can all reach our goals and become the better version of ourselves that we hope to be!

I wish all of us a wonderful 2019.

Happy New Year!

Dottie Lake, Author

You are as Happy as You Want to Be

Every day is a new day and every person makes their own truth in each day. If you tell yourself that you’re a victim, then you are. If you tell yourself that you’re a champion, then you are. If you tell yourself what makes you happy and why, then you will be happier. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Then why does it seem easier be unhappy than happy? If it wasn’t, wouldn’t EVERYONE would be happy?

I like to start each day with what I call, “Happy Habits.” I have developed these over the years and they keep me focused on the good things in my life. That doesn’t mean that I have a good day EVERY DAY. It just that I have more good days than bad, more learning and happy days, fewer frustrated and upset days.

One of my Happy Habits is to wake up 5 minutes early every morning and review the things that I’m thankful for. Then I look at my upcoming day through that lens. I review challenges, focusing on the positives. I make sure that I have planned breaks in the day to give myself time to recharge.

My list always starts with how happy I am to have my son. He brings me joy every day, along with the normal frustrations of raising a teen. I remember that I was once told that I might never be able to have children. I feel joy everytime that I think of him. That does mean that I laugh ALOT at some of the silly things that he does, instead of getting frustrated. Someday soon, he will be a man, and these days will be gone forever. I want to enjoy them.

Next on my list is that I finally published a book, “Emma’s Heart,”, and am working on book two of the Echo Village Series now. Writing and publishing a book has been a goal of mine for a very long time. To have achieved that goal and be on to a second one fills me with pride, accomplishment and surprise. I’m still a little shocked that I made this all happen before the end of 2018.

Then I review my upcoming day in my mind. Today’s list included writing my blog, dealing with possibly some frozen pipes (It was -12 here last night), check on my chickens and serve them a hot breakfast, make sure that my car would start, work on my book, and spend a few minutes with my kiddo before school. I have a job, but today is my ‘day off’.

I greet each day, with a positive attitude, a solid plan, and a big mug of coffee. Starting my day this way makes a difference, each and every day.

I hope that you have a great day today and everyday.

Today’s Toolbox:

Getting healthy from the inside out…

Be Your Best You!

Life...Take 2

When I first started on this road to get find a better me I was motivated primarily by a self-conscious desire to shed a few pounds.  I wasn’t happy with how I looked or how my clothes were fitting or overall how I felt in my own skin.  I knew I had gained weight and I was ready to lose it again.  I wasn’t all that concerned, however, with my actual health per se, more about what my overeating and underexercising was doing to my waist line.  While I also wanted to combat the constant fatigue and annoying illnesses I was always seeming to pick up, the primary focus of my journey back then was to be able to proudly look in the mirror again.

Now that I am about a year into it, however, my perspective has totally shifted.  While I would be lying to you all if I…

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Purpose, Goals, Creativity, and Focus

I saw this online and thought, “So true!” But why?

Being focused and goal oriented keeps you feeling positive because everyday you do something that makes you feel better. Instead of just reacting to the life around you (drama), you are taking steps every day to become the best that you can be. You will feel accomplished, ie. more positive and can walk away from the negative that may enter your life.

Remember that a DREAM + PLAN = GOAL! I know that it sounds simple but doing little things everyday to help you reach your goals, is what can make you more positive about yourself, your life, and those that you care about.

I write this, on my day off, while baking banana muffins for my son, after having worked on my second book and caught up on the laundry. I’m not perfect, I have bad days too. Not many though, because I love my life and I try to live MY best life every day.

Have a Great Day!


Today’s Tool Box:

Today is the First Day…

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. We’ve all heard the saying, but what does it mean to you? What does it mean to me? Most of us find time, at some point, to reflect on this and to say we are going to do better or be better or different. Usually these times are New Years, the death of friend or family member, or some other life changing event. Most of us then make the changes that we vowed to and we stick to them for a while, then some how we revert to our previous self and are not sure how we got back there or why. Then we are back in the same rut, vowing to change.

Sound familiar?

I know that I did this numerous times before I realized that TODAY IS the FIRST DAY of the rest of my life, and I am dying. We all are. Someday, this life will end. I find that remembering that, not in a negative way, but in a realistic way, puts life into perspective for me. Things that aren’t going to really matter to me in a year, I let go. I notice the little things that I may have missed years ago.

Yesterdays count, but don’t control nor dictate my actions today. I have decided to keep my mind open to the possibilities of each and every day. And while I do have a planner, which is a lot of fun, I use it also as a record of my days. Somedays, the plan and the actual vary quite a bit, but the river of life keeps me interested and intrigued. May we all at the end of our journey feel that, everyday we lived a life full of wonder, love, and beauty.

Today’s Toolbox: