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  • Kathryn Johnson, MA

Finding Valuable Hobbies

With summer in full swing, many of us are already reevaluating those New Years resolutions we intended to do to improve our lives whether it be wellness, better finances, etc. But how many of us give up because we choose a route that just doesn't fit into our lives? (Raising my hand over here).

Are you really set on trying to change your life for the better? You know that feeling: When you're watching some random show, and you think "I really should be doing "X" instead." If you're always on the move, make your hobby fit that criterion. Pick one up that will help you change for the better. Well, my "X" was doing anything without children in tow. I adore my children but I think every parent can relate that you can lose yourself in the world of parenting. I made every excuse from "I'm not paying a babysitter for that" or "I need to accomplish this list of chores first."

So just how do we choose "resolutions" that will stick? I say look to hobbies. You may be thinking "adults have hobbies?" You may even be trying to think what you'd say if someone asked you what your hobbies are. We often associate hobbies with activities that are outside of our daily routine. Finding a hobby shouldn't be a time filler between work. Hobbies and your daily routine should collide. If a hobby boosts your quality life, then it becomes valuable. Changing up the smallest thing in a routine turns it less into "I have to do this" to "I want to do this."

Maybe you love trying new foods (guilty pleasures make the best hobbies), so instead of rushing through lunch during the work week, explore a new place once a week sampling smaller dishes so you can enjoy it and not be thinking about the clock. Maybe coordinate with a friend or a co-worker who shares the same interest. I can guarantee you that you'll feel refreshed.

Let's redefine hobbies from being something separate from our daily routine and transform it into something that elevates our daily routine. My guess is that more of us would commit, and come summertime we wouldn't be reevaluating. (Raising my hand) I know I would. Studies have shown that people who have hobbies are happier. We need to be fulfilled. That's the number one benefit from hobbies. When we take time to do something for ourselves, our daily perspective changes. And if our perspective is more positive, are we not consciously impacted to improve our other aspects of our daily routine? Like, our work performance in terms of our decision-making skills, creativity, confidence, etc?

Think back to what you loved to do as a kid, chances are that you still have a lot of the same interests. I was always outside playing with the neighborhood kids. It's no surprise that one of my hobbies is my daily walk and weekend hiking adventures with my family. Hobbies don't need to be overthought. With most of my day spent at home due to work and my family commitments, my daily walk has become not only a way to maintain my health, but it actually sets up my day. I'm much more focused. I'm happier. I'm able to be truly present in my daily tasks and even more important, present with my family.

How do I maintain my commitment to my daily walk? Instead of focusing on my allotted time, I stop when I see a beautiful photo opportunity. And even, the simple joy of taking photos during my morning walk has allowed me to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures. I take more time listening to the waves, appreciating my surroundings, and engaging with my fellow early morning walkers.

Nothing coming to mind just yet? Sometimes we need to physically see our options to discover what our interests really are. Browse through a book store, a funky antique store or even a sporting goods store to see if you're drawn to anything. Maybe there is a book that peeks your interest, and when was the last time you read a book that wasn't needed for a project or assignment?!?

Reading is another huge hobby of mine. I'll admit this hobby started out as a way to get out of the house when my sole role was a housewife, and that I had no real intention of making reading a habit. And I'm glad I did, I am now not often found without a book. I found value in making time for me. And in return, I became a better version of me. I didn't feel the daily drain that many stay-at-home moms feel. When I found time to read, I forgot about the stresses of the day and was able to relax and let everything fall back into balance.

When did you have one of those moments where you checked the clock and were shocked at the time because you were so absorbed in whatever you were doing? And more importantly that you were okay with it? Remember it – this is how hobbies should make you feel. Finding something that makes you tick within your daily routine rewards you with creativity and fulfillment, and ultimately determines what is valuable to you.

So forget about "resolutions" - find a hobby, or two, and you will thank yourself for it.

About the Author

Kathryn Johnson, MA

Kathryn founded KJ Virtual Assistance in 2016 on the sole principle that you should love the work you do. When reflecting on past positions, there was a prominent trend in administrative roles ranking amongst her favorite. From her time in the Operations Department at the University of Miami to assisting her College Chaplain, the various aspects of a support role have always fulfilled her. Learn more about Kathryn.

#findingvalue #dailyrountine #hobbies #worklifebalance

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