Today’s big idea is that in order to invite more fun into your life, it helps to give some thought to what you consider to be fun, and what you’ve been doing for fun lately, and objectively assess whether you might need to prioritize fun a little more. I think of it as doing a fun inventory.
That may sound like a clinical approach to playfulnuess, but what you inspect, you respect. Also, what you focus on grows.
Listen to the Podcast Here
So let’s give some unbiased thought to what you’ve been doing for fun lately
Your tiny assignment for today is to think back on the few weeks and write down the things you’ve been doing for fun. Resist the urge to go back and forth in your mind about whether whatever pops in to your head was truly fun before you write it down–we’ll cover that step in just a few moments.
Also remind yourself that your idea of fun doesn’t have to match anyone else’s. Last week a friend of mine sent a group text saying that she was listening to Glennon Doyle’s podcast on fun while scrubbing the grout in her bathroom. And my friend said that, to her, scrubbing the grout WAS fun. Who am I to judge what she thinks is fun and what isn’t? Fun is as personal as your sense of humor, and just as you don’t want to yuck anybody else’s yum, you don’t want to yuck your own yum when you’re writing down the things you’ve done recently that you enjoyed.
After all, chores can be gratifying and that repetitive physical movement can really get your thoughts flowing into some groovy brain waves. So if folding that mountain of laundry was fun for you, well boo ya! Write it down.
Once you have your list, put a star next to or circle the things you did for fun that left you feeling somehow better afterward
These are the things that are the nutritious type of fun–they make you feel alive and in the moment and refreshed. And then just see if any of the things on your list actually made you feel worse–that would be the empty calorie kind of fun, that, like eating an entire bag of chips, maybe seemed like a fun idea at the time but then once they were over, maybe left you feeling icky. For those things, I want you to draw a line through them because those are fake forms of fun. And while there’s a time and a place for everything, the goal of taking this inventory is to pay more attention to the fun that fills you up, and doing less of the things that just eat up your time and prevent you from engaging in more nutritious fun.
Now ask–how can I do more of those nutritious forms of fun, and less of the empty calorie kind?
If you want a refresher on the two types again, go back and listen to yesterday’s episode, number 532.
Here’s my list:
We made sushi for dinner last night and even though there’s a lot of little steps it was fun to work on something together as a family. Last week I absolutely sang my brains out to Endless Love while riding in the car with my girl Paige, and while sitting around the campfire when we went camping over Labor Day weekend. And this morning I went through this box filled with tiny toys that the kids have outgrown and really marveled at the ice cream cone erasers and anthropomorphic slippers and neon colored ninjas and realized I needed to find a way to put them out in a cardboard box somewhere at kid eye level with a free sign, because they would just blow kids’ minds.
Those are what pop out at me, but now that I’ve thought about it, I’m on the lookout for more fun things to do
I also played a fair amount of Boggle on my phone. Which, I’m just now realizing, is starting to make me feel gross. It used to be a way for me to interact with long-distance friends and now I’m playing with strangers and only seem to be finding the same words over and over again. That’s a sign that your fun is empty calorie–you need more of it over time because the reward from it diminishes. Ugh, Boggle, I think it’s time we took a break! After all, I’ve got lots of little household projects–like going through toys and finding a way to make this very boring brown bulletin board look more appealing.
To inspire you to assess your own fun activities, I’ll leave you with this quote from Julia Child: “You must have discipline to have fun.”
It may not sound like an enjoyable thing to do, but doing a little structured thinking around the ways that you have fun will help you have more of it!
And, be sure to come back tomorrow
When I’m interviewing holistic psychologist and yoga teacher Dr. Rachel Allyn about how to up our experience of that companion to fun–pleasure–into our lives. Yes please!