How To Do Everything And Be Happy

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Finding love on Twitter

twitter-love
I talk quite a bit about using facebook to find romance (in How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting) but does the same apply to that other social media giant? Is it possible to find love… on twitter? Writer Helen Hunt thinks so. It snuck up on her when she wasn’t even looking.

“I should probably start by saying that I wasn’t actually looking for love on Twitter. I’d been divorced for nearly ten years, I had my own house and four cats. Yes, four. Yes, I know … And I genuinely thought that was it; that was all that life had to offer.

As a writer, I mainly saw Twitter as a place to talk to other writers and gossip with my friends. I had no idea that it would spark a train of events that would lead to me swapping my single lifestyle for the life I have now, living with my partner and his three sons. (And still four cats.)

Back in November of 2011 I started chatting on Twitter to crime novelist Mike Walters. As with so many connections I’ve made on Twitter, I can’t exactly remember how it started. I suspect we were both chatting to other people in the writing world, and somehow our Twitter social circles and our conversations overlapped.

We started out by talking about writing. He was intrigued by my short story writing because it’s a form he’s never tried, and I was interested in his crime writing as that’s the genre I like to read. Then, as time went on, we started talking about more personal things and we realised we had a lot in common. We have similar political views and outlooks on life, and we realised that at various points in our lives we’d lived in the same places as each other.

I found out he was a widower and single parent to three kids. He found out I was single with four cats, but, amazingly, this didn’t put him off. Slowly the public timeline chatting drifted into private DM chatting and that’s when we decided to meet up.

When I mentioned that I had never been to Manchester, which is where one of Mike’s books is set, he offered to give me the official ‘Trust No One’ guided tour. I have to say, I’m still waiting for my guided tour, but we did meet up and we’ve never looked back since.

We first met ‘in real life’ in February of 2012. We took things fairly slowly at first, because of the children, but we moved in together in September 2013 and are now planning to get married.

It seems odd to talk about being attracted to someone on Twitter when you only have their words to go on, but for me I think it was the perfect way to start a relationship. After all, the way someone thinks about life and the words they use to communicate are so much more important than anything else about them.

I realised there was something special about Mike really early on in our Twitter communication, and everything else since then has just been a journey to prove that I was right.”

The moral of this story? Keep your eyes open because you never know where Mr or Ms Right might be lurking.


SDSW drop shadow colour smallHelen writes short stories and features for the likes of Woman’s Weekly, My Weekly, The Weekly News, Best, Yours, The People’s Friend, Prima,  This England… to name but a few. She tweets under the handle @hmhunt, and you can find out more about Helen on her website www.helenmhunt.co.uk

How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting is available from amazon or order it via your favourite bookstore.

 


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March 20: International Day of Happiness

happy hero medalThis year sees the first International Day of Happiness – as adopted by all 193 member states of the United Nations, in a bid to give ‘Happiness’ greater priority in the world.

As part of the festivities here in the UK, Olympic and community heroes will be honoured by Lord Richard Layard in a gold medal ceremony at the House of Lords. And when they’re done, those recipients will give away their medals to their own Happy Heroes.

In fact nominating ‘Happy Heroes’ is central theme of what’s being dubbed ‘Happy Day’ (#happyday on twitter), and the organisers are encouraging you and I to ‘tweet‘ about anyone who puts a smile on our collective faces with the hash tag #happyheroes.

Well you don’t have to ask me twice. There have been so many people who’ve made a difference to my life and the success of the book over the past two years that tomorrow I fully intend to mention as many as possible, whilst simultaneously trying to avoid bringing the twitter-servers to a grinding halt.

You can follow me on twitter @doitallbehappy if you’re not already doing so, and feel free to share your #happyheroes with me and I’ll retweet them.

Happy ‘Happy Day’ people. Let’s change the world.


Find out more about the day on the official website: dayofhappiness.net


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Stay In Touch via Social Media

social media3

I’ve become a big fan of social media these past few months. Yes it’s very distracting. Yes it’ll eat up every single spare moment you have (if you let it). But as someone who works from home, it’s also become a great way of keeping in touch with people. Where as once I had ‘colleagues’ now I have facebook friends, and twitter pals.

I mention this merely because every now and then I get a message from someone asking me (in the nicest possible way) to blog more – and whilst I enjoy blogging, if you’re really chomping at the bit for some daily Jones-flavoured interaction, you’ll find plenty over at a social media site of your choosing. Here’s a quick round-up of where you can find me and my daily musings.

likeusFacebook.

