No matter where you are in life — successful in your corporate job, enjoying your passion project, or looking for love — there’s always a chance that you’re more focused on the next step of your success than anything else. I have always believed that having your “next right step” revealed to you entails you being in a state of fun and enjoyment.
But of course, there are a lot of excuses that come up whenever I say this to someone. “I’m busy.”, “I can’t fit that into my schedule.”, “I don’t want to be selfish.” You’re probably thinking of a version of this right now.
Let me tell you this. You’re not selfish to prioritise joy in your life because it’s where everything good begins. When you’re happy, you tend to be more productive. When you feel good, you’re more confident with interacting with others. When you’re relaxed, you get to be more creative. You can be happier than you are now. You just have to choose that.
If you think you’re too busy for anything fun… I would love for you to try these steps (which I have tried and successfully worked for me) and let me know what you think:
#1 Figure out the activities you like doing.
This is the phase when you do what you came in this life to do. Try out different things that interest you then figure out which ones you’d like to continue doing and which ones were only meant to be one-offs.
I did this by signing up for a mobile app that allows me to book a variety of exercises classes within the city. I was able to book a hot yoga class on Monday, a spin class on Tuesday, a yin yoga class on Wednesday, and so on. Every time I attend a class, I make a mental note of how much joy it made me feel during and after the session.
#2 Determine which activities you currently have in your calendar can be delegated or removed from your plate altogether.
When you get used to life being a routine, you rarely re-assess if what you’re doing still worked as much as it did before or if you’re doing something just because it’s in the calendar. This is the phase to change that. Sit and determine which activities in your calendar are “negotiables” for you — which ones can be delegated to an assistant? Which ones are outdated? Which ones can be scrapped altogether? Do the necessary follow throughs and watch your calendar, and your life, open up.
#3 Plan to do one or two enjoyable activities per week.
With activities you enjoy clear in your mind and with your calendar opened up, you can now fit the two together. You can feel into it every Sunday as you prepare for the week ahead and schedule classes as it feels good for you. You can always revisit what you’ve planned to replace it with what else feels good at the moment, even if it has to be work. You have to be mindful of how many times you’re doing that though because making that as an “excuse” every single time defeats the purpose of this whole thing.
Planning your joy doesn’t have to be too structured or overthought. If you read the three steps again, you’ll realise how sensical it all is. But as obvious as it should be, I still want to raise awareness that there is always room for joy in your life no matter what phase you’re in. You are in control of how you experience the world, so step into that power and allow yourself to enjoy even if it means just one to two hours a week.