The Joy List

July 12, 2016

I just love a good list. Everything from grocery lists to bucket lists satisfy a part of my brain that gets way too much pleasure out of bullet points and check boxes. The interesting thing about lists are that some work against us (like that never ending to do list) and others work for us, empowering and motivating (like gratitude lists and bucket lists). Recently I took the time to make a Joy List and I would like to invite you to play along and consider creating one of your own.


I saw an illustration earlier this week, describing the difference between happiness and joy. From the artist's perspective, joy is an attitude that defies circumstances; it's an inside job. Happiness, on the other hand, is a feeling, based on circumstances. With an attitude of joy, we naturally experience more happiness. It is easier to have an attitude of joy, when we fill our lives with things that really excite our spirit, encourage our creativity and when we do things that are just plain fun! Enter the Joy List. 


A Joy List is a visual reminder of some mighty important priorities. Creating a Joy List prompts you to sit down and really think about what brings you joy and makes you feel alive and happy. Then, as you consider how much room you carve out in your life for those things, you can set some intentions or adjust accordingly. 


While you can write your list however you want, I encourage you to get creative. Use markers or make a collage to go along with it. Similar to a Vision Board, you could even make a Joy Board. If nothing else, use a journal page and doodle and decorate your list. The more time you spend creating and reading your list, the more of an impact it will make. It's a fun way to check in with your inner wise woman. What resonates with her? 


One thing I recommend is to be careful not to put things on your list because they "should" bring you joy, because they make someone else happy, or because they "look" fun. Make it personal! Don't be afraid to be silly, unique and imaginative. When you read over your list, you should feel excited, playful and interested in how soon you can do more of each and every thing you wrote down.  If an item doesn't cause that reaction, consider removing it. Another great point to ponder is this: How many things do you continue to make time for things that are "supposed" to be bringing you joy that do not? Maybe now is a good time to ditch those things!


There is no need for a list of 100 things...10 things, or even 5 will do. But if 100 things spill from your spirit, by all means write them down. 


Here are some questions to ponder to get you started:

1. In your favorite memories, who are you with or what are you doing?

2. What song makes you want to dance, sing or crank the tunes up?

3. What movie always makes you laugh, even though you've seen it too many times to count?

4. What is a playful activity or game that transports you back to childhood? Twister? Coloring books? Climbing trees?

5. What food would you drive across town in rush hour traffic for or pay whatever the cost to have another bite?

6. What is something that makes you feel wild and free?

7. What book would you take with you to a deserted island if you could take only one?

8. If someone were to give you a "Joy Basket" with 5 things in it that make you really really happy, what do you imagine would be in that basket? 


So, let's get to listing! 




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