Today is Boxing Day for me. Actually, it’s one of about a dozen Boxing Days I’ve scheduled into my year, roughly one every four weeks. I’ll probably only be eating turkey on one of them though, the one everyone else has in December – unless I feel like eating turkey, in which case I will. Today I’ve been eating Doritos and dips though.
“Boxing Day” is the fabulous invention of author Peter Jones in his new book How to Do Everything and Be Happy. It’s out now on Kindle for a bargain £2.99, and will be out in paperback very soon. I won’t go into too much detail about the origins of his “Boxing Day” (you’ll just have to buy the book to find out!) but basically it’s a day when you do exactly what you want, when you want. You don’t pre-plan anything; instead you simply ask yourself “what would I like to do, right now?” and unless it’s physically impossible to do, you do it! So today, on my Boxing Day, I’ve slobbed around in my dressing gown for a while, caught up on a TV programme I SKY+’d, did a few bits of work (yes, you can work if you want to – but not because you feel you have to!), watched some trashy TV and later I’ll …. well who knows what I’ll do, I’ll decide when I get there!
Life for most of us is way too hectic so the idea of having a “Boxing Day” scheduled into your diary roughly once a month means that however busy life is, however fed up you are with work or whatever, you will always having Boxing Day to look forward to. When you get to it you’ll often find that you end up doing exactly what it is that your body and soul needs to relax and rest itself, be that sleeping all day, going out for a jog, reading, travelling etc.
I came across How to Do Everything and Be Happy because I proofread it and I’ll be honest here – I wasn’t looking forward to the job because I’m not a fan of happy clappy self help nonsense and that’s what I was expecting it to be! As it turned out, I found myself enjoying the book so much that I had to stop proofreading at times to go off and make my NOW list, or find a trophy board, or look for printers’ trays on eBay (and you really will have to read the book to find out what I’m on about because I’m not giving anything else away!)
Peter Jones has a lovely conversational style of writing that really engages the reader and it soon feels like this is something a good friend has written for you personally, not just some random book. Peter focuses on two main areas – how to be happy in the short term, and developing goals to keep you happy in the long term. Peter gives you useful tools and exercises that are actually FUN to do and they will also help you identify what you really want from life and work towards achieving it. Mind you, just reading the book will make you feel happier! And perhaps the most vital part of the book is the end section, where Peter sums up everything in a few pages and gives you useful checklists to help you remember what to do – because it makes it really easy for you to actually act on the book, rather than just reading and putting back on the shelf, which I guess must happen to about 80% of this type of thing!
So anyway, I absolutely loved How to Do Everything and Be Happy. Despite having read it when I proofread it, I bought it the day it came out on Kindle and I’ll be buying a few copies of the paperback when it’s out, to pass on to friends who I think will enjoy it. If you would like to be happier in life, or want to know what you can get out of it, or would like to work out what your goals are and how you can achieve them, then it’s well worth spending £2.99 on it! And if you’ve previously shied away from happy clappy self help books because they made you want to throw them at something solid or spiky, then fear not, the clappy part is definitely missing here …. just enjoy the happy!