Monday, September 1, 2008

Have You Included Enough Pleasure In Your Plan?

I was having a conversation today with a group of life coaches about life planning, and the question arose about how much fun and pleasure we should expect in our lives. The answers ranged from "there just can't be too much" to "the limit would be an amount that interferes with your responsiblities" to "anything can be fun if you make it fun--even housework!" It comes down to our attitude. If you want fun in your life, go for it! Fun and pleasure can be a major focus of what we want in life and we can gain it in several ways.

First, when you do have leisure time, plan something that would be fun for you or give you pleasure. It might be an activity, like riding a bike or taking a trip, or it might be just taking a nap. It doesn't have to be something unique and fantastic but it should be something you enjoy!
If there is something you want more of in your life, figure out a way to get it. To quote Charles Buxton: "You will never 'find' time for anything...if you want time you must make it"!

Second, you'll find optimism to be a very helpful mindset. Having a positive outlook really helps your brain stay open to more possibilities. Pessimism can have the effect of shutting your brain down to any new options. Optimism helps you see new ways, be open to trying new things. Training yourself to think positively can work wonders in helping you solve problems, develop plans, and take actions.

Finally, keep your long term goals in mind as well as your short term goals. What is important in your life, overall? An interesting musing I read this weekend was the distinction between pleasure and happiness: Pleasure is felt short term, like enjoying a massage, while happiness is experienced over the long term. If you choose to be happy, this will be affected by the decisions you make each day. Think about what you are doing during a typical day and how it may affect your overall happiness. Trying to lose weight? Having that donut may give you immediate pleasure, but will it contribute to your overall happiness or will it be sabotaging that goal?

What will give you pleasure, fun, and an improved outlook on life? Take a little time to think about it, make a plan, and enjoy living life on your terms starting today!

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