This year I am in grade 10, and with that comes a whole new boat load of responsibilities. I thought I was very ready for that at the start of the year but turns out I’m not. I’ve been struggling with keeping my life balanced and organized lately. Although things have been going off the rails I have realized a few things about myself, first of all I take criticism badly. I really need to work on that because critique is how you do better in everything in life. I have been getting more harsher criticism from my teachers and peers this year, maybe because my work isn’t reaching the same standards I set for myself as last year, or maybe just because it’s grade 10. But I plan on taking in these comments from other people and pushing myself forward to make my work better, not just sulk about it. Secondly I compare myself to my last year self way too often. I guess comparing yourself to you instead of the people around you is healthier but it’s still not a good habit. Last year I was the captain of my soccer team, PLP award winner, and had time to make lots of crafts which made me happy. This year I am the co-captain of my team, I know I will not win the award a second time, and I have not had any time to do the things that make me happy. I know I should not hold myself to same expectations as last year because things change but I can’t stop looking back to last year. I have realized how much I live for academic validation so I decided to set myself a SMART goal (Specific, manageable, attainable, realistic, time bound). I plan on winning a service hours award because I know I already have a lot of service hours and winning that award is not something I have even thought of before. So to replace the PLP award I plan on working towards getting one of the service hours award, I’m striving to get a silver or maybe even gold but if I get a bronze I’m okay with that. Now the last thing I’ve realized is how badly my organization skills have gotten. Last year I never got too behind and always managed my workload quite well, something went wrong this year. Luckily this is where this new project we just started comes into play.

This project, called ‘New year, New me” is all about keeping balance in your life, which I really need right now. The DQ (driving question) is:

What strategies can I use to maintain balance in my life and support my own well-being

But before I answer that I urge you to watch this YouTube video if you haven’t already, called The Happiness Advantage.

We watched this video in class during the launch of our project, most motivational speeches bore me or sound ridiculous. But this video made sense to me automatically, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. The word “Positivity” always gave me a negative impact, I’ve been told all my life to be more positive and it always annoyed me. I just thought as a young girl that it doesn’t do anything and just blinds people from the truth. In my brain being positive was just avoiding your problems and a waste of valuable time, but that’s where positivity psychology proves me wrong.

This is what I have taken away from that video:

10% of your long-term happiness comes from your surroundings, and 90% comes from how your brain takes in the world, so let us focus on how you process the world. The lens through which you view the world will slowly shape your brain over time. If you do these simple four things every day it is scientifically proven to make you happier. The first strategy is making a random act of kindness, the second is doing a form of exercise, the third is journaling, and the fourth is writing down three things you are grateful for every day. If you do these four things daily you will slowly become happier and happier. Did you know when you have a positive mindset or disposition that your brain will work 31% harder? While being happier you will work harder and faster while being more intelligent. Remember your happiness should not come from your successes, your successes should come from your happiness.

and that’s exactly what we did this entire project, we did one of those five things everyday to see if it truly made us successful happier students. But did it?

On Mondays we did meditation

I quite enjoyed the meditation and I want to incorporate it into my life. It calms me down and gives my mind a break from all the stressful work it does all day. I think this strategy did actually help me and I’m glad I found it.

On Tuesdays we did conscious acts of kindness

Although I didn’t like that we were forced to do a kind act because forced compliments and actions aren’t real kindness, I did still enjoy doing these. I like making people happy, plus what you do will always come back to you in someway.

On Wednesdays we did exercise

I love exercising, but not the kind of exercise we did in class. I understand the message the teachers were trying to get across but I didn’t respond well to what we did in class. I do enjoy doing exercises on my own though so I will say that I liked this strategy. I love playing soccer, going on walks, and working out. I have soccer twice a week, but I plan on going on walks and doing workouts and incorporating these things into my day to day schedule.

On Thursdays we did journalling

I have a real love hate relationship with journalling, I love writing but only when I am inspired. I love writing stories and poems, but random journal entries feel very forced to me. Some of the prompts we were given were fun to answer, but others I felt like every word I wrote down took hours to think of. I don’t plan on journaling much but I want to continue my creative writing hobby when I have the time. I have struggled writing lately because every time I get enough motivation to write I think of all the homework I should be writing instead.

On Fridays we wrote down our 3 gratitudes

These were pretty fun to do but I don’t honestly think I will be doing them again after this project. They made me happy at the moment writing but didn’t change my day as much as the other strategies did. I understand how writing down three things you are grateful for can benefit other people, but it wasn’t my sort of thing.


We tried these strategies for a few weeks, and honestly it was more work than I thought it would be. I ended up journaling 15 times, throughout this whole project. Although I didn’t completely love the journaling and I don’t plan on continuing it I did find something great. We journaled using this app called craft, turns out I LOVEE craft. Since I started using it, I haven’t stopped. I now use it to take all my notes, write my essays, and plan out all my projects. I have completely switched from my favourite writing app PAGES to CRAFT



To keep myself organized I started cleaning everything, including my mental, physical, and digital junk.

I cleared my mental junk by writing down everything on my mind. This was mainly things I needed to remember, or things I have to get done. After doing this I actually felt much more relaxed. I like writing down lists and plans because once its written down I don’t have to think about it.

Then I cleared my physical junk by cleaning a corner of my room. Here is a before and after of my room. Although this is just one spot I liked having a tidy room, so I plan to regularly clean my room so my space is tidy and open. It makes me happier to live in a more organized area.

Lastly is my digital space, I cleaned this out pretty easily but it took a long time. The first thing I did was keep my calendar full and scheduled, I added all my classes and extracurricular activities.

Then I added my day to day life into things, this app took a long time to learn how to use but once I figured it out it was very handy. I had reminders for everything set!

And then I went through my camera role and deleted as much as I could. This was pretty therapeutic as I slowly watched the numbers go down. I want to do this at least monthly, hopefully weekly. Doing this will save a lot of storage.




Throughout this blog you can see evidence of my ‘processing’ ability. This means I can think critically, creatively, and reflectively, which I do believe I can. In this project I have come up with unique ways to show my learning, for example creating a video showing how I cleared my backlog. I enjoy making videos so I wanted to incorporate that skill into this project. Creating that video displayed my creativity but also my new ways of processing and furthering my understanding.

While planning and creating balance in my life I identified the gaps I had in my day to day life. Similar to what I talked about in the beginning of this blog I have been struggling a lot lately with organization and balance. Throughout this project I designed a plan for my new success behaviours. This plan includes cleaning out the junk in my life, how to handle stress, and in general to improve my happiness.

A lot of my strengths have been displayed in this project. Some of these strengths include, writing, creating videos, and planning. I love doing these three things and I’m glad I could incorporate them into this project. I prefer to display my learning by turning what I’ve learnt into a video, which I was successful to identify and share in this process. I also really enjoy sharing my learning through writing, which is mainly what a blog is. A blog is a very public domain that I share my learning on, which is good for me.





In conclusion, I am really glad that I had the opportunity to do this project. I learnt a lot, from useful apps to new tactics to stay motivated and focused. Some of the new strategies I will continue, like meditation and exercise to keep me happier. Although I enjoyed doing all the positive brain training, I don’t plan on doing all five steps everyday of my life. I will try to continue this new balance I have learnt to create in my life.

Thank you for reading my blog post today, I’m sure you learnt a bit more about myself! Until next time readers! Stay positive (and you better of watched that Ted Talk!!!)