Photo courtesy of Mohamed Malik
“This year is the year I’m going to make myself a priority.”
That is what I said to myself last year at this time, and the most important thing I did after that was follow through on my promise to myself. This year, you can do it too, no matter what difficult situation(s) you’re dealing with at the moment. It is extremely important to find ways to do more of what you love, and you can start by using the list below as a guide. I promise you that you won’t regret it.
- Create “Me” time. Make a conscious decision to schedule time that is specifically designated to doing things that you enjoy. To ensure that your “Me” time activities are honored, put them on any calendars that you share with your significant other or family members who require prior knowledge of what you’ll be doing in the near future.
- Participate in activities that feed your soul. Take some time to analyze what things give you the most enjoyment. If you’re finding that you don’t seem to have enough time to do all the fun things you used to do – prioritize. Quality really does win over quantity in this case.
- Live in the now. Putting mindfulness practices into action in your life will increase the number of things that give you intense pleasure. When you get good enough at mindful living, even the simplest activities will bliss you out.
- Love the one you’re with. Simply put, look for the happiness that already exists in your day-to-day life. Falling in love with your spouse all over again or getting to know your children on a deeper level are two examples of finding joy right in your own home.
- Get proactive about being productive. Train your brain so that you have the most effectual habits and productive routines, leaving you with more free time for leisure activities.
- Learn to let the word ‘no’ come more easily. Saying ‘no’ can be quite a challenge for some people, but consistently saying ‘yes’ to everyone’s needs but your own will leave you overscheduled and overstressed.
- If you were dealt a bad hand, trade in your cards. If too many things are making you unhappy in life, you’re highly unlikely to derive much pleasure out of anything. It’s never too late to make changes – even significant ones.
- Share your enthusiasm with your loved ones. Try to get your family members excited about the things you love doing. If you can get them on board, you’ll get less complaints and demands for your time.
- Ask, and ye shall receive. Sometimes, you simply have to ask for time to do the things you love. Try it and see what happens.
- Where there’s a will, there’s a way. As I recently told my son, “Never give up on something you really want.”
- Read This Year I Will… This book will help you follow through on your promises to yourself, giving you the skills you need to attend to your happiness.
In an ideal world, you’d be doing what you love and loving what you do every day. However, if you can’t do both (all of the time, anyway), take action to ensure that you spend time doing what you love as often as you possibly can.