[Image Source: Jason Ippolito]
Fun is like success. It means different things to different people. Fun has the capacity to rest, relax and recharge you. For some people, fun is curling up with a book, and for others, it’s jumping out of a place with a parachute. Whatever fun is for you, here is how you can incorporate it into every single day.
I thought I’d forgotten how to have fun. I used to love dirt bike riding, wake boarding and going out with my friends. But then I had kids. I met my fiancé, Holly, who had a five year old son and just over two years later, we welcomed our first son together. My life started to change. Over the next five years, we had three more children (two boys and one girl) and what I considered fun, had changed. What it meant to be Jacob had changed. My whole sense of self felt completely different.
I’d wanted to be a dad for some time. After coming out of a pretty serious relationship with a girlfriend who didn’t want kids, the fact Holly had a son was probably a huge part of the attraction and why we had children so quickly.
After our first son together was born, I sold my motorbike. I didn’t admit it to many people, and I only admitted it to Holly just recently, but I was scared that I might not come home one day flying around the bush on that thing. The increased priorities at home meant I didn’t have time to be going out with friends and the wake boarding trips became less frequent. That’s not to say we didn’t do anything with the kids. We went to Europe in 2011 and our newborn son traveled to ten different countries in his first ten months of life. That’s something I’m pretty proud of. Another thing I’m super proud of is that Holly did it from five months pregnant.
We continued to have fun but the life transition was difficult at times. I enjoyed having fun in new ways but I sometimes missed the old ways of having fun. There were times I regretted the sale of my dirt bike and resentment that I couldn’t go out wake boarding if there were other commitments. But it only took a glance at my newborn son to remind me of what fun now was. I loved spending time with him and my new family.
I changed from a mindset of me to we. We did things we all enjoyed. We didn’t stop doing things, but the sorts of things we did changed. Now, more than ever, I love taking my kids to the markets to have a smoothie and play on the playground; or to athletics on a Friday night; or to look for hermit crabs at the beach. Life sure has changed in the last six years and now, this is what I find fun.
How to Spend More Time Doing What’s Fun
- Define your values.
Clearly understand what you value in life. How do you prioritise all the components of your life? Based on experiences, attitudes and beliefs, most people know what they value; however, many don’t act this out in reality. Download one of my free resources to define your values. You can also download ‘From Fear and Fatigue to Freedom and Fulfillment’ for free on my website, to discover how you can establish if your perception of self and actual self are the same, and if they are not, how you can align them.
- Define what fun means to you.
What makes you light up when you do it? Establish a clear understanding of what relaxes you and energises you.
- Schedule your time.
Know what to expect for your upcoming week or two. This way you can manage your time better. Prepare for the unexpected. If there’s any certainty in life, it’s that life is uncertain. Unexpected events and requirements are going to come up. If your week is planned ahead, you can easily manage these events and make changes as required.
- Don’t be afraid to eliminate.
When unexpected demands come up, or you just need to take a rest, don’t be afraid to eliminate events from your calendar. With your week planned out you can easily see what events are less urgent. They can then be eliminated or postponed.
- Allocate time for fun.
When scheduling your calendar, be sure to allocate time for fun. It’s also important to add time for sleep, rest, relaxation, family and friends. What doesn’t get scheduled, often doesn’t get done. These are some of the most important aspects of life. Sleep and rest are in fact, performance enhancers, and you can’t perform at your best if they are reduced.
- Don’t worry.
Your work isn’t going to stop if you don’t send that email. If you’ve scheduled time for fun, go and do it. Don’t put it off to do what appears more important in the moment. When you’re off having fun, don’t be thinking about work. If you’re worried about work, write down all that you have to do and prioritise it. This gets it out of your mind and gives you a clear expectation for your next block of work. It also alleviates anxiety and allows you to be more present.
Scheduling your time allows you to be more organised, efficient, and present in each moment. When it’s time for fun, go and have fun. But, don’t be a robot. If you need some time away to rest, relax and recharge, whether that’s reading a book or skydiving, take solace in your plan to go and take the time for fun when you need it.
How do you have fun?
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