I’ve wrapped up 2017 with a long list of accomplishments. I’ve created my Why that brings me to tears: get more women into positions of power. I’ve rallied my team, which now includes a new mastermind group of KICKASS women business owners who are going to support me in breaking my business wide open—and that’s a good thing! It’s all quite serious and powerful and inspiring. I’ve never been more prepared for a year to start than I am right now. A fellow coach commented, "You’ve been shot out of a cannon this new year."
Yes, it is true, but immediately it became clear to me: I’m over-indexed on intensity and well, where’s the fun of 2018? I must create a release valve where all of this excess energy can go, as well as a way to celebrate my hard work.
I wish I didn’t need to impart a process for you to add fun back into your life, but if you sat in on as many client sessions as I have, where it is clearly at the bottom of the priority list—I promise, you would do the same.
But, before I un-fun my fun blog post with homework, I want to remind you why fun is important and why it is not what you may think—frivolous and unproductive.
Like clean eating and movement, fun is fuel—a renewable resource at your disposal if you so choose. It’s in that fun, that we let go of being stuck, we give up resistance and we experience the best moments of our lives. It’s the stuff that makes us want to keep going and to redouble efforts everywhere else. Who wouldn’t want all that?
So, where do you start? Here’s a simple 3 step approach to bring back the fun (I feel a hashtag coming on…) and make 2018 the year you remove the stick from an obvious body part.
1. Make a list of the things that bring you fun and joy
This is not what you think should be fun or what your sister thinks is fun. This is about you. What makes you pee your pants laughing? What brings a smile you can’t wipe from your face? What brings you the kind of joy that makes you feel like a kid? Make a list of things. Remove judgment from all that’s on the list. I don’t care that jumping on a trampoline is your north star! So why should you?
2. Schedule fun into your calendar and make it a priority
Take a look at your list and choose a couple of things that you want to pepper into your calendar of choice. Treat these appointments like your most pressing, urgent, important meetings of your week. Protect your fun time. When that’s the only time someone else can meet with you, practice saying, "I’m not available." Silence. No need to say, "I can’t because I’ll be sword fighting at that time." They don’t need to know this. That’s between you and your sword.
3. Notice your resistance to fun
As with everything in life, your resistance is an opportunity to learn. If you’re not able to keep your commitments to your fun practice, reflect on why that is and how a fun-free week is working for you. What does fun bring up for you? Experiment with only scheduling 15 minutes and actually doing it. What did you feel during that time? Were you desperate to be productive? Or did you feel like you needed to be perfect in your fun? Like you’re not doing fun right? Take some notes in a journal about what your resistance is bringing up for you and you may find some answers you weren’t expecting to come out of your scheduled 15 minutes of visiting the dog run sans dog.
I now sound like my daughters where every conversation is simply a vehicle to bring up our upcoming adoption of the dog that will join our family sometime in 2018. Our dog is part of my 2018 fun plan, along with a week in the woods, more time with friends and dancing. 2018: less sitting, more dancing! And fun. More fun, please!