I’ve had several clients tell me lately they feel like they need more fun in their lives and sometimes I feel that too. With all the pressure to get things done, stay organized, work, family (the list goes on), it’s easy to let fun slide into the “someday/maybe” zone. So this month, I thought it would be *fun* to use our signature organizing process (yes, you know I love the process) to share some tips to add more fun into our lives.
Step 1: Create a Plan – I’ll acknowledge that creating a plan for fun isn’t exactly what you’d call spontaneous. But, research shows the “most enjoyable part of an activity is the anticipation. If you can’t take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendar—even if it’s a month or a year down the road. Then whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it.”
Step 2: Make Decisions – What’s on your “To Do” list that isn’t fun? Maybe instead of adding one more thing to your plate, your fun will be letting go of something that’s not fun at all. Can you let it go or delegate it to someone else?
Step 3: Find a Home – Think about what’s fun for you, how much time you can spend doing it and put it on your calendar. Do you find that those not urgent items slide off the calendar and never happen? Consider having your fun with a friend. Even if it’s a solitary activity, being with another person is shown to increase your happiness.
Step 4: Label Everything – Label your thoughts and remember when you are having fun. You can turn to those for a guaranteed boost when you need it. Take time to look back and savor those moments that made you smile.
Step 5: Sustain Your Fun – Frequency beats intensity. What’s that mean? Lots of little fun things make you happier than a few big things. What can you do to have a little fun more often? Research shows these three ideas are helpful:
1. write down what you’re grateful for or what’s going right in your life
In closing, here’s a quote from UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb: “Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision making. Decision making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives you more to be grateful for, which keeps that loop of the upward spiral going. Enjoyment also makes it more likely you’ll exercise and be social, which, in turn, will make you happier.”
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