As a mother, a wife, and a businesswoman, Kaia Roman always had a plan. But when her biggest plan, the business she cofounded, collapsed, Kaia found herself crushed by depression. And what felt even worse was that, with a husband and two kids relying on her to get out of bed, she didn't have a plan to move forward.
Determined to turn her life around and put her ingrained habits of stress and anxiety behind her, Kaia decided to put everything else on hold and dedicate thirty days to the singular pursuit of joy. The results were astonishing-and lasted much longer than the initial monthlong project.
In this uplifting and eye-opening memoir, Kaia uses her business savvy to create a concrete Joy Plan to get back on her feet fast. Using scientific research on hormones, neurotransmitters, and mindfulness, along with the daily dedication to creating a more joyful existence, Kaia teaches readers how to move past temporary happiness and succeed in creating joy that lasts.
Complete with advice, exercises, and key takeaways, The Joy Plan is Kaia's step-by-step guide to how she, and everyone else, can ditch the negative and plan for the joy in their lives.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Part 1 Background (How did I end up here?) 1
Chapter 1 Now What? 3
Chapter 2 The Bitch in My Head 17
Chapter 3 Know Thyself 29
Part 2 Strategy (The PLAN!) 39
Chapter 4 Does This Feel Good? 41
Chapter 5 Reboot: From Stressed to Blessed 55
Chapter 6 Mindfulness Over Matter 65
Chapter 7 Eat, Play, Love 77
Part 3 Challenges (I thought this would be easier.) 93
Chapter 8 The Quest for Happy Hormones 95
Chapter 9 Let It Go, Let It Go 105
Chapter 10 Complaining Versus Creating 121
Part 4 Team (These are my people.) 133
Chapter 11 That's True Love 135
Chapter 12 Personal Board of Directors 147
Chapter 13 Kids and Other Spiritual Teachers 157
Part 5 Projections (Light up the future!) 169
Chapter 14 Writing a New Story 171
Chapter 15 Exercising the Joy Muscle 183
Chapter 16 Joy Is Contagious 195
Chapter 17 The Journey That Counts 205
Appendix: Create Your Own Joy Plan 233
The Joy Plan Discussion Guide 248
References and Resources 272
About the Author 303
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was an excellent self-help book on discovering joy in your daily life. Kaia had many good ideas to help you put your joyful thoughts into action and change your mindset. The humor throughout the book kept my interest. The back of the book had exercises to help you create new habits and a discussion guide. I didn’t use it as a group study but you could. I found the discussion questions helpful and thought-provoking to go through on my own. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a new way to meditate and find joy in their life. I received this galley from NetGalley.
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of The Joy Plan. It is a wonderful book. It is a woman's story of finding Joy, but it is so much more than that. It is filled with scientific research and facts to back up what she has named The Joy Plan. Many times, Kaia's words have been the exact thoughts I have had, but not voiced. This book is simply wonderful. I have suffered anxiety for many years and the voice inside my head is loud and negative. Kaia shows you how to put that voice in it's place. She outlines simple, easy-to-follow directions on how to change the way you view the world, which in turn changes your world. It's almost like she is showing you how to "hack" your brain. By learning the science behind the brain, how it functions, what balances out negativity and what it can do for you, she is showing you how to make your brain recognize the JOY in all things. I highly recommend it! It's well written, it feels like reading from a personal friend's writings. As we age, most of us do become less joyful. Sometimes it is sucked out of us by bills and responsibilities, other times, we simply stop seeing the joy in our lives. Why wouldn't you want to live a more joyful life? The Joy Plan could help you do just that.
I generally don't gravitate toward self-help books, but someone gave me this book and I couldn’t put it down. This book is definitely NOT your typical self-help. It struck me more as a combination of self-help and memoir. What sets it apart is that it combines a compelling narrative (with an interesting, relatable character) with facts, research and science. This book was so fascinating because it was about a woman that so many of us can relate to—a regular person with a husband and kids and a job and a mortgage—who found a unique path to success and happiness. I spent this whole book rooting for the author and getting excited by her transformation. And then as an added bonus, there were action items and techniques that I could actually try in my own life. I loved that everything in this book was backed up by science and research—again, this sets it apart from many typical self help books and gives it an extra level of credibility. In the short time since I read this book, I have already found myself being more mindful, looking for joy in my life and using the techniques from the book. Even my husband has commented on the change. I really loved this book and recommend it so highly. I can’t wait for Kaia Roman’s next book!
This book came to me at the perfect time. It’s completely changed my perspective on how I approach my relationships, my everyday interactions and my capacity for joy. While I think it will get categorized as self-help, The Joy Plan shouldn’t be pigeon-holed to that; it is so much more. This “practical memoir” is simultaneously a deeply moving, open-hearted memoir and a practical run-down of daily practices that anyone can put in place to create joy. Kaia accomplishes a beautiful balance between science and spirituality, and between the personal and the universal – all in a positive, real and accessible tone that makes you feel like you’re talking with your best friend.
Despite the filters, life is not always picture “perfect”. The Joy Plan provides an unvarnished look at what happens when plans go sideways, life sucks and all you want to do is stay inside and sleep. Using a combination of science, emotions, logic and a bit of skeptical faith, Roman invites us into her very personal space for a “how to” on the brain, why it does what it does and how we can train our brains to be in a state of joy*. Give it a read. Try the plan. Change can only move us forward! *Individual results may vary.