3 Labor Day Honey-Dos

In the U.S., Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer. School begins, or gets fully into swing. Darkness comes earlier. Hopefully, temps cool. If you’re in the Midwest like me, you’re less likely to be sucked up in a tornado after Labor Day.

Over Labor Day weekend, most of us steel ourselves for what’s to come, knowing we’ll work without a real break ‘til winter holidays. (Especially now that retail stores are open on Thanksgiving, but I’ll stop myself from going off a rant about that). Usually, we create a “Honey-Do” list for ourselves or for others, things that must get done this long weekend as it may be our last 3-day break until New Year’s.

This Labor Day, prepare strategically. Be intentional. Make time to do even one of these Honey-Dos and I guarantee your journey between now and winter holidays will be smoother. Follow all three Labor Day Honey-Dos and you’ll really soar!

1. Joy Jar: Not Just for Kids

banner-joyjars-570“Count your blessings.”

While the phrase seems a bit antiquated today, something grandma told us, what if we literally did count the good things in our lives—those moments, even split seconds when we’re filled with gratitude?

Research now tells us grandma was right: when we spend time being grateful, we’re happier and more resilient.

Likely you’ve heard of the “Joy Jar” concept. Parents are encouraged to have a jar into which their children can place a note, picture, or something that memorializes what they’re grateful for each day or week.

Joy Jars aren’t just for kids–create one for YOU this Labor Day. Then, dig into that jar on New Year’s Day to reflect and recharge for the year to come. Do it on Thanksgiving if you can’t wait. Need a boost earlier or more consistently than that? Hey feel free, access your Joy Jar anytime you need to trigger and reflect upon what you’re grateful for.

(BTW, thank you for doing this: I’m grateful that you’re taking my advice. See how easy it is?)

2. Plan To Give


“It’s better to give than receive.”

Another old adage that ample research now proves is true if we want to have a sense of happiness. For instance, social psychologist Liz Dunn and her colleagues published their findings in the journal Science which show: our sense of happiness is greater when we spend relatively more money on others than ourselves.

Well, honey, I’m asking you to intentionally plan around your giving (which may require you to say NO to some giving you do right now)—and it doesn’t have to be money.

Here are some simple ideas that I’m confident you can build upon, ideas that I want you to note on your calendar and carry out by your calendar “deadline”:

  • Do something unique, special for a loved one
  • Clean out your closets and donate items you don’t use
  • Each time you buy groceries, buy one can of food for a local food bank
  • Sit down with a child in your life and give them undivided attention
  • Volunteer to help an organization in your community; even stuffing envelopes for a day could feel like extreme giving to them
  • Pay-it-Forward inexpensively, like going to a local diner and giving them money to buy a cup of coffee for someone else

Want to hit the efficiency jackpot? In your Giving Plan, include helping someone else create a Joy Jar. Buy a Joy Jar for a child who cannot leave the hospital. And, don’t forget to put grateful-to-have-chance-to-give tales in your Joy Jar too. (Honey, I don’t call myself a strategist for nothing.)

3. Prepare for Spontaneity

more time and space

“Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment.”-Deepak Chopra

This Honey-Do is asking you to prepare your mind in a way that builds space for spontaneity. Repeat after me: I have plenty-of-time. I have plenty-of-time. I have plenty-of-time.

Write it down. Put it on your bathroom mirror to read in the morning and at night. Plug this reminder into your phone. Put it on your calendar. Set up a reoccurring email that says this; send it to yourself. Do whatever it takes to stop and remember that you have plenty of time when you stay present in the moment. 

Seems kind of silly that we need to remind ourselves to breathe and live in the moment, doesn’t it. But the “busy” disease that inflicts us requires purposeful intention and focused action. We’ve trapped ourselves in a busy-box that we need to get out to live more fully, more mindfully, and more meaningfully.

Honey Do prepare to give yourself more time and space, take advantage of it so you’re able to be spontaneous, to live more fully in the moment.

Happy Labor Day! Got more Honey-Dos for sustaining energy and optimism? We’d love, love to hear them.

P.S. This encore post comes with in-couragement that you take a few moments to learn the story behind one brave girl, Jessica Joy Rees, who started the Joy Jars movement for children (like her) suffering in hospitals and may never go home again.



  1. Love this post, Jone. Just three simple steps to enrich our own lives and the lives of others.

    • Your comments mean so much to me, Susan, thanks so much for the positive feedback! You’re a great teacher of the writing craft–definitely gives me the “what I’m aspiring to” bar, YOUR writing. Glad my insights are valuable. #PeaceHugs & #Gratitude,

  2. Amie Lapp Payne says:

    THANK YOU for “breaking it down” for us—three simple steps each of us can take to make major LEAPS toward more joy, greater happiness, and plenty of peace in the coming year. Take it from this crazed mother of three-year-old twins…WE NEED IT (or at least I DO)! My “Honey-Do” for you: Receive all of the love and appreciation that is coming your way and let it fill YOU with joy!

  3. So honored and inspired by how you included your reflections on this post and made it fresh, insightful! Thank you Susan, that’s awesome.


  1. […] take a look at Jone’s suggestions. They are simple and […]

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