The Happiness Report #15 – Smile Like Michael Phelps

My husband and I have been chatting about Michael Phelps and some of his interviews at the beginning of the Olympics. I don’t know if you saw what we saw, but at the start he seemed completely checked out… like he wasn’t excited to be there. As the week went on and he started winning more medals, his attitude seemed to change. Of course, winning will do that to you, but do you want to know what he said his turning point was? He told Bob Costas in an interview that he decided he just needed to “smile more” and once he started doing that he became more relaxed and started taking in the moments around him. Simply by putting a smile on his face, he was able to begin to fully appreciate where he was and what he accomplished. And wow… has he accomplished a lot or what?

Put a smile on your face… giving the perception that you are a happy person even if you aren’t can actually turn you into a happy person. I don’t mean to be fake and hide your problems from others. I’m talking about how making the choice to focus on the positive and all the good in your life versus what isn’t going right can make a huge difference in how things turn out, don’t you think?

Which brings me to my poorly neglected Happiness Reports. I’m embarrassed to say my last Happiness Report was back in November. That is unacceptable! It’s time to focus on some happy, so here we go.

I recently purchased and fell in love with my new Erin Condren Life Planner. Have you seen these? Finding a paper planner that not only inspires but also is organized like my brain thinks planners should be organized makes me happy! Erin thought of everything when she created these planners… they are beautiful, functional and durable. Don’t worry, I still use Cozi for our online family calendar system, but I am loving my Erin Condren planner for my pen and paper planning!

Family vacation makes me happy! We just returned from a week in Estes Park, CO. I’ll be sharing a post with you soon about all that we did in this wonderful, family vacation spot, but I couldn’t do a happiness report this week without at least mentioning it!

My friend and photography idol, Tracey Clark just released a new book, and it is amazing. If you are into photography, capturing the everyday moments, taking the best pictures with the camera you have, etc. Tracey’s book, Elevate the Everyday, is for you. Her promo trailer makes me happy too… you can’t help but watch it and smile!


Elevate The Everyday from A Life Photographic on Vimeo.

A few more things that make me happy…

This August Food Bloggers calendar from Foodie Crush….

Watching The Curiosity Rover land on Mars… how cool was that?

All of the beautiful sunset pictures on Instagram…

My new favorite Sharpie pens to use with my Erin Condren planner (they don’t bleed through at all!)…

and finally, these ladies

I would love it if you’d share with me what’s been making you happy lately! Let’s focus on the positive and head out into the world smiling like Michael Phelps!


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  1. says

    What a beautiful post. I can’t wait to read about your family vacation. I love that video that you shared. I’m still learning about photography and would love to get Tracey’s new book. Thanks for recommending.

  2. says

    I just can’t get “sold” on a paper planner …. and I’m hesitant to invest in the Erin Condren …hmmm — maybe will have to think about it some more!

    You’re not the first person who has whole-heartedly endorsed it!!

    • says

      That surprises me since you love paper journals… I love pen and paper and can’t get used to doing everything online.

      There are several video reviews of the planner online that helped me to make my decision. I will say she made a lot of upgrades I think in 2012, so the planners before that and some of the issues people had have been fixed.

      Anyway – I totally get what you are saying. It’s hard to find the perfect one, and you know I’m picky! So far, this one is working GREAT for me :)

  3. says

    I absolutely noticed his change in attitude too! Even if his smile makes me giggle (I can’t decide if he has an overbite or an underbite – or both!), I like your/his advice.

    AND, I’m in love with that planner. That blue design are you even joking.

    • says

      I really have loved watching his progression over these games. I was losing luster at first until his attitude (and smile) changed!

      You would LOVE her planners, Bev. So customizable and beautiful!

  4. says

    Just reading your post has elevated my happiness :)
    It’s true what you said about smiling. Even a slight grin can completely change your mood and your day (not to mention someone else’s). Keep on smiling Kristin. You have a such a lovely family!!!

  5. says

    I love your happiness posts, Kristin. They make me think about all the things that I should be happy for in my own life. Thanks for introducing me to the Erin Condren planners, too! I’ve always preferred a paper planner and that one really looks great. Going to order one right now.

  6. says

    Watched Michael’s interview with Matt on Today this morning and he seemed super relaxed. Thanks for the link to the Erin Condren site – wow, lovely things. I need to get my foodiecrush calendar out of my downloads and up on my computer And need to smile today. 😉

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by, Stacey :) I could get in serious trouble on Erin’s site… so many pretty things that are functional too!

      Have a happy night! (Which, of course, your view would have me smiling all the time!)

