Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and join me in hearing about Alli Worthington’s newest book “The Year of Being Happy,” tips on starting the book or blog you’ve always dreamed of, and her Blissdom blogging conference coming in 2019.
(Lindsay): I love your latest book: “The Year of Being Happy,” because it breaks down the misconception that Christians cannot be happy, or that happiness isn’t holy. I’ve had this thought on my heart for a while, and love that you tackled writing an entire book about it. Why did you feel a tug to write this book?
(Alli): I felt God gave me the word happy for months and I spent a year studying happiness. I read everything in the Bible about happiness and joy and all the research on happiness in the last fifty years.
I discovered that research keeps showing what God says leads to a happy life. A life of gratitude, with strong relationships, lived for something greater than yourself always leads to a happier life. Millions of dollars of research every year continues to show what we already know as believers to be true.
And I learned that there’s nothing in the Bible that separates the concept of joy and happiness. They have the same meaning according to the original languages of Scripture. God tells us to be happy more times in scripture than any other command. Just think about that for a moment. Commands such as “rejoice,” “be of good cheer,” “do not be afraid,” “give thanks,” these are all ways of telling us to be happy.
God’s commands are our instructions for happiness.
The secret of happiness is that when we seek him and obey him in faith, it always leads to happiness.
(Lindsay): Who is this book written for?
(Alli): The desire for happiness and contentment are God-given. Because of that, this book is for all women who want a simple, quick way to invest in their happiness every day.
I’ve heard from girls in middle school all the way from great grandmothers who are loving the book and building their happiness with it! It’s amazing how God is using it.
So much of our daily happiness really is a choice. Our small daily habits and actions make a huge difference in our happiness levels. This book helps to align your life with God and his plan for your happiness.
(Lindsay): You ask the following questions your book: Is happiness a worthy goal? Does happiness matter to God, or does He only care about holier things? — How would you answer these?
(Alli): Somehow as a culture, we’ve all accepted the lie that God doesn’t care about our happiness because we believed that happiness can be found outside of God. God does want us to be happy because ultimate happiness can only be found when we seek him!
Our happiness is tied to what we desire most. We go wrong when we try to seek happiness in things other than God. But nothing else can sustain us or our happiness but him.
God cares about everything in our lives and wants us to live in a way that truly brings happiness. That includes the big things, the little things, and everything in between!
(Lindsay): How can our readers participate in reading The Year of Living Happy with you starting January 1st?
(Alli): We are reading together starting on January 1st and ending April 10th. We are using my Instagram stories and Facebook stories to connect and discuss. Because the daily readings are so short it’s easy to jump in anytime. Just follow me on Instagram and check my stories every Monday morning for Year of Living Happy updates!
(Lindsay): You also wrote another great book called “Breaking Busy: How To Find Peace & Purpose In a World of Crazy.” As a mom of 5, business coach, podcaster, and holder of many other titles: how do you manage to balance your life with everything that you have on your plate without being constantly “busy?”
(Alli): I don’t believe anyone has a life that doesn’t have seasons of busyness. It’s just modern life. However, there is a difference between crazy busy and a full life. We want to make sure we are living intentionally and not making choices based on other’s expectations.
Most people wrongly believe busyness is just a scheduling issue. If we could just find the right system or the perfect planner that life would stop feeling so busy. I wish it was that easy!
Breaking busy is about finding systems that work for you- sure, but it’s equally important to examine all the little ways in life we can trade our stress for confident calm.
For me that means I have to make sure I know what my priorities are in each season and know what to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to in that season. I’ve learned that fighting for boundaries and a life lived intentionally is worth it!
(Lindsay): A question from our wannabe authors out there — how do you decide to write a book? How do you get it done? Are you one to set due-dates for yourself, or do you just write when inspiration strikes?
(Alli): The hardest part of writing a book is actually sitting down to write it. All my books have come out of life experience, and when I feel I have a story to tell, and some lessons to share.
I set my due dates and block off entire days in my calendar where all I do is write. The writing may be terrible, but it’s important to just write and get it out. I discovered that if I can just get my thoughts out on the page I can edit, rearrange, and make them into something wonderful. But if I never allow myself to have a terrible messy first draft I’ll never get to the finished product.
When I am between book projects I am constantly writing down little bits of inspiration. I keep stories, phrases, concepts and random thoughts that I want to share saved in notes on my phone. When it’s time to get focused and write I fill a wall in my office with post it notes with all my notes on them and start putting the puzzle pieces together.
(Lindsay): I also want to talk about your Blissdom conference briefly. We have lots of followers that are into blogging and are always looking for new tips and tricks. You started Blissdom in 2008, stopped in 2013, and will have the first revamped conference in November 2019. Tell us about Blissdom.
(Alli): Blissdom is a conference for women who want to take their life and business to the next level. It is a three-day event in Nashville with a combination of keynotes and dedicated learning tracks
The Blissdom community includes New York Times Best Selling authors, speakers, TV show hosts, marketers, podcasters along with online entrepreneurs working off a laptop while in the backyard with the kids, and those just dipping their toes in the water of online business.
Check out BlissdomConference.com to learn more
(Lindsay): If you could give just one tip to a new blogger who’s trying to make it big, what would it be?
(Alli): Focus in on serving people well. With everything you write you want to make sure you are helping others. Do you want to encourage, inspire, educate, or entertain? Write with your specific vision and goals in mind. The best and most successful blogs are those that exist to serve their audience well.
(Lindsay): Lastly, what’s next for you? Anything exciting planned for 2019?
(Alli): Blissdom coming back is so fun. Quite a bit of my year will be spent working on preparing for a thousand woman to come to Nashville to really dig into the future of their writing, their business, and their dreams!
And I’m loving my podcast, The Alli Worthington Show, it’s so fun to get to interview friends and heroes for the show. One of my favorite parts is the coaching time at the end where I answer audience questions about life, business, and faith. I’m excited to dive in and see where God takes it in 2019!A
To stay connected with Alli:
Alli Worthington is a wife, and a mom of 5 boys, and one rescue dog. She’s an author, a business coach, a podcaster, and co-founder of Blissdom, a blogging conference. She authored: “Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy,” “Fierce Faith: A Woman’s Guide to Fighting Fear, Wrestling Worry and Overcoming Anxiety. ,” “The Year of Living Happy: Finding Contentment and Connection in a Crazy World.”