Okay, the year is only two weeks old, and I am sure some of you have already blown off your New Year’s resolutions by now. But if one of your resolutions this year was to have more fun, it’s not too late to start doing that. To help you out, I’ve come up with five things that can help all of us have a little more fun in the upcoming year.
- Take A Freaking Improv Class
No surprise, this leads off the list. If having more fun is one of your goals this year, I can’t think of a better way to give you a jump start than taking an improv class or improv workshop. People who have never taken an improv class or workshop before are usually pretty terrified. They think they’re going to have to get up on stage all alone and be embarrassed. Improv is the exact opposite of that – you’ll rarely doing anything without the support of other people. But you will be taking huge risks by acting silly and you won’t even realize you’re doing it.
I work with a lot of people who have never done improv before and most of them end up having a blast. And they end up learning a lot of principles that can help them have more fun in the rest of their lives, such as being more in the moment, letting go of control, letting go of outcomes, and saying yes to other people’s ideas. In fact, many people tell me that taking improv classes greatly improves their lives, and they hold me responsible.
- Make Fun a Priority
All of us are super busy. Our lives take a lot of work and our work usually takes priority. If we have to cut something out, it’s usually fun. But living a life that’s all work and no play just makes us depressed and stressed out, so we have to make an effort to do things in our lives that bring us joy. How can we make that happen? Schedule some fun activities into your life. Put them on the calendar and invite at least one other person to do it with you so you are held accountable. If you’re like me you try to do your fun activity alone, you won’t have very good odds that your fun will actually happen, and you’ll end up staying at home and doing work instead.
- No News Is Good News
I used to read the newspaper every day and read a ton of news stories online. Recently, I’ve cut my news consumption way, way back. It rarely makes me feel good and usually causes more anxiety in my life. Plus, staying up on the news takes a lot of time. First, you have to read it. Then you have to obsess about it, and then if I am really upset, I have to get on the phone and talk to someone about it. And this rarely makes me feel better or brings more joy into my life. And just to be clear, just because I’m consuming less news doesn’t mean I care less about what is going in the world or that I am not going to vote or that I am stopping doing things to protect the environment. It just means that I am focusing my energy more on having fun than on worrying.
- Spend More Time with Friends
People are fun. They are really fun. If I think back on the things that I had the most fun doing last year, they almost always included people. Spending time with friends doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Just going out and having coffee with a friend or having people over for dinner is a great way of having more fun. So remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to involve other people.
- Fun Does Not Have to Feel Fun; It Can Feel Uncomfortable
This might see a little strange, but having fun doesn’t always “feel” fun. In fact, if you’re not used to having fun, you may feel all sorts of feelings besides happy when you’re doing it (like anxious about stuff you “should” be doing, shame that you’re “wasting time,” angry that your day of fun isn’t going exactly as planned, etc.) That’s ok. It just means you are just out of practice. I often dread doing something fun, and I often try to think of ways of getting out of my fun plans before I actually do them. But once I do them, I am always glad I did, regardless of how many uncomfortable feelings came up. Trust me, the more that I accept that fun doesn’t always feel fun, the easier it gets. Fun is a skill that takes practice.