  7. says

    I am so glad that you are starting your happiness report again. You are the one who inspired me to do my weekly Happiness Is… report on my blog. I love sitting down each week and reflecting on what makes me happy. This week it is is a family reunion that we just attended with Sean’s family, a trip to my parent’s house, and simply soaking up all of the remaining moments of summer vacation with my precious children. And, yes, the Olympics have made me very happy, too. My sister and I were just discussing the Michael Phelps interview on our walk this morning. :)

  8. says

    Great post! Thank you for the reminder to smile. I know that sounds silly but I’m one that always looks at life “glass half empty.” I don’t mean to and it takes a lot of effort to think possitive. I really do need to smile more :-) have a wonderful day!

    • says

      I hope you did remember to smile and I hope your day was great! Glad I could pass on the reminder. It’s not always easy but it really does make a difference :)

  9. says

    I’m absolutely buying the photography book! Love this! And I’m going to check out the paper life planner. I’m still a paper user especially when it comes to planning. Love your posts Kristen. I think I’m officially hooked on your blog!

    • says

      You are a sweetie – thank you!

      You’ll love the Erin Condren planners… especially with all the customizations.
      Another great book by Tracey is Expressive Photography – a guide to shooting from the heart. Soooo good!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. says…i LOVE this post. i totally saw it, too. at the beginning i could tell phelps wasn’t excited about being there. and i noticed how much is attitude changed after he won his first race. i thought…maybe it took him losing the first race to make him change…i didn’t read or hear the interview where he said this. SO COOL!! as soon as i read this i started smiling more. amazing!! i’m saving this post and sharing it…awesome write up!! :)

    • says

      It was such an interesting transformation to watch from him, wasn’t it? Hearing his back story about smiling made me happy!

      Thanks for the kind words, Renee, and thanks for stopping by! Your comment made me smile :)

  11. says

    In college I was told that whenever anyone asks how you are doing, if you say “I’m great” by the end of the day you’ll believe it. So I decided to try it (I’d been feeling a little negative at that point)…
    After a few weeks, I realized it works as my roomies and I would tell each other the favorite part of our day before we went to sleep. On one particular day, I said “I had a great day, let me think of the best part.” Then I started thinking of the day and realized it was actually a crappy day. So I also learned that if you’re going to do that – don’t try to remember what was so great about your day! ;).
    I’m jealous about your family vacation to Estes Park… My husband’s immediate family is having a reunion at Rocky Mountain National Park this week and I wish I was there. Although having a newborn isn’t conducive to camping/traveling that much!

    • says

      So I just caught in your comment that your baby was born – I hate that I missed that! CONGRATS to you, Crystal!! He is so precious.

      I love your story and I love that you and your roomates had that tradition each night. That’s pretty cool!

      Thanks for sharing! (And I love RMNP but I would say snuggling up to a newborn beats even that gorgeous place!)

      • says

        I agree that snuggling with a newborn is better than pretty much anything ;).

        I want to start the tradition of saying a favorite thing when my children get a bit older. I tried as a newlywed but my husband and I pretty much had the same favorite moment every night and so we decided to stop for a while… It was just such a great way to end the day though.

  12. says

    Thanks! I needed this today… missing my girls and I guess just drained from all of the preparations and sending off my baby girl for traveling 4 months, 10 countries around the world. (Ya, so envious!) I know she’s 23, but always, always my baby girl! There’s so much of life I love, but sometimes we all drop in that pity pool. Thanks for lifting me out and up, and Thankful that God has blessed me in moments to savor.

    • says

      I would be down in the dumps too if I had to say bye to my baby for that long… wow. She’ll have a wonderful time and what an amazing thing to get to experience! It’ll fly by and she’ll be home before you know it :)

  13. says

    Thanks for the reminder to smile! Caleb makes me smile every day! He laughs at the little things in life. He is a great example to me!

  14. says

    O thanks so much for pointing me to the Erin Condrem website! I had not heard of that planner and it looks so totally awesome that I bought one straight away.. 😉 It’s a bit expensive coming to the Netherlands but can’t wait to receive it!

    • says

      I think you’ll love it and find that it is well worth the investment. Even her packaging that she mails it in and all the extras she surprises you with will make you smile. :)

  15. says

    It seems like everyone I know has been to Estes this past month! We’ve lived in NE for almost 20 years and we’ve never been. Time to remedy that! I’ll be anxious to see your post about your trip (hopefully, with a list of places to go and avoid!).

    Elevate the Everyday looks like just the book for me. I really need to get back to my photography!

    Downloaded Foodie Crush’s calendar and noticed I missed National Root Beer Float day (yesterday). I’m sure a “make-up” day would be approved, don’t you? 😉

    • says

      I missed National Root Beer Float day yesterday too and will have one this evening to stretch the holiday out even longer :)

      OK, now, Lesley… you and your husband MUST go to Estes park, and soon! It is really an easy drive and is so beautiful. Rocky Mountain National Park is so peaceful and amazing. I will get my post up very soon and will include all those things that you stated :)


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