Written by Sarah Skotvold
This holiday season I’m encouraging you to set aside some time for fun and to try something new. Life gets busy and sometimes we forget to simply enjoy ourselves. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day tasks of living, and having fun can feel like a distant memory. Take responsibility for creating balance in your life and plan some time to integrate new experiences, so things do not get stagnant. When life is filled with exciting new experiences, it can increase your happiness and you are more likely to have a positive attitude. A positive attitude and happiness are directly linked to success in the workplace as Shawn Achor explains in his article “Positive Intelligence”.
One of the best ways you can bring some fun, excitement and happiness into your life is to try something you have never done before, so let’s get started! Make a list of things that ignite your interest or you’ve always wanted to try – it doesn’t have to be something intense like skydiving or bungee jumping (if you want to try them, by all means go for it!) but anything that you have wanted to try and haven’t. Drawing, painting, cooking, skiing, building a piece of furniture, zip lining, taking a road trip – it doesn’t matter what you do, it just needs to be something that you find interesting.
Pick one thing from the list and make a commitment to try it before the New Year. If trying something new scares you or makes you nervous it’s even better and that’s probably the thing you should do. I’m not suggesting you do something dangerous, but sometimes we avoid simple things without even realizing it. We think we can’t do them, so we get uneasy about trying them. One great example I can think of is a conversation I recently had with someone about a painting class I was taking. She commented that she would love to join but she couldn’t paint. I asked her if she had ever tried and her answer was “no”. Saying you can’t do something is not an option if you have never tried it. Many times we make assumptions we can’t do something when in reality it’s just a self-imposed limitation.
Another way we set limitations is by avoiding activities if we think we will not be good at them. Yes I paint, but am I good? It doesn’t matter. I enjoy the experience so I keep doing it. We don’t have to be the best at everything we do. The goal is to simply try something new and enjoy the activity for the sheer joy of it. If you end up discovering a new passion you are great at that’s fabulous, but don’t make it the purpose. If you are not great at the activity but you still enjoy it, just do it and have fun.
So go for it, schedule it, make it happen, whatever you need to do to put your new activity at the top of your to-do list this holiday season. Whether you end up loving it or hating it (I tried knitting once, let’s just say it’s not my thing) the boost of confidence and energy you will get from trying something new will be far more rewarding then spending your time wishing you had tried it. Have a great time and bring your renewed enthusiasm to your work in 2015 and beyond!
What new activity will you try?