positively present picks: august 14, 2015

Stay positive
The Arctic Soul hand-lettered this image just for me. Love it!



"Saying yes to happiness means saying no
to the people and things that stress you out."

Author Unknown



7 Ideas to Reboot Your Commute : make that ride to work better!

Pep Talk Generator : visit this when you need a mood boost

Live Happy Now : check out Live Happy's great audio series

How to Allow Yourself to Feel Joy : life's too short not to

28 Productivity Tips : great ideas that aren't so typical

Dress Your Tech : such lovely typographic free backgrounds

13 Ways You Might Accidentally Be Making Yourself Unhappy

Stop Comparing Yourself : three brilliant ways to do this

9 Ways Jupiter in Virgo Will Change Your Life : so interesting...

It's Time to Dropkick Your Excuses : instant inspiration. read it!

40 Questions That Will Quiet Your Mind : thought-provoking stuff

Free Yourself from Social Anxiety : excellent tips (for anyone!) here

What Your Birthdate Says About You : mine (#7) is pretty on point

5 Morning Habits to Help You Seize the Day : yay! seize it!

Loosen Anxiety's Grip : this is a powerful + inspiring article



Listen to this playlist on YouTube.

"Style" (Cover) — Emilie & Ogden
"Gone" — Humble He
"Drag Me Down" (Cover) — Mackenzie Johnson
"Save Me" — Flora Cash
"Friends with Enemies" — Atlas Genius
"Let It All Go" — Birdy + Rhodes
"Midnight Island" — Harrison Brome
"Let It Happen" — Tame Impala
"Origins" — Sutherland
"California" — Mason Jennings



Check out my reading list on GoodReads.

The Season of Second Chances  
Diane Meier

As If!: The Oral History of Clueless
Jen Chaney

I wrote a book too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro


how to make every day matter + a 2016 planner!


As you might recall from last year, I worked with Watkins Publishing to create a 2015 planner/diary, and this year I had the honor of creating another planner, filled with inspiration, ideas, and illustrations to help you make the most of 2016 — the Every Day Matters 2016 Diary: A Year of Inspiration for the Mind, Body, & Spirit. Like last year's planner, it's been designed to inspire you all year long (and it comes in desk and pocket sizes!)

I know it's a bit early to start thinking about a 2016 planner, but I like to get ahead and the pre-orders ship on August 18 so you'll have it ready to go if you order it now. Yay! The great thing about this planner is that it not only keeps you organized, but it also keeps you inspired to make the most of every day. I'm going to tell you a bit about the planner so you know what it's all about, but after that, I'm going to spend a little time exploring how to make the most of every day — tips you can use right now (and when you use your planner in 2016!).



Not only does Every Day Matters have plenty of space for daily planning, but it also offers inspiring advice on how to make every day matter. Designed as a resource for enriching daily life, it will guide you on a year-long journey of awareness and fulfillment as you go about your everyday activities. It’s all too easy to become overwhelmed with multiple thoughts each day as our to-do lists grow, so I've focused on one life-enhancing theme per month, making inspiration manageable.

Each monthly theme zeros in on a single word — like "happiness," "beauty," or "simplicity" — and is the basis for a weekly quote and activity chosen to inspire reflection and positive transformation. The monthly themes for this year are: Happiness, Creativity, Truth, Beauty, Simplicity, Kindness, Mindfulness, Curiosity, Wisdom, Courage, Gratitude, and Growth. By focusing on just one theme each month while looking at the theme in a different way each week allows for each inspirational concept to be considered from unique perspectives and encourages positive action to become an integral part of day-to-day life. Check out a sample of the diary in the quick video below. (If you can't see the sample, click here.)  

Video created by Watkins Publishing.

The way you plan your day is probably pretty unique to you, but whatever your current method, I can assure you: having a planner/diary in your life that both keeps you organized and inspires you can be a life-changing experience. I've had the experience of using the Every Day Matters diary for most of 2015 and it's been awesome to reflect on various themes and encounter inspiring activities that I wrote a year ago. Even though I created it, I still find it amazingly inspiring and the layout of the planner keeps every week so organized!


