I recently spent a weekend at my dear friend Alison's home. What was supposed to be a girls weekend including 3 of our friends from nursing school ending up being the two of us, both recovering from recent illness because tis the season for all the respiratory crud. We spent the weekend drinking tea, talking about my recent trip to Ecuador, painting, reading, journaling, watching Christmas movies, and indulging in some delicious eats. Alison is one of those people who, after spending time with, I always walk away from feeling incredibly inspired. Her home is tucked away on 5 acres in small-town South Carolina. It's full of colorful artwork, books galore, and enough plants to make my plant-loving heart sing. I have no choice but to start dreaming and envisioning and planning and wondering...
A few days after my weekend with her, I started thinking about kids. Random, I know. Bear with me. Have you noticed how we encourage children to play? To read? To create? To constantly be learning, growing, discovering new things and challenging themselves? But then we grow up and the exploration and that sense of wonder stops. Because who's got the time? And if you had the time, who's got the energy? Our phones, social media accounts, and Netflix beckon us and oftentimes win when it comes to how we spend our free time. But having hobbies and meaningful ways of spending our time has many benefits including enriching our lives, reducing stress, and offering new opportunities for social connection.
As a coach, one of the primary obstacles that people tell me gets in the way of implementing new habits is the amount of time spent scrolling on our phones. Most people initially say that they don't have time to do the things they want but upon further investigation, it's not about having the time but, rather, how we're using that time. What could you do if you spent less time on whatever it is that distracts you and more time on that thing that could bring some additional pleasure and joy into your world?
Questions to consider:
~What's something you can do in the new year (or anytime of year) that will encourage a mentality of exploration, learning and play in your life? It can be something new that you want to learn, a class you want to take, or an old hobby that you want to pick up again.
~How might your desired area of focus contribute to your personal wellness goals?
~How will you incorporated this desired area of focus into your life?
~When will you get started? What do you need to have in place to help you get started?
~What distractions tend to get in the way? How will you manage them?
My personal list of things I want to explore include the following:
Learn to play chess.
Learn how to properly use my DSLR camera.
Knit more consistently - finish the projects that I start!
Take a painting class.
Write one blog post each month.
Need some inspiration? Here's a list of 16 things to help get your juices flowing:
Take a woodworking course.
Take a photography course.
Learn to play an instrument or dust off the one you already have.
Become an expert in telling a good joke.
Grow your own veggies.
Bake/cook/brew beer or kombucha.
Teach your dog a new trick.
Learn how to invest your money.
Explore a new hiking trail each month.
Learn to make your own candles.
Become a birdwatcher.
Learn outdoor survival skills.
Take a dance class.