You can find me personally at www.facebook.com/peterjonesauthor – where I chuck out the occasional pearl of wisdom (or more likely a nugget of nonsense) about this writing life. I usually only ‘friend’ people I’ve actually met, but anyone can subscribe to my public updates or send me a message.

Alternatively, if you want to read and discuss ideas raised in How To Do Everything and Be Happy, you’ll find the book’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/howtodoeverythingandbehappy. Six hundred and something hard core readers such as yourself hang out there. Feel free to post your thoughts or comments on the page, as well as pictures of Book Shops or your Trophy Board.

Twitter

It took me a while to become one with the whole twitterati. In many ways I still feel like someone who moved into a village ten years ago and is waiting to be accepted by the community at large. But the upside of this is that I’ll talk to virtually anyone who so much as glances in my direction. Don’t be shy. Feel free to tweet at me as much as you like.

I’m @peterjonesauth, whereas my self help books have their own twitter account; @doitallbehappy. Follow either or both.

Instagram (and other sites)

I’m currently experimenting with Instagram. It’s fun.  I’m not sure you’ll ever see anything of any ground breaking significance (and it’s probably worth mentioning that every photo I post also appears on facebook and twitter), but if enjoy the occasional picture of hats and lollypops it could be right up your street. http://instagram.com/peterjonesauthor


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Della Galton interviews me on / about ‘Boxing Day’

DellaEarlier today (well, yesterday by the time you read this), Della Galton – author, journalist, women’s magazine fiction legend, and all round lovely person – interviewed me, via the awesome power of twitter, about Boxing Day. Readers Vikki & Jayne chimed in too.

In case you missed it, here’s the transcript:

DellaGalton: So Peter @doitallbehappy are you ready to be interviewed about #boxingday
11:58am, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton Ready and waiting! Shoot! #boxingday
11:58am, Dec 26 from HootSuite

DellaGalton: @doitallbehappy I have it on good authority that you invented #boxingday is this true?
11:59am, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton I may have RE-invented #BoxingDay 🙂
12:00pm, Dec 26 from HootSuite

DellaGalton: @doitallbehappy So tell me about this re-invention?
12:01pm, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton It’s a kind of a chillout day, and I have one, on average, once a month
12:03pm, Dec 26 from HootSuite

DellaGalton: @doitallbehappy So you have a day exactly like today once a month. Is this right? Would you have Christmas Day and turkey the day before?
12:04pm, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton LOL. For me #BoxingDay isn’t anything to do with xmas. It’s only called Boxing Day because that’s when the 1st one happened.
12:07pm, Dec 26 from HootSuite

DellaGalton: @doitallbehappy So, are you saying anyone can have a #boxingday at any time of the year? What gave you this idea?
12:09pm, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton Yes. That’s the idea. I pre-plan my Boxing Days – one a month.
12:11pm, Dec 26 from HootSuite

DellaGalton: @doitallbehappy So what did you do on your last #boxingday, apart from this one that is 🙂
12:13pm, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton Gosh! I can’t remember exactly – I do so many things. But my Boxing Days definitely have themes
12:14pm, Dec 26 from HootSuite

DellaGalton: @doitallbehappy what kind of themes exactly?
12:15pm, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton Cooking is one; I’ve made chocolate brownies, treacle tart, many many pizzas (base included), and truck loads of flapjacks.
12:16pm, Dec 26 from HootSuite

DellaGalton: @doitallbehappy Are there any rules for #boxingday activities then?
12:17pm, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton @vikkithomp Rule 1: No-pre-planning! Rule 2: Book BD in advance. Rule 3: You can move BD but you can’t cancel it!!
12:19pm, Dec 26 from HootSuite

vikkithomp: @doitallbehappy @dellagalton So “planning” to have a day where I don’t go online is a no no? #BoxingDay (which I’ve now broken anyway lol) x
12:23pm, Dec 26 from Twitter for iPad

DellaGalton: @vikkithomp @doitallbehappy absolutely. you can do anything I reckon – and it would qualify.but let’s ask Peter 🙂
12:24pm, Dec 26 from Web

Jayne_A_Curtis: @DellaGalton @vikkithomp @doitallbehappy Im having a large Tia Maria on Ice, I definitely didnt plan it, honest.
12:29pm, Dec 26 from Web

DellaGalton: @Jayne_A_Curtis @vikkithomp @doitallbehappy Now, that sounds like a fine plan Jayne. Peter is this a valid #boxingday activity?
12:31pm, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton @Jayne_A_Curtis My first #BoxingDay I opened a bottle of champagne – so I guess that answers that! 🙂
12:32pm, Dec 26 from HootSuite

