How To Do Everything And Be Happy

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From Invisible To Irresistible

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Last week we talked about Goals and how to identify what yours should be using the ‘Vision’ method.

When I do this exercise in workshops there are a handful of Goals that come up time and time again. I blogged about the number one Goal of all time a few months back, but there’s another popular goal that easily takes the number two slot.

Even in this day and age of social media and online dating it seems that more people than ever find themselves sitting at home on a Friday night, with nothing more than a packet of crisps and a cat to keep them company. For some people that might sound like absolute bliss, but I’ve met many others who were hoping for a little more. At the very least someone who would sit between them and the cat, share the crisps, or bring their own bag for the occasional swapsie.

If finding and starting ‘a new relationship‘ made it into your Goals List then you’re in luck! Over the next few weeks I’ve got not one, but two books coming out on the subject.

How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting, my long awaited third How To book, will be released in paperback, audio and as an ebook, on the 14th of February this year; Valentines Day. If you enjoyed How To Do Everything And Be Happy, if you’ve ever found any of my advice useful, if you’re fed up with being single and would like 2014 to be full of love, lust or romance… well, this might just be the book for you. Subscribe to this blog (top right hand corner of this website – it’s FREE), or LIKE the facebook page, and I’ll be sure to remind you know when it’s available.

Fed up with being invisible?In the meantime, do you remember how I met Kate? (You can find out here, or listen to the radio interview I gave to BBC Broadcaster Matthew Bannister below). When I tell people the story of how I met my wife they nearly always get the short version. The one paragraph version. But there was quite a bit more to it than signing up for a flirting course and sitting myself next to the prettiest girl in the room. I also underwent something of a self imposed image makeover. I did anything I could to turn myself into a ‘accidental relationship’ waiting to happen.

Now, I’m not about to start handing out fashion advice or makeup tips. That’s not my bag. What definitely is my bag however is a slew of ideas based on my own experience and/or scientific research, on how you can influence and improve how people perceive you. Think of it as a step-by-step personal re-branding exercise, all wrapped up in a mini-book.

From Invisible To Irresistible is the shorter, quirkier, but none-the-less completely gorgeous companion guide to How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting. Through a series of twelve anecdotes I highlight (and fix) those underlying problems, that make otherwise attractive, charming people invisible to those they’d like to date.

Chapters include:

  • Changing Your Mind – How you can think yourself more attractive, and why a little back-to-front logic might work wonders.
  • Changing Your Image – Why it might be a good idea to cut off your hair (or grow it back again), how to shed pounds without spending a fortune, and why hiring a professional image consultant could be a waste of money.
  • Changing Your Environment – Why sitting at home in front of the TV isn’t a dating strategy, why some of your friends are holding you back, and why it’s vitally important to have the right sofa.

How I met Kate

Finding a wife wasn’t quite the breeze I always assumed it would be. It required a little effort, some planning, and a somewhat unorthodox approach to problem solving. You can find out more in this short audio snippet taken from a BBC interview with Matthew Bannister. Click the big play button in the middle of the image (or here if you’re reading this in an email).

You can listen to the full length interview here.


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Vision Exercise: How to work out what your GOALS should be!

holidays in spaceWelcome to 2014!

2014! Who’d of thunk it!? And may I be the first to say; Holidays In Space – what’s the flippin’ hold up!?

Shouldn’t there be a Moon Base Disney by now? Somebody, somewhere, needs to put that on their Goals List!

Which leads us rather nicely onto the topic of today’s post. Goals.

I’ve written quite a lot about Goals in the past (here for instance), and if you’re a long time reader of this blog, or you’ve read How To Do Everything And Be Happy, then you’ll know that in previous years I reset my Goals every January. But not any more.

2013 was an interesting year for me. The re-release of How To Do Everything And Be Happy by Harper Collins in January, the plethora of Happiness related workshops and talks that followed, and the impending release of my second How To book (How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim), all meant that I was suddenly busier than I’ve ever been. And whilst it was all very exciting, initially, by about June I was flagging a bit, and life didn’t seem quite as *fun* as it had done previously. The rather vague & dreary goals I’d set myself in January seemed a far cry from what I really wanted. Something had to be done.

