What gets you leaping out of bed each morning? Is it your sweetie that you can’t wait to spend another day with? A job you love? A precious baby or child that beckons for your attention and care? Or perhaps it is your actual alarm without which you would be content to stay in sleepy slumber for another hour or two.
Roles and responsibilities along with the morning rays of sun streaming through our windows call us to begin a new day.
However for many of us, much of the day is filled with roles and responsibilities that have become rote, or mundane.
Many of us wear multiple hats- mom, wife, partner, dad, husband, employee, sister, business owner, etc. and the demands of all those hats can wear us out some days.
While many of the people we speak with at LWK enjoy many of their roles and responsibilities, quite a large number also report feeling overwhelmed and describe not getting nearly enough rejuvenation or “me time.”
Additionally, even when doing something we love, or being around the people we love, having too many responsibilities and feeling like there is not enough time can feel overwhelming in its own right.
In the face of growing demands, one thing that often takes a back seat is the ability to pursue one’s passions. Whether it is a hobby; reading, knitting, working out, or taking a cooking, dance or language class, it is often our passion pursuits that get left behind when we are pursuing our career or business and /or adding additions to our family.
And yet, we know that taking some time to rejuvenate, pursue something you value and are excited about can be a real motivator for leaping out of bed in the morning.
People who make time to pursue a passion are often people who find better balance and bring renewed energy to their roles and responsibilities.
To clarify, I am not suggesting taking hours and hours away from roles and responsibilities. I know of too many families that are struggling right now because one partner has a passion for video games and is playing them five hours a day. When your passion takes away from your family - takes away from your roles and responsibilities- that may be an addiction which has a detrimental effect on relationships.
I am referring to the ability to recognize that in the midst of all your roles and responsibilities, you matter- and taking a reasonable amount of time to yourself to pursue your passion can often lead to a more energized you which then results in you showing up as a better partner, parent, worker or leader at home and at work.
Feel too overwhelmed to even think about the “extra time it would take” to pursue a passion? Here’s a few ideas for you.
1. Identify what your passion is first. Perhaps you were an avid swimmer or cyclist in years past, and you have not done that in a long time. Consider how your passions may have changed or shifted. What lights you up when you think about doing that activity? That may be a clue to what your passion is.
2. Consider what it is about that thing, sport, or activity that makes you passionate about it. Then take a deeper dive… can you still do that thing? Is it logistically possible? Is your passion swimming however there is no pool near you? Would you be physically capable of pursuing your passion if it was something you thought of resurrecting from long ago? Could you do a modified version of it?
3. Create a list of "what else’s". If you are not able to swim for example, what else could be a close second that you would still be excited about pursuing? Perhaps you don’t have the stamina for tennis any more, but you might pick up pickleball and see if that floats your boat instead.
4. Be realistic about time. Perhaps there was a time you could devote 2 hours a day to your passion. Now you would be lucky to get in 2 hours a week. If this describes you, then consider what you can do say inside of 30 minutes? You may not have as much time but how can you modify this activity or event so that it can still work for you on some level?
5. Make a plan to pursue this passion – include what you will do, when, where and with who ( or if you will do it alone.). Then set an appointment with yourself that is realistic about the actual time you have to devote to this. Add this as an appointment in your calendar. Your plan may include inviting someone important to you so now you are accomplishing more than one goal- time and connection with someone you care about along with the enjoyment of the activity.
6. Notice what it feels like to pursue your passion and how it affects your mood and energy afterward. Notice if you feel refreshed and rejuvenated after the time you spend engaging in your passion project / activity or whether you feel something else.
Once you identify what you want to be doing, then schedule it no less than once a week, and include it in your schedule to ensure that it continues to happen.
Enjoy feeling more energized, refreshed and rejuvenated. Who knows it may just be the thing that was missing that now makes you want to leap out of bed in the morning.