Lesson Learning #3: Do something you love.
The thing that I’m learning about accomplishing my dreams that has actually surprised me the most is that it’s really important for me to take time to enjoy my life. It will be easier for me to accomplish anything–fun or unfun–if I spend 20 minutes a day doing something I LOVE.
I really can’t take credit for learning this lesson on my own. I definitely needed help with this one. I’m the sort that always thought I should earn my pleasure. If I did the laundry, then I earned a trip to the beach. The problem is that I was stuck in a rut of not doing anything. So not only was I not accomplishing my goals, I wasn’t having any fun either. And I was beating myself up about it.
I was talking to my counselor (because I’m a normal person and normal, sane people have counselors) and she asked me what I do with my spare time. I listed off fun things like budgeting and dishes, who really has spare time these days? She asked me what kinds of things really give me joy and life. Something that when I’m done doing it, I feel good and relaxed.
Uh, I like going to the beach. Or sitting at a coffee shop with either a friend or my journal.
My homework for the week? Go to the beach.
When we met again two weeks later she asked about my time taking care of myself. I laid out at the pool, I went on two hikes with my husband, I called my friends who are far away and went to coffee with friends close by. She told me I looked like a different person and I could feel it.
You want to know what else happened besides feeling better? I didn’t miss a run those two weeks. The house was clean and I don’t remember worrying about it. It turns out, trying to earn some fun in my life ruined all the fun. But having fun gave me the will power to do the things I needed to do.
If you’re having trouble getting off your butt, then don’t! Don’t try to go do something you’ve never wanted to do! Think about something you can do to take care of yourself, and I don’t mean make a list of chores: Shower, Fix Hair and Brush Teeth. I mean go play with some puppies in the local shelter. If you’re not in Sunny San Diego, bundle up and walk outside after the sun’s gone down and enjoy the way the snow comes to life under the city lights. Don’t take your camera or try to accomplish something. Just relax.
Take 20 minutes and ENJOY something. Then come back here and tell me what you did–I’d love any new suggestions or ideas!