So, me being me, I set aside a day to tackle the problem in the only way I know how. I sat myself down, and planned to spend the entire day brainstorming all the things that make me really happy – and later distil those down into new, inspiring goals.

After just five minutes I’d finished. Here’s what I’d written:

Today is another day, sitting in the sunshine,
writing fiction,
whilst my beautiful ‘wife’ reads her book,
and then goes and makes us a sandwich.

This was something of a surprise to me on several levels.

For starters I hadn’t expected to be able to capture the essence of what I want out of life so easily, so quickly, and so succinctly.

Secondly I really hadn’t expected to see a ‘wife’ in there (that really was a shock)!

But thirdly, after a moment or two of letting the thoughts settle in my head, I realised that out of this “vision” I could tease out some very specific goals; namely that whilst I love helping people to do everything and be happy, what I really want to do is write. Preferably fiction. Preferably in the sunshine. Preferably somewhere other that dear old Blightly. And preferably with someone very special. Oh, and a sandwich would be nice.

Now, that was back in the summer and you might be curious to know how what’s happened since – and maybe I’ll tell you, perhaps when I write another WTFHIBD – but for now let’s turn the spotlight back on you.

What do YOU want? Imagine you could see three, four or five years into the future – if all your wildest dreams could come true, if money, kids, or commitments weren’t an issue – what would your life look like?

Between now and next week find ten minutes (you’ll only need five) when you can be alone with your thoughts. Spend 60 seconds imagining your perfect future, then write down what you see. Use the remaining time to tease out two or three goals. (If you need a little inspiration, take a look at the video below. It’s a smidge over 3 minutes. Turn up the volume on your computer and click the big ‘play’ button. Or click here to see the video on YouTube)

This time next week we’ll start tackling some of the more common goals that people come up with, beginning with love, romance & relationships – specifically, how to attract all three into your life!

In the meantime feel free to post any questions, comments, or thoughts in the comments below, or on facebook, or twitter.

If for any reason you can’t see or hear the video, drop me a line.


Turns out you can reserve a place for when Holidays In Space become a reality.


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Paperback Coming to America

US cover with drop shadowI know what you’re thinking. There’s something different about the website. Something that you just can’t put your finger on.

Whilst you’re trying to figure out what’s changed let me just say that…

From June 4th, How To Do Everything and Be Happy will finally be available in selected Bricks and Mortar Bookshops all over the United States, and from your favourite online booksellers.

Of course it’s been available in the US as an ebook, and in audio, for a while – but now you’ll finally be able to get a paper copy without having to order one from overseas.

To mark this auspicious occasion, my publishers (Harper Collins) have decided to give the US-printed paperback a brand new, all-yellow cover, which in blind-taste-tests 8 out of 10 Americans said they preferred*, hence the subtle re-branding exercise here on the website, twitter and on facebook. What d’you think? Funky eh? There may have to be new badges.

Of course the inside of the book remains exactly the same – this isn’t a new edition – so there’s no need to rush out and buy a new copy of the book if you already have one. Not unless you really, really want to. Although I would certainly understand if that were the case. Just as – one imagines – there might be those amongst you who might see a market for importing the US branded copy of the book, and selling it here in the UK as a collectors edition. I’m just saying is all.

Here’s to World Domination and a new tranche of American Readers. Please feel free to drop by and say “Howdy“.

*I may have made the bit about blind-taste-testing up.


In related news the paperback is also available from selected Australian outlets &  online booksellers as well as India too!

