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Do you have a joy list

June 1, 2022
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Written By
Celia Arias

If you are busy, overwhelmed, overtired and over-saturated with everything you need to consume to stay up to speed in your industry, then you probably need a joy list.  

“WHAT is that? Why would I need that?! I don’t have time for that!!!”

I get it, you’re busy. It’s easy to go down ‘overwhelm avenue.’

And what do we do when we feel totally overwhelmed?  We freeze and do nothing.  It is counterintuitive to all those goals you’re trying to hit, I know.  But overwhelm and freezing is just a sign that our fear and negative self-talk has won the day. 

So? Queue the joy list.  

A joy list has 2 major scenarios it helps me through in  my life: 

  • To help me interrupt the negative thought patterns that don’t serve me or my goals.
  • To remind me why I’m here, why I originally set out to do the things I do, and that there is a bigger purpose to all of it. 

You can stop there and make this a short read (and go write your joy list), or continue  for the breakdown. 

Scenario 1:

Anything that starts to become a negative thought loop just needs to be interrupted.  We’ve all been there.  A negative thought takes hold of us, one seed of doubt gets planted, and before we know it… Bam!  We’re sitting in a spiral of the worst “what if” scenarios possible and nothing is going our way or going to go our way from this point forward.  Most of these thoughts are not real.  And yet they can feel VERY real.  We will even try to convince not only ourselves, but those around us that these thoughts and worries are indeed very real.  We spiral.  We hope others will spiral with us. We sit around and gossip and stress about it. And what we really need is an interruption. 

A joy list can serve as that interruption. 

Applicable to any situation. Especially good for times when you’re feeling disappointed.  You recently received some sort of rejection or discouraging news (hello sales calls).  Your pitch was rejected for the upteenth time. You didn’t get as many likes or comments on that last post. Whatever it is, you need an interruption.  So you go to your joy list.  It will either put  a smile on your face or better yet, you get inspired to go do one of the things that bring you joy. 

Scenario 2:

You work hard.  You’re putting so much effort in.  You’re pushing the boulder up the hill.  You’re literally so in the weeds of working in your business that you haven’t come up for air.  And ironically you’re looking at the numbers and not seeing the results you’d expect from all this muscle tone you’ve been building in admin skills. 

The temptation here is to double down and work harder.  Push harder, move that needle, get to the next milestone, just a few more hours.  You get the idea. 

We didn’t really start the entrepreneurial journey to be working more than we did before. We started this thing for more freedom, more time and yes, ideally more money.  Did you know the average entrepreneur states a desire for more freedom as the reason they started their business?  And then we all find ourselves looking everywhere for that freedom. 

Returning to joy and making sure it’s a part of your daily life will be a return to freedom. I know, you’re rolling your eyes right now and that’s cool.  I don’t do things from my joy list everyday either.  I get sucked into the back-to-back calls and the never-ending to-do lists just like you.  As a complete over-worker, over-achiever and over-deliverer…  I can say though, when I take a breath and glance at my joy list, it creates a shift.  Often one I was needing and didn’t realize. 

 Ultimately the reminder creates a shift in how I’m showing up in the world.  And that makes a difference for my clients, on my sales calls, in speaking engagements, leading team trainings, in my personal life, for my health… It makes me more of the person I set out to become in the first place. And that person I aspire to be, is who I’m doing all this for anyway. 

And what about all the work there is still left to do?

Somehow when I’m in a better frame of mind, with a happier disposition and my everything-can-be-solved attitude returns, things just get done.  So don’t worry, your to-do list will be there and it will be fine. 

Here’s a sample tasting of a few things that make my list:

  • Movie Nights
  • Bike Rides
  • Reading a book on our front porch
  • Roof down jeep rides
  • Reading a book in our study
  • Shopping at local farms
  • Sitting with Luna in the backyard
  • Meeting a bff for a city date
  • Cooking to jazz music
  • Breakfast crepes with mom
  • Dancing
  • Cuddles 
  • Yoga
  • Journaling
  • The Class with Natalie
  • Traveling to foreign countries
  • Extra long meditation time
  • Solo trips (introvert time is a must)
  • Face-timing a friend/family member
  • Silent Days
  • Chocolate Mousse with whipped cream
  • Going on Adventures
  • Farmers Markets
  • Fresh cut flowers

May you be in-joy while writing your own.

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