DellaGalton: @doitallbehappy @Jayne_A_Curtis Were you celebrating anything specific or just #Boxingday
12:33pm, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton I guess I was doing what Kate (my late wife) and I used to do on our Boxing Days.
12:35pm, Dec 26 from HootSuite

DellaGalton: @doitallbehappy Ah, so Kate was the reason you reinvented #boxingday?
12:38pm, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton In a way. BD was ‘our’ day. The 1st year without her I replicated what we’d done. After that I decided to do it each month.
12:40pm, Dec 26 from HootSuite

DellaGalton: @doitallbehappy Ahhh, that is so romantic. Have you had any other romantic #boxingdays? Romance sounds like a fine theme.
12:41pm, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton Is that an offer 😉
12:42pm, Dec 26 from HootSuite

DellaGalton: @doitallbehappy Right, Mr Jones, getting back to your book. Tell us where we can buy it again 🙂
12:42pm, Dec 26 from Web

doitallbehappy: @dellagalton It’s available as an ebook and audio right now – and @HarperCollinsUK are republishing it Jan 17th
12:44pm, Dec 26 from HootSuite

DellaGalton: @doitallbehappy @HarperCollinsUK Thank you so much Peter. I will let you get back to the official #boxingday. Have fun 🙂
12:46pm, Dec 26 from Web


Follow me on twitter @doitallbehappy and Della @dellagalton


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Win Yourself a Signed Copy of The New Paperback!

The competition is now closed, and we’re just contacting the last of the winners. Thank you to everyone who took part.

And The Winners Are…

  1. Tracy Hanson (@iansmic) from West Yorkshire – congratulations!
  2. Judith Eddington (@hey_jude_67) from Cardiff- congratulations!
  3. Sarah Walters (@sarahwalters99) from Cheshire – congratulations!
  4. Cheryll Hastie (@pipersky1) from Peterborough – congratulations!
  5. Midge Greentree (@wildwomanwithin) from Oregon – congratulations!
  6. Greig Spencer (@greigo_uk) from Leicester – congratulations!

Your books will be dispatched to you sometime next week (so you might have them ahead of the official publication date)


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What was that link again?

Keith
Reader Keith recently dropped me a line and said

Just listened to the audio version.  I enjoyed it.  Throughout the book and in the acknowledgements you mention several web links, but I was driving as I listened so could not jot them down.  Perhaps you can add a list of links to the website to help listeners like me?

What a superb idea. And pretty obvious too when I think about it. So, for Keith and all my other listeners out there here’s a list of every link mentioned in the book.

The facebook page

This book has a page on facebook where I post a daily musing and fans of the book comment on it. All good fun. You’ll find it at www.facebook.com/howtodoeverythingandbehappy (you probably could have guessed that).

If you’re more of a twitterer I tweet under the handle @doitallbehappy. The odd re-tweet would be most appreciated. You can follow me here: twitter.com/doitallbehappy.

The selective attention video

The ‘selective attention test’ mentioned in the section on focus is below. Press the play icon in the middle of the image, and concentrate carefully on the number of times the players in white pass the ball to each other.

You can find out more about this video, and the science behind it at here.

Webshots.com

Webshots is a great piece of software that changes your PC’s wallpaper automatically. You can download it for free from http://www.webshots.com/page/apps?app=footer

Photobox.co.uk

Photobox is a great website that allows you to create all manner of items from your digital photos. Snapfish.co.uk is pretty good too. Other sites exist – post your favourites in the comments below.

How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim

My next book co-written with the fabulously slender Della Galton. Find out more here 

Folks mentioned in the acknowledgements

Jules my assistant and the balloon baboon, Author Wendy Steele, Alison the Proof FairyEllen for her fabulous cover design & artwork. Author Keris Stainton. Katja and all from Audible (.co.uk | .com), and Adam and team from Rushforth media.

My other website

You can find out more about me, my books, speaking engagements & workshops, at my other website – peterjonesauthor.com

If you think I’ve missed a link then drop me a line or post a comment below and I’ll update this page


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I’m looking forward to #BoxingDay. Here’s why.

Why I’m looking forward to Boxing Day, and why for me, and many other people, it’s no longer the day after Christmas.boxing day

Of all the ideas in the book the one people like the most, is Boxing Day.

But isn’t Boxing Day the day after Christmas Day? A slightly down-beat, re-run of the previous days festivities? More Turkey. More Christmas Pud. Perhaps a change of venue and/or relatives?