PS. I’m giving away a signed copy of the UK paperback on Twitter. Follow @doitallbehappy and tweet “I’m going to make my life happier with @doitallbehappy http://ow.ly/jsmjB ” Ends 9pm 7th Apr


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Now Available in Shops (honest)! And the return of the FREE BADGE promotion!

bookshop1How To Do Everything and Be Happy is finally available in UK ‘bricks and mortar’ bookstores up and down the country! I believe a ‘Woo Hoo’ is in order so excuse me whilst I dance the around the room, punching the air. Now, obviously the book’s been available for a while in one form or another, so what was needed for this blog post was a picture of me, standing in an actual bookshop, with the actual book. But unfortunately, due to the fact that I’m currently writing this on Tuesday that’s not possible. I did call my local independent bookshop to see if they’d be willing to help me out but all I got was the answering machine and three hours later nobody’s phoned me back. Make of that what you will. But that’s ok. As you might expect from a bloke who’s written a book about achieving happiness, I’m not one to shy away from a conundrum – no matter how insolvable it may seem. I toyed around with the idea of creating a Time Machine, jumping forwards in time to when my book will be in shops, taking a pic, then coming back to today – until I realised it might be easier to simply create my own bookshop, here, in my lounge! Come on – admit it; if I hadn’t told you that, you’d have been none the wiser. (That’s my “ooo how interesting” face by the way. What do you mean you don’t like it?) thebadge smileyBut back to the point. By the time you read this there should be copies of my book all over the place (not just in my lounge). And to prove it I intend to start posting pictures of myself in real bookstores over the coming months (I may or may not be pulling a stupid face). If you’re reading this in 2021, or some other distant point in the future, there should already be a few at the bottom of this page. How spooky is that? If that’s not a teeny bit like Time Travel then I don’t now what is. Anyway, pictures of me might get a little dull, so how about we mix it up a bit and include some of YOU!? I hereby re-instate the very popular FREE BADGE promotion. Send me a picture of yourself holding the paperback, in a bookshop (or anywhere) and I’ll send you a badge – but be warned, there are only 100, and as I’ll be giving them out at the book signing in Feb they’ll be gone before you know it! You can send me your pictures via facebook messaging – or tweet them at me. In the meantime I’m going to have another look at that Time Machine.


How TO Do Everything And Be Happy will be available in US Bookstores from June 2013. Pre-order the paperback now from amazon, or download the ebook or audio and start reading right away. If you’re reading this in an email, click here for the facebook gallery.


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Kick Start 2013


poster 2013Happy New Year!

So how’s it going so far? Is it all lovely and exciting? Or is it pretty much like last year? Perhaps even a little bit dull? Would you say that, aside from joining hands with friends and family on the stroke of midnight and mumbling the words to a song you only sing once a year, it’s actually quite difficult to know where 2012 came to an end, and 2013 began?

I know how you feel.

Which is why, in a few days time, I will be hosting the first of this years Happiness Clubs, here in Southend-on-Sea.

Happy Club – starts Thursday 24th January 2013

If you’re a long time visitor to this blog you’ll know that this year I’ve run numerous How To Do Everything And Be Happy workshops in various parts of Essex.

I think it’s safe to say that the workshops went down a storm, and I’m delighted to announce that using the invaluable feedback I received, Southend’s Therapy Life Centre and I will be running a series of monthly Happiness workshops – starting Thursday the 24th January – to coincide with the re-launch of the paperback.

What’s covered?

Each month we’ll spend the first hour looking at a different idea from the book How To Do Everything and Be Happy and how to implement it into your life, whether that be Boxing Day, Wish List, Now Lists, Focus, Trophy Boards, or Diaries. Then after a short tea-break (biscuits provided – probably, if I remember) we’re back, looking at your Goals, how far you’ve got with them and how you can take the next step towards achieving them.

Next Thursday we’ll be concentrating on how to eliminate unhappiness, and working out exactly what we want for the coming months. It’ll be fun! I can definitely promise you that. But I have a feeling it’s also going to be the start of something special.

Is it a workshop? Or a course? It’s a “club”.

Technically it’s a series of six stand-alone, related, repeating, workshops (when we get to workshop number six we’ll start afresh the following month). You can come along to just one, a series of six, or every month, it’s totally your choice.

The evening will have more of a club-feel to it making the whole experience less “rushed”, more intensive, and introducing a strong focus on helping you achieve your goals as the months roll by.

