Many of us have been raised to think that we should always put ourselves last. We are programmed to think that self-indulgence is a bad thing. I believe that in order to have a truly peaceful life, we need to make time to do those things we really want to do – in moderation, of course. Balance is also key to a peaceful life – too much of anything isn’t going to work.
Do you allow time for fun in your life? With all the things you have to do, you might sometimes feel like you don’t get to do all those fun, frivolous and interesting things you want to do. So what if you just did them? What if you planned activities you’ve wanted to do forever, spread over a year of your life?
You might not be able to squeeze in every single thing you want to do, but even planning for a few of your long-neglected dreams might make next year the most adventurous, enjoyable year of your life. Only you can make it happen.
Think about it – and then consider these suggestions in your planning:
Make a list
Get out a nice notebook that you can look back on later, and start a list. Include everything you’ve wanted to do but thought you didn’t have time for in your already busy life.
Some examples: get a professional massage, complete a photography course, do yoga five days a week for three months to see if I get any results, take a road trip with my BFF, spend a weekend away with my spouse, read the entire series of my favorite author, or watch all y most memorable movies again just for fun.
Whatever your pleasure, put it on the list. Remind yourself that you’re worth the time, effort and money to do what you truly want to do. Go ahead… indulge yourself – guilt free! (After all, it’s only a list.)
Make your selections
Take some time to revel in your list, let it all sink in, and imagine what it feels like to do each item. Then, with a highlighter, mark all those activities you could realistically do. For example, you could probably do a one-week trip away but a month traveling in Europe might not be possible right now. Stay open-minded and honestly evaluate each item you get excited about. If at all possible, vow to make your most special activities happen.
Consider the financial costs
On your list, write down an estimated cost for each item. Remember that you’ve got some time to save some cash or work the budget so it’s possible to do what you want during your self-indulgent year. Plus, some of your activities might not cost a cent.
Get out next year’s calendar
This step is exciting. Thoughtfully consider each activity you’ve decided to include in your year and plug them in month by month.
During your self-indulgent year, you’ll still be doing what you usually do, like going to work, cleaning the house, and keeping the yard in order. You’ll just be using your spare time more productively to do the things you want to do.
If an activity involves others, like spending a weekend with your brother, call him and tell him what you’d like to do. Insist that you’re serious about having a weekend together and discuss your plans in terms of which month his schedule is open.
This step is not only exciting, it is essential. You need to plan, and to commit. Some items may require saving the money for another time, and if that is the case, feel free to add them to another year on your calendar – just be sure to stay committed. Share your adventures with someone who will appreciate what you are doing and gently hold you accountable so you don’t lose momentum or interest.
Lay the groundwork
Check into the specifics of each of the items on your list. For example, if you want to have a professional massage, get some referrals from friends or look online for the best local masseuses. Make a list of the names and numbers of a few of them. If you want to take a class, does your local community college or neighborhood center offer the one you’re looking for?
You’ll feel exhilarated as you seriously consider doing the things you’ve dreamed about forever. If you have a partner, inform them about the year you’re planning. Share your excitement! Plus, in the event you’ll need some assistance to make your activities happen, you’ll want to discuss your needs with people who can help.
You’re worth it
Recognize that you’re worth whatever it takes to experience your dreams. Follow the steps above to work toward experiencing one of the best years you’ve ever had. Don’t let life’s day to day busyness get in the way. Make time to review your list and your schedule regularly. Plan, Save, and Experience – Who knows, your self-indulgent year just might change your life!
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.
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