That’s certainly how it used to be in my family, but then my wife Kate came along and Boxing Day became ‘our’ day. We’d get up around midday, open a bottle of champagne, play with our presents from the day before, roast chestnuts in the oven, play silly board games, watch Christmas movies, and eat posh nibbles. It was, quite simply, a fantastic day. Our first Boxing Day together (before my wife was even my wife) I even ended up proposing. That gives you some idea how good Boxing Day made me feel about life, and there hasn’t been a Boxing Day since that hasn’t given me that same inner glow, that same joy for life. And I can speak with some authority here because in the last five years I’ve celebrated Boxing Day approximately sixty times.

That first Christmas after Kate passed away my mother, concerned for my welfare during the festive season, asked if I’d like to spend Boxing Day with them. It was a generous offer but, call me sentimental, I decided to spend it just as we always had.

I got up late, I opened a bottle of champagne, I sat in bed and browsed my collection of gifts from the previous day. Then I took the Brie from the fridge, a box of posh crackers (the edible kind) and worked my way through the whole lot whilst I sat in front of the telly and watched “The Santa Clause”. A little later I emailed friends I’d been meaning to catch up with, and followed that with a walk down to Old Leigh. I looked out at the boats resting in the mud, and then I went home, wrote down some thoughts, and did some planning.

By the time I went to bed I felt like I’d had a week’s holiday, and all I’d done was get out of bed and see how the day unfolded. It was such a good day that I caught myself wishing that Boxing Day happened a little more frequently than once a year, at which point I had the following crazy thought:

Why can’t it?

What was to stop me replicating the same structure – or lack of structure – on any other day of the year?

Answer: nothing.

From that day on I decided to have a “Boxing Day” once a month. Once a month I’d get up with absolutely no plans whatsoever and see how the day unfolded. And that was almost five years ago.

Principals of Boxing Day

boxingdayLet’s cover some basics here: Boxing Day isn’t a ‘day off’, it’s important to get that concept out of your head immediately. Boxing Day is a day when you get to live totally in the moment. And why is this important? Because living in the moment takes a lot less energy!

As adults we expend a huge amount of energy just juggling the day-to-day. Young children, on the other hand, don’t. They live utterly in the moment and the job of structuring their day is handled by (hopefully) a responsible adult. Within the confines of whatever structure is imposed on them their day is totally driven by what they want to do, at that moment, and what opportunities exist. They don’t have to expend any energy on thinking past the next few minutes, and as a result they seem to have bucketfuls of the stuff. You could probably power an entire city on half a dozen four year olds and a ball pool if you could just keep them in that ball pool long enough.

And four year olds never seem to suffer from that Monday morning feeling, they never seem to worry about how they’re going to make it through the week, and they never pace themselves. They throw themselves at life, and when they run out of steam, they’re done. Have you ever seen the way a four year old sleeps? They’re so out of it you can pick them up without waking them.

Boxing Day is a little like being a four year old for a day. It releases you from thinking about the future or the past. For twenty four hours everything else is on hold. If you do Boxing Day properly you should feel like you’ve had a mini holiday – by the end of a Boxing Day you should feel rested, and energised, and happy.

So, let’s reiterate how Boxing Day works in one concise sentence:

Boxing Day is driven by the moment,
the heart, and the opportunity.

Re-read that last sentence because the success of your Boxing Days, should you choose to have them, relies heavily on how well you understand the concept and implement the principles. To boost your chances the book contains some very special Boxing Day rules, and those rules are yours along with all the other goodies that the book contains. And being the festive season it goes without saying that the book (currently number one in two of amazon’s book categories), would make a fabulous gift for a loved one, co-worker, best-friend, boss, or any member of the national press.

In the meantime let me take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Boxing Day.

Peter


Competition results

We asked you to ‘tweet’ out the above post to be in with a chance of winning either the paperback or one of ten copies of the ebook.
And the winner is…

Gillian Holmes from Nottingham

A copy of the book is winging it’s way to you via Royal Mail, Gillian. Hope you enjoy.

The following lovely people also won a copy of the ebook and have already been contacted via twitter direct message.

Sherieann (RedRoses4)
Victoria (sugarplum70)
Lilly (LillyLoveYou4)
Phyllis & Gerry Ellett (phyllgerry)
Tracy Nixon (tracyknixon)
Sara Wilson (tinkerbell34)
Tammie (ukusa1)
Jane Willis (janesgrapevine)
Barbara (babz229)
Julie Kenny (relisys222)

Many thanks to everyone who took part.
Subscribe to this blog (top of this page in the top right hand corner) to be notified of future competitions and giveaways.