“If you are not having fun you are doing something wrong.” ~Groucho Marx
I was at my eye doctor’s office many years ago and he asked me what I do for fun. He said he asks this of everyone to see how they use their eyes.
We got into a heavy conversation about how I feel many people no longer have fun. It seems like once people get into adulthood, we forget how or don’t even know what we think is fun.
Oftentimes, people get up, go to a job they hate, come home, make dinner, and watch TV before going to bed, just do it all over again the next day. And don’t get me started on how people waste their entire weekends on chores and catching up on errands.
The human race is bored!
My doctor shared a story with me about a time when he asked one of his clients what she did for fun, and she burst into tears. She admitted to him that she doesn’t have fun anymore. She is a wife, mom, and working woman, and she forgot what fun looks like.
She told him that before she got married she used to paint, but that she hasn’t in years. She used to spend hours, losing track of time, painting beautiful portraits. She said that painting was a huge part of who she was, and she lost that.
A few weeks later my eye doctor received a package came in the mail. It was a beautiful hand-painted card that this client had painted for him. She thanked him profusely for waking her up to her passion of painting. She took it up again and it was bringing her peace, joy, and fun!
Unfortunately, too many of us are just like this woman. We get caught up with the kids, house, job, chores, parents, dog—life—and we forget to have fun.
I make it a point to have some fun every weekend. It can be as simple as walking the dog with friends, working out, or doing something new I have never done before. I go back to work renewed when I have fun during my weekend. I am a better spouse, worker, and person.
Below are nine ways to add fun into your life:
Daydreaming gets a bad rap, but in fact, daydreaming is your mind’s way of sending your soul a message. If you daydream in a positive manner, you’ll be amazed at how creative your mind can be and the secrets it will tell you.
Take a few minutes a day to sit and be quiet and just let your mind wander. Daydream about the kind of life you’d like to have. Anything is possible in dreams, so let loose and don’t hold yourself back.
Pay attention and don’t think anything is foolish. You might want to write what you come up with on a piece of paper.
As the saying goes, “if you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.”
2. Design your “perfect” twin.
Oftentimes we can’t imagine ourselves stepping out of our comfort zone and doing something new and different. We get so locked into what we know that we can’t let go of who we think we are.
Many years ago I gave a workshop and had the participants create their perfect “twin.” I asked them to make up another self that they wished to be. This exercise freed people; it gave them permission to be anyone they desired because it took the focus off of them.
This should be fun and freeing, so let loose and make your twin be anything you want! What qualities would you give your twin? What would they do for fun and work? Who would their friends be?
3. Write your own obituary.
Okay, this may seem rather morbid, but this can have an eye-opening effect. Imagine you are at your own funeral with all of your friends, colleagues, and family gathered around. What would you want them to say about you?
“Her house was always clean.”
“He was a workaholic.”
Or would you rather hear things like “She was so much fun, up for anything or “He didn’t take life too seriously and was always having a good time no matter what he was doing”?
Write what you think they would say currently, and then write another obituary saying what you’d like them to say. What do you need to change?
4. Create a vision board.
Still can’t figure out what’s fun for you? Try making a vision board.
Take a poster board and grab some old magazines, scissors, and glue. Flip through the magazines and cut out pictures and phrases that make you feel excited or hold meaning for you.
Once you have them cut out, paste them to the poster board. Do you see a theme? What is the board telling you?
5. Get rid of limiting beliefs.
What we tell ourselves becomes our reality. If we think we can’t do something, then we can’t or won’t even try.
For example, let’s say someone suggests skiing as something you might find fun. If you tell yourself that you’ll never be able to balance on skis, you probably won’t even try skiing.
Stop reinforcing these limiting beliefs and start telling yourself you can do it.
6. Give yourself permission.
So many people don’t give themselves permission to have fun because they think it will detract from their responsibilities.
Life is meant to be fun. What kid doesn’t love to see their mom or dad having fun, especially if it’s with them?
Yes, we all have things that we are responsible for—kids, parents, house, job—but we need to remember to add in fun and give ourselves permission to have it. You’ll be a better person for it.
7. Observe others.
Sometimes I like to watch other people who seem to be having fun. I can be too serious at times, and when I feel like I can’t loosen up, I watch other folks who can.
I had a gym teacher who was so much fun. Everyone loved her and she looked so comfortable in her skin and like she was having fun all the time.
What did I notice? She laughed at herself all the time, she found the positive in everything, and she genuinely appreciated the good things in her life.
Without her even knowing, she taught me how to have fun just by being herself.
8. Count your blessings.
People who count their blessings rather than complain about their troubles just naturally have more fun.
Think about the people you know who are always moaning and groaning about their life. How much fun do you think they have? Would they even know fun if it bit them in the nose?
Start a gratitude journal and see how much more fun life becomes without much effort.
9. Stop being a perfectionist.
I knew a woman many years ago that loved to knit, but wouldn’t show anyone her pieces because she thought they weren’t good enough. In fact, she gave up knitting years before because she thought she wasn’t good at it.
Who cares if you aren’t the best golfer or guitar player? If you are having fun and you enjoy it, isn’t that the most important thing? You may or may not improve with time and practice, but that isn’t what matters.
You don’t have to feel that something is missing from your life or accept that your life is dull. It simply takes a little bit of hunting and soul searching and you can bring some joy and fun back into your life.
Try these nine tips and see how much fun you and your family can enjoy.
Kids having fun image via Shutterstock