It’s a fun way to get motivated and fired up about making changes in your life, whilst being practical, realistic and keeping your feet firmly on the floor.

How much does it cost?

The cost is just £60 for six sessions (if you pay in advance – see below), or £12 per session if you pay on the night.

Where and when?

The club starts on Thursday January 24th 2013
Subsequent clubs are on the last Thursday of each month and last two hours (including a ten minute break around half time).
We start promptly at 8pm (so maybe get there about 7:45? Put that in your diary).

We meet at The Therapy Life Centre, in Southend On Sea, Essex. (the old driving test centre) – there is reasonable parking.
The address is 11 Prittlewell Chase, Southend-on-Sea, SS0 0RX
The nearest station is Prittlewell (just fifteen minutes walk away) which is on the Liverpool Street – Southend Victoria line.

Sign Up and Pay!

The cost is just £60 for six sessions (if you pay in advance), or £12 per session if you pay on the night.

There are three ways to pay in advance

  1. In person at the Therapy Life Centre. Click here for opening hours. 
  2. Over the phone with a credit or debit card. Call 01702 433959. Click here for opening hours. 
  3. Pay here via credit / debit card and/or paypal!

Refunds & General Terms

  • Workshop credits can be carried forward – you do not have to attend six concurrent workshops
  • If you wish to transfer your credits to another person please let us know first
  • Payments via the internet will appear as “soundhaven” on your statement
  • Refunds will not be issued at a workshop and must be requested in the manner the original payment was made (ie. in person, over the phone, or via this website)
  • We reserve the right to charge a £2 admin fee to cover the cost of processing refunds
  • In the event that you cannot make six workshops we reserve the right to retain £12 per workshop you’ve attended, and refund the balance
  • We require five working days notice (via the contact form on this website) process a paypal refund

Any questions?

Drop me a line via the contact page if you have any questions. Operators are standing by.


Visit the Therapy Life Centre’s website
More about the Therapy Life Centre


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Bills And Book Deals; WTFHIBD Episode 2

So, last month (ish) I confessed that my Now List has taken a temporary back seat whilst I pursue my primary goal, which is:

“I am supporting myself
doing the things I love & enjoy,
and no longer worry about bills.”HowToTakeControl-drop-shadow
December 2012

You might remember that this goal reflects my long-term ambition to change my career, and earn a steady wage from something I can feel proud about. Well I’m delighted to tell you that in the last month I’ve taken quite a significant step forward to achieving it (and when I say “quite”…)

On August 31st I officially signed a deal with publishers Harper Collins to relaunch the book that got me here in the first place. Essentially How To Do Everything and Be Happy has broken into the mainstream.

What does this actually mean?

Well firstly the book has a brand new funky cover. (Hello Sue Capes – you may now run around the house screaming. By the way, there are loads more reader quotes inside the book so if you were kind enough to give me permission to use your quote, you’ve probably got a mention.)

Secondly, the e-book should be available EVERYWHERE, for every e-reader on the planet, from all good e-book retailers. I don’t want to hear any more of that “I don’t have a kindle” nonsense… if you have a kobo, a sony e-reader, a nook, any kind of smart phone or tablet, you can get the book. Check out the Buy The Book page.

Thirdly, it’s still only £1.99 (or your local equivalent).

And last, but by no means least, a brand new paperback version – with all the lovely second-edition extras & goodies – will be on shelves, in bricks and mortar book stores, on the 17th of January 2013 though you can pre-order it now from your favourite online retailers (amazonother options). Be prepared for half a zillion pictures of me in bookstores up and down the country on the facebook page in the New Year.

To celebrate the re-launch of the paperback I’m planning on having a book-launch thingamy. I’m not a huge fan of book launches, or indeed any social gatherings (you seem surprised?), but even I’ve got admit that this can’t go by without something to mark the occasion. And so long as I’m left in charge of organising it please consider yourself (and a friend) invited, because I could never have got this far without you!

