Awhile back when I was doing an appreciation list, I realized that, although thoughts and feelings are of utmost importance (which the appreciation list comprises), we are physical beings living in a physical world and our activities cannot be dismissed. So, along with appreciating, I have found that doing things that are joyful is also a big part of being joyful. Yes, having a joyful attitude no matter what activity we are doing is essential. But why not also deliberately put joyful activities on our to-do lists, as well. I’m a list person, so I made a list, ‘Do 3-5 things that bring me joy today’. I have a tendency to get caught up in things I have to do, as many people do. What this list does is remind us to make time for joyful activities. The joy list is vital because before we know it the day is over and we didn’t get to do anything we enjoyed. And before we know it our lives will be over and we didn’t do anything we enjoyed. A joyful day- each day – adds up to a joyful life.
The list also brings into our awareness that what we are doing is joyful; we remember and acknowledge joy. For me, a lot of times I don’t even realize I am doing something I enjoy because too much of my focus is on the negative (ego in charge). I have realized that I am more joyful than my ego would like me to think! The joy activity list serves as a reminder that we are indeed leading a good, happy life which may just be covered up by a focus on the negative.
What kinds of things are on a joy to-do list? They don’t have to be big, exciting, thrilling activities. Bigger isn’t better. Remember the point is to remember and acknowledge joy. A typical list of mine includes things, such as, listen to music I love, exercise, walk in nature, talk or email with family, do an art/craft project, read an inspiring book, watch a funny show. This will be a very personalized list. Whatever is enjoyable to you can be on your list. Remember the point is not what you are doing, but that you are making a deliberate effort to do what you enjoy and acknowledging the fact that you are doing it.
At the end of the day I like to think about each thing I did on my joy list. That is when it really sinks in that I did indeed have a fun, joy-filled day and the ego cannot tell me otherwise. This review really makes the most of the joy activity because not only do we enjoy the activity in the moment of doing it, but then we get to re-live the good feeling when we think back on it.
What’s on your joy to-do list today?