One of the great benefits of this diary over others is that it really helps to reinforce the notion that every matters. Every day won't be great, but there's something great to be found in every day. By focusing on various monthly themes and narrowing in on one inspirational word each month, I've found that using the Every Day Matters planner really does help me stay more in the moment and make the most of my day-to-day life. Here are some of the best ways to make every day matter... today and in the year ahead!



1. Keep yourself organized.

Have you every tried just jotting down things whenever and wherever they come to mind? If you have, you probably know that it doesn't usually work out so well. You forget where you wrote something down or you lose the scrap of paper where you wrote it, causing you to waste time on searching for something instead of enjoying the moment. The more organized things are, the easier it is to stay present and focused on what's happening in the moment.  


2. Frees your mind to focus on gratitude. 

We talk about gratitude a lot in the self-improvement world, but that's because it's so absolutely vital to making the most of every moment. Whenever you focus on gratitude, you turn your attention to what you have (not what you lack) and that is one of the ultimate ways to make the most of the moment. If you want to make the most of your day, start it off by jotting down a list of things for which you're thankful.


3. Take time to make a plan. 

While I'm not a big fan of worrying too much about the future, but planning ahead is actually a great way to make the most of the moment. When you write things down that need to be done in the future or schedule dates with yourself to revisit specific tasks, you free your mind of having to remember those details and allow your attention to be directed back to right now. Writing down what needs to be done later frees your mind to enjoy right now. 


4. Do something you really enjoy doing. 

Ever have those moments when you're like, What in the world should I do now? Even if you have a million things to do, sometimes it's hard to know where to begin. When you have one of those moments, pause and determine what you'd really like to be doing. Even if you only engage in that activity for a short period of time, allowing yourself to do something you love is a fantastic way to make the most of any day. 


5. Cross something off your to-do list.

Few feelings trump the satisfaction that comes with crossing something off a to-do list (especially something you've been putting off for awhile!). It might sound like a small act — drawing a line through a list item — but the feeling of accomplishment that comes with knowing you've done what needed to be done is actually pretty wonderful, and it's a great way to make the day feel like it matters.


6. Reflect on what you've accomplished.

I'm not an advocate of reflecting too much on the past, but sometimes you can benefit from reflecting on what you've accomplished in a day. I've recently started keeping a "Done" list alongside my "To Do" list, and it's really made me see how much I get done in a day. (It's also useful if I'm trying to remember when I did something.) Even if you don't make a list, reflecting on what you've undertaken in a day is a great way to cultivate positive feelings.


7. Locate a source of inspiration.

One of the best ways to make a day matter is to end it feeling inspired and motivated. Sometimes this can be a challenge, but it's important to seek inspiration every day. It'll keep you feeling positive and make it easier to stay in the present. Whether you get your inspiration from a place like the Every Day Matters, from a favorite website, or from spending time with inspiring people, make it a priority to feel inspired in some small way every single day. 


With busy schedules and tons of to-do's, the days can pass by quickly. It's important to take some time to appreciate them as you're experiencing them (even when you're super busy!). The Every Day Matters planner is a great way to do that, and I'm so excited that I've had the opportunity to create this 2016 version, filled with all the inspiration you'll need to make it through the year! If you're ready to get your copy, pre-order by clicking the image below and you'll have your planner ready to go for 2016!


positively present picks: august 7, 2015





“The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.”

Natalie Babbitt



New Pinterest Boards! : Narwhals, Journaling, Zodiac, and...

Positive Creatures : so excited about this Instagram project

Studio Stationery : obsessed with this site + its freebies!

5 Things to Remember if You're Overwhelmed by Pain

A Brief Guide to Quitting a Bad Habit : kick it to the curb!

20 Byron Katie Quotes : she is an absolute inspiration

Mantras We Should Repeat Daily : use these for motivation

Enjoy This Beautiful Day : love this colorful + positive shirt

5 Ways to Thrive During Venus Retrograde : good tips from Gala

Dogs Waking Up to Their Favorite Treats : this is happiness

Self-Harm Recovery Projects : these could work for anxiety too



Listen to this playlist on YouTube.