So does this mean I’ve achieved my goal?? Am I no longer worrying about bills? Pfff! Not quite. But I’m a good deal closer, and I’m still working on it – but to find out what else I have up my sleeve you’ll have to check back for next months WTFHIBD.


The official announcement in The Bookseller


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New Year – New Goals!

faq

So, in three days it’ll be 2012. And for the fifth year running I’ll be setting myself personal goals.

A lot of my friends dislike the idea of setting personal goals, like it somehow takes the ‘private’ part of their life – the part that is supposed to be about relaxing and having fun – and turns it into ‘work’. And work, as we all know, is the mortal enemy of fun and relaxation.

Perhaps you feel the same way? I know I did. Having read and listened to more than my fair share of self help books I thought I knew all that I needed to know about Goal Setting – enough to know that it wouldn’t work for me. And as I sat in traffic on the M25, morning after morning, listening to those Tony Robbins CDs, I’d start to wonder whether I’d enjoy them more if I wound down the window and tossed them, Frisbee-like, over the edge of the bridge and into the River Thames far below me.

That was, until I went out for a curry with my old friend Denny.

“I’ve set myself 5 goals for next year,” she told me one winter’s night in January.

“Goals?” I said

“Yeah,” said Denny as she mopped up some sauce with a strip of naan bread. I was stunned.

“Why?”

“Because I’m fed up with my life being like it is.”

“But, setting yourself goals – it’s a little extreme though, isn’t it?” She shrugged.

“Not really,” she said.

“But what if you don’t achieve them?” I asked.

“Then life will stay pretty much as it is, I guess. From that perspective I can’t really lose.” I thought about this for a second or two.

“Maybe I should set some goals,” I said.

“Maybe you should,” said Denny. “What would they be?”

And that was five years ago.

I like to set my goals at the start of each year, and review them at the end. This might make them sound a little like ‘resolutions’ but resolutions are something entirely different. “I will give up smoking” – that’s a resolution. “I have given up smoking (December, 2012)” – now that’s a goal.

Take for instance one of my goals for 2010:

My Happiness Book is published
(Dec 31st 2010)

At the time I set that the Goal I’d hardly started writing How To Do Everything and Be Happy, let alone given much thought to how I would publish it. I didn’t even have the title.

Did I achieve the goal?

No.

That’s the not so funny thing about setting goals – some of the time, perhaps even most of the time, you fail!

But then I’m not particularly motivated by ‘easy goals’ – goals that I know I have a good chance of achieving. They don’t even feel like goals – more like boring items on my to-do list. I had a friend who, on January 1st, set herself the goal of joining a gym. By the end of the first week she’d achieved it. Was that really a goal? Shouldn’t joining the gym have been part of a much larger goal to improve her health and fitness? In my mind a goal should stretch you. A goal should be ever-so-slightly out of reach. With most of my goals I know that my chances of success are extremely slim, though the chance is there.

So my revised Goal for 2011 looked like this:

“How To Do Everything and Be Happy”
is available in three formats,
and selling really well (to be defined),
whilst I bask in the success (to be defined)
of the seminar(s)
Dec 31st 2011

And will I achieve that Goal??

No.

But I’ll come darn close. The book was released as an ebook back in March, and as a paperback a few weeks later. Both are selling better than I could have ever hoped. An audio version is planned for this coming year, and whilst I’m not exactly basking in the success of my one workshop, two more are being planned for the coming weeks.

Most important of all though, by identifying why I achieved or failed my goal I’m equipped to write smarter, more specific, or maybe utterly different goals.

Working with goals – that is, having them in your life – is something that gets easier the longer you do it. You develop a habit, or a mindset – after a while you start to look at everything you’re doing in relation to how it sits with your goals. In a very real way, your goals force you to decide what’s important to you and move you in that direction. They give you purpose and vision.

And it’s true what they say:

“Without vision the people perish.”

So, people of the interweb – what are your Goals for 2012. Drop me a line or use the comments box below – I’d love to hear from you.

Wishing you a very happy New Year

Peter Jones