Ever since I wrote my March 1st blog, I have been paying extra attention to the things that fill me with JOY– one of my three words for 2018.  In my blog, I committed to write down the things that give me joy – or that I think might – and make sure I do more of those things.

Well, this is my first return and report on my Joy Journey.  Some of the things that give me joy that I’ve managed to squeeze in since I wrote with you:

  1. The beach
  2. The sun
  3. The movies (this year I watched 8 of the 9 Oscar nominees and many others with my girls)
  4. Cleaning out closets, the garage and my storeroom (really!)
  5. Hanging out with my girls
  6. Time spent with my husband, Briandella-and-jlw
  7. Working out at cross fit with Brian and the encouraging community there
  8. Practicing Vinyasa yoga with Melanie
  9. Running alone
  10. Running with others
  11. Running on the beach or in Central Park
  12. Running races (I’ve done 4 races so far, including my daughter Della’s first Half Marathon this past weekend – see the picture -- and I have signed up for 5-6 more so far)
  13. Winter running
  14. Sleeping in
  15. Binging a show with my girls or my husband (have you watched the Crown?)
  16. Eating a meal with my parents, which I try to do every week
  17. Giving away “stuff” – reduce, recycle, reuse
  18. Reuniting with my team members
  19. Laughing until our sides ache with my partner, Tamera
  20. Identifying a lynchpin issue for a firm or a coachee
  21. Seeing someone I coach experience a big breakthrough or achieve a milestone
  22. Watching a client firm grow
  23. Appreciating the fine work and ownership displayed by my team members and my nanny
  24. Enjoying a sparkling clean car
  25. Drinking a BIG cup of robust coffee
  26. Eating spicy jalapenos, Vindaloo or other spicy food
  27. Learning from my fellow consultants
  28. Tackling a new challenge or doing something I’ve never done before
  29. Making other people laugh – especially my parents, husband or kids
  30. Reconnecting with far flung friends or relatives
  31. Going to concerts, especially when bands from my past are touring
  32. Scratching the backs of and loving on my two Weimaraner pups

Because I’m intentionally focusing on generating joy, I am truly experiencing it more.  My colleague, Emily Brantz, calls this the Joy Cycle and it looks like this:

joy-cycleLike you, I’ve also experienced setbacks, challenges and things that I must do that don’t give me as much joy.  For example, recently I’ve been eliminating Omega 6 fats from my diet due to a health issue (no more nachos!), I’m implementing some internal accounting changes and – the mother of all joyless activities – I enter my time, too. Those activities surely aren’t my favorites, but when I’m grappling with them, I simply remember my favorite things (like Maria Von Trapp!) and appreciate that a good life surely offers both.

As summer approaches, I am also looking forward to the outdoor activities that give me joy – paddle boarding, swimming, running without layers, working outside and gardening – and the milestone events ahead, including one of my girl’s high school graduation.

What about you?  WHAT GIVES YOU JOY?  How are you doing in making those things happen?  How much are you appreciating them when they are happening?  What would life be like if you balanced your “day job” and your familial duties with activities that bring a smile to your face?

I plan to continue my Joy Journey.  Join me?