This playlist was created by Magical Inspiration. She takes the letters in your name and creates a playlist based on songs that begin with those letters. Some of the songs aren't ones I'd usually pick, but I love most of them, and the concept is just fantastic!


D   "Daylight" — 5 Seconds of Summer
A   "Alone Together" — Fall Out Boy
N   "Northern Disco" — Panic! At the Disco
I    "Into Your Arms" — The Maine
E   "Everything Has Changed" — T.Swift + E.Sheeran
L   "Lousy Truth" — nevershoutnever
L   "Like We Used To" — A Rocket to the Moon
E   "Empty Gold" — Halsey



Check out my reading list on GoodReads.

The Rosie Project 
Graeme Simsion

The Freemind Experience:
The Three Pillars of Absolute Happiness

Tom Fortes Mayer

I wrote a book too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro


word of the month : refresh


This article is part of the 2015 Word of the Month series, based on the monthly theme featured in the Every Day Matters 2015 Diary I designed for Watkins Publishing. In the planner, each month has a theme highlighted in the weekly illustrations, quotes, and activities. This month's theme is REFRESH. (Pre-order your 2016 Diary here!) 

We're now more than halfway through the year, making August a great time to slow down a bit and refresh our minds and bodies. Where I live, August is hot and humid; just a short walk outside can be energy-draining. This makes it the perfect time to think about refreshment, about quenching the body and mind's thirst for something invigorating.

Doing things that refresh the mind and body is a great way to counteract the lethargy that sometimes comes with the long, hot summer days. I've certainly been in need of refreshment myself so I've rounded up some of the best ways to refresh the mind and body. 






These are just some of the great ways you can find refreshment this month. (The best thing about them is that they often work for both body and mind!) Do you have more ideas I haven't thought of or mentioned here? Be sure to share them in the comments section below!




A great way to refresh your mind is by uncovering more insights about yourself. Start your own soul-searching experience with the Finding Yourself workbook. Discover more about yourself, and uncover what you want most by downloading a copy of the e-book Finding Yourself: A Soul-Searching Workbook for Surprising Self Discovery. Filled with inspiration, questions, and activities to get you thinking about what it means to be you, Finding Yourself is a must for learning more about who you are and about what matters most to you. Learn more about the workbook here and purchase your own copy here.

positively present picks: july 31, 2015

Slow Down




"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." 

Henry David Thoreau



Positive Prescription : just came across this site + I love it

10 Ways to Work with Venus Retrograde : it's right now (July 25 - Sept 6!)

Zodiac Pins : I'm obsessed with these (via The Good Twin Co.)

How to Cope When Little Things Overwhelm You : good advice!

7 Ways to Embrace Your Anxiety : acceptance is everything

Procrastination Can Be a Form of Intuition : wow. so true.

101 Self Improvement Resources : I love round-ups like this!

The Red String : obsessed with this short fairy tale video

How to Start the Day on a Happy Note : it can make your day

The Ultimate Guide to Healing : a must-read for anyone in pain

4 Ways to Stop Procrastinating : more ways to start the day right

Inside Out Emotions Chart : haven't seen the film yet, but I love this

23 Life-Changing Things You Can Read Right Now : inspiring!

The Upside of Giving Up : what a wonderful take on this topic



Listen to this playlist on YouTube.

"There's No Love" — We Are Magnetic
"Rough Tide" — Tamper
"Let Us" — Afrakite
"Fire and the Flood" — Vance Joy
"Cool for the Summer" — Demi Lovato
"How Hard I Try" — filous
"We Were Here" — BOY
"Blue Pool" — Vanessa Carlton
"Organs" — Of Monsters and Men
"Eyes Wide" — Meadowlark



Check out my reading list on GoodReads.

The Freemind Experience:
The Three Pillars of Absolute Happiness

Tom Fortes Mayer

The World Below
Sue Miller

I Capture the Castle
Dodie Smith

I wrote a book too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro