Thursday, February 27, 2014
Two months into (what is supposed to be) my “year of fun” I had a big realization: I keep forgetting that I’m supposed to be having fun. Sad? Perhaps; but true nonetheless. (To read about my decision to make 2014 my year of fun, please visit: ‘Fun, Happiness, Peace, Success…What’s Your 2014 Intention?’ I will spare you all the details but last week I found myself on a 90 minute car ride (one way) to do something I was dreading and did not want to do. During my car ride, as I was mentally bitching about what I was on my way to do, I suddenly remembered: “I’m supposed to be having fun every day this year! I’m not supposed to say yes to anything unless it in someway contributes to me having more fun so what on earth am I doing right now?!” No, I didn’t turn around, despite how much I wanted to; I made a commitment and was intent on keeping it but I also realized that, for the better part of the prior four weeks, I’d completely forgotten about my intention to make 2014 my year of fun. I had forgotten because I, like many of you, am on autopilot most of the time. So much of what I do each day has become automatic that I don’t really think through what it feels like anymore let alone whether or not it will be fun.
My intention to infuse fun into my days resulted from my realization that daily fun wasn’t happening enough for me over the past few years. Obviously this idea of saying no to things that don’t contribute to my experiencing fun is new for me; I typically say yes to any opportunity I’m presented with, as long as it fits into my schedule. That is my habit, my pattern and clearly the way I automatically operate. And, that is what I was committed to changing in 2014 with my “year of fun” intention.
Yet, after 2 months of forgetting (in the most honest ‘slipping of the mind’ way possible), I realized unless I do something to infuse this idea into each of my days, it will never happen. I need to remind myself to remember to ask the question, “Is what you’re doing contributing to having more fun?” Every. Single. Day. You are probably thinking that it should be easy to remember this – what’s so hard about remembering fun? But clearly, for me, it is not easy. It’s not top of mind as I charge into each day with the intention of being productive and efficient. Those are my “go-to” actions: productive, efficient. Not fun.
So, to help myself out, I need reminders. I decided to implement a few ways to remind myself to remember that it’s my year of fun. First, I journal every morning so, on my journal is a neon green sticky note that says “FUN”. Next, I put a weekday reminder in my calendar for 7AM, which says “What are you doing to have fun today?” And finally, I put a weekly Friday afternoon reminder in my calendar that says “What’s on you agenda for fun next week?” so that as I’m reviewing the following week’s schedule, I can readjust to ensure that the tasks are oriented towards more fun for me.
When we are trying to change any behavior or create a new ritual or habit in life, we have to remind ourselves to remember. We are creatures of habit and most of what we do each day, we do without consciously thinking it through. This is why when we want to create a new habit or behavior we need those constant reminders. Eventually I won’t need the reminder bells coming from my calendar or on sticky notes in front of my face because after a while, I will simply remember that each task and each day this year, for me, needs to include some fun. And then it will be a habit, my new norm. The intent is that “fun” becomes as normal for me each day as “productive” and “efficient” have been for most of my adult life. Now that I’m reminding myself to remember, I’m much more hopeful that this will be the case!