Welcome back to Day Five of the Jump Start January mini challenge. A significant part of happiness seems to be linked to ‘being in the now’ or having a mindful approach to your current situation and surroundings, but most of us also need a sense of direction in our lives to feel truly great. In other words, we have to look positively to the future too.
Today’s activity is to take practical steps towards doing more of the things you love by putting two things to look forward to into your diary. Making an appointment with yourself in this way means you’re creating the room to be optimistic as the events approach, enjoy life in the moment while you’re doing your chosen activities, and hopefully form some happy memories to look back on later.
We all like to know that something pleasant or exciting is on its way, and it helps to promote feelings of anticipation, motivation and general optimism. Positive intentions are a great place to start, but we also need to commit to making enough time to do them, otherwise we risk less enjoyable work, chores or other obligations eating into our schedules and getting in the way of having some fun.
Two events to put into your diary
- A simple, quick activity (up to an hour long) that you’re going to schedule in for tomorrow or the day after.
- A slightly longer leisure activity (lasting two hours or more) that you’re going to do before the end of the month.
This will give you plenty of scope to do all kinds of different activities, big and small. The only rule is that each appointment you make with yourself has to be something you’re going to look forward to, rather than something ‘worthy’ or chore-like that you think you should do. You might even like to think of it as taking yourself on a play date, if that idea appeals.
Make your two diary dates as unique as you are, and make it as simple or as quirky as you like. Pick whatever you like, whether it’s energising or relaxing, indulgent or minimalist, new or familiar, sociable or precious time spent alone.
Some quick ideas to help you get started:
- Change into your pyjamas as soon as you get home, then watch your favourite television show.
- Meet an old friend for lunch or cook them a meal.
- Get tickets for a band or a sports event.
- Go to a local family fun day or free council event.
- Have a lie in or breakfast in bed at the weekend.
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to do, put each event into your diary or planner, or add it to your calendar. If it’s a digital calendar, you might like to add some alerts so you don’t forget, and maybe colour code it on the display so you know it’s something enjoyable to look forward to rather than a chore.
Filling your diary with things to look forward to doesn’t have to be expensive. Improvise with what you already have, and check local listings sites and magazines for free or subsidised things to do. There’s nearly always something for every taste on sites such as Meetup.com or Eventbrite, for example.
Take a break from the endless to-do lists and the general daily grind that can take over everything… fill your own schedule before the boring stuff creeps in and fills it for you!
What will you be adding to your diary to look forward to? Remember it’s one quick activity tomorrow, and a longer one before the end of January.