I cannot believe 2011 is over. It has been another great year, and I am so happy with the life that I have. I have a wonderful family, girlfriend, house, and job that I love. However, each year brings more wisdom and insight into the person that I am and the person that I want to be.
A couple of weeks ago I was talking with one of my interns, and he asked me what I like to do for fun outside of work and training - basically, outside of the fitness world. I looked at him with a blank face - nothing came to mind.
I began thinking more about his question over the next few days, and I came to realize that I really do not do much outside of work and training. I mean I go to a movie or hang with my girlfriend, but that is about it. I do enjoy all of those things, and they all make me very happy, but his question did make me question whether I was living life to its fullest.
As I stated above, I am truly very happy with with the life that I have and am so blessed! However, I believe that I can improve my life, and others around me, even more by working on two areas of my life:
1) Being more present (not always thinking about work and "stuff" I need to get done).
2) Just having fun more often.
I tend to be very obsessive with my job and learning. I am a perfectionist and tend to put my all into whatever I want to accomplish. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is hard for me to separate my work from my "play", which is bad.
No matter what I am doing, I usually have work in my head. I always feel like I need to be reading, studying, writing, etc., but I know that I need to learn to unplug every once in a while. Do not take me wrong - I am not giving myself permission to slack. In fact, I believe this will help me to be more productive. As I stated above, by constantly trying to "do something" I often half-ass stuff instead of blocking off some time to work and really put my all into it.
Therefore, two of my goals for this year are to be more present (live in the NOW) and to have more fun. To improve on the former, I have to get better at my time management skills. I have been reading more on this topic and have some ideas for how to get better in this area. I plan on writing a post about it in the future.
I have not decided on an action plan for the latter yet, but I am going to sit down soon and think about what I enjoy doing or what I would like to learn or get involved in. Here are some ideas I have come up with so far: join a tennis or racquetball league (I played tennis in college and now only play a few times a year), weekly sporting activities with friends (basketball, tennis, football - whatever), volunteer, take some university classes, learn a martial arts. I am not sure yet, but I want to find something that takes my mind off of work and allows me to have fun.
I know that a lot of you are like me and get caught up in work, work, work, which can be a good thing, but we have to learn to enjoy life as well. Go play a sport, watch a movie, visit your family, whatever makes you happy and gets you out of your job/routine for a while. I believe this will pay dividends not only in your personal life but also your work life.
So my challenge to you (and to myself) is this: Get a new hobby that allows you to have fun and to break away from your job/routine. You may feel that this will hurt your productivity, but I believe that it will improve it by enabling you to put more effort into work whenever you do do it. Enjoy life!
So, go write down a list of things that you may want to try this new year. You may start out by listing things that you used to enjoy, but have gotten away from due to work and just being busy, and then list out some things that you would like to learn or improve upon (cooking classes, university classes, meditation, a new sport, etc.). There are many possibilities.
Leave any thoughts or suggestions in the comments. I would love to hear from you and how you face this challenge.
Have some fun and enjoy life! Happy New Year everyone!!