As the new year arrives, I feel compelled to look back over the past twelve months and start to make plans for what’s to come next. A new year is so symbolic: it’s like a blank canvas. Anything is possible – even the things we might not ordinarily dream could become a reality.
I like the idea of taking the time to look objectively at what I’ve been doing, as it’s all too easy to get bogged down in day-to-day tasks and forget what’s really important in life.
I must admit that I’ve been guilty of forgetting all about fun. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes get so focused on my never-ending to-do lists that, before I know it, I’m caught up in a cycle of productivity exercises and I forget to actually enjoy life.
“Am I having any fun?” can be a question we forget to ask ourselves.
If you think you’ve gotten caught up in the hamster wheel of work and productivity, these three actions might help you add a little bit of fun back into your life.
1) Indulge yourself
The internet is chockablock with techniques advocating less sleep and more action. It often feels like having fun is a minor frivolity – something we don’t have time for when there are so many urgent and high priority tasks shouting for our attention.
Try carving a little bit of regular me-time into your schedule. Devote that time to whatever makes you smile, regardless of how indulgent it may seem.
Perhaps take a long, hot soak in a bubble-filled bath surrounded by candles. Watch a box set of your favorite trash TV show. You know it’s complete garbage but hey, you enjoy it. Not everything in life has to have deep meaning or purpose.
2) Live in the present
Taking the time to be mindful and to focus on the present, with all the sensations, sights, and smells around you, is a great way to center yourself and to rekindle your enjoyment of life. We’re all so busy and often so focused on the future and on what we need to do that we forget to stop and enjoy what’s happening right now.
Walking in the park and feeling the sun, rain, or wind on your face can make you feel truly alive. Have fun experiencing the world around you, consciously observing, listening, and feeling your environment. Take a camera with you, or collect leaves and seed pods on your walk, so you can capture the experience to enjoy again later.
Remember the fun of being a kid and jumping in puddles, kicking piles of autumn leaves, or rolling down a grassy hill? Being an adult doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy doing these things. Try viewing the world around you with the inquisitive and imaginative eyes of your younger self.
3) Learn a skill (just for the heck of it!)
There are classes out there which would be great at injecting a little fun into your week. Perhaps I could tempt you to sign up for belly dancing, laughter yoga, or comedy improvisation? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to walk a tightrope, swing from a trapeze, or juggle with fire?
Could now be the time to start taking life a little less seriously with a weekly dose of fun? Talk about an excellent New Years goal.
Over to you!
How do you ensure a good balance between being productive and having fun? What’s your favourite fun thing to do?
Bev is an artist, creativity coach and founder of Kickass Creatives, a website offering practical support to frustrated creatives. She’s over 20 years of working in the arts: experimenting with everything from performing in a fire circus and managing a hiphop dance company, through to web consultancy and jewellery design. Bev is passionate about using her experience to enable others to fully develop (rather than hide) their multitude of talents too. Connect with her on Twitter @creativekickass.