5 Ways to Live a Joyful Life
Updated: May 17
Craft your way to days lived with permanent rose-colored hues adoring every hour.
You want your days to be filled with joy. It sounds like an easy concept to adapt. Just be happy right? I am sure you know as well as I do that mentality is nearly impossible. We all have checklists, obligations, and chores that must be done. So how do you set yourself for success? I have crafted 5 simple steps for you to adopt to help spread that rose-tinted hue over your everyday.
1) Rituals - to me a routine and a ritual are nearly synonymous. However the word ritual has a spiritual element to it that I take pleasure in using. The word holds more power in my mind because it is in service to something. Create your rituals to be supportive of your life purpose. My life's central purpose is to live a joyful life and to help others live a joyful life. My rituals are therefore centered around creating an opportunity for joy. Start your morning with a ritual that brings you joy. Brewing a rich cup of French press coffee, listen to bright and soothing music while you review your schedule making sure to schedule time for activities that bring joy. Block off time in your calendar for things that bring you joy. Do this at the start of the day packing in as many joyful activities as your schedule allows. If life gets in the way and you have to bump one - move it to tomorrow so that joy has a placeholder you can look forward to. Take joy in your self-care rituals ensuring that you are taking pleasure in nurturing your mind and body. It isn't selfish. It's sacred.
2) Joy Checklist - You know what brings you joy. You know what accomplishments, tasks, and activities produce the most joy in your life. No one knows better than you do. Here you can be completely honest. Create a checklist (digital or physical) that you can add to your calendar on a daily basis to bring joy. Cultivate the list with items large and small. I shared my list in the video below. Every item on that list contributes to joy. A diverse list can range from a daily meditation practice to doing something kind for my husband or reaching out to my friends and family. If you are able to check off 75% or more of these daily joys on your list you know that your day will be filled with joy.
Indulge in creating your Spark of Joy list and then review it during your morning ritual and choose what sparks of joy you want to try and color your day with. My checklist shown in the video is accessible below.
3) Set yourself up for success - there are many variables in our daily lives we can't control. It is import for you to set yourself up for joy with the elements within your power. If you have to work at a desk enhance the space with items that bring you joy. You may need a notebook but one that looks like a book found in Belle's library with the gold embossed title of Beauty and the Beast...well that brings joy to an ordinary object. Have a bottle of peppermint oil you can apply to your temples for those meetings when you need an extreme boost of energy.
Light candles to bring serenity to your workflow. Have pictures or objects that make you smile. Those objects are the small sparks of joy that brighten a workday. I have the Chanel Perfume Bottle Andy Warhol's my husband bought me in Hawaii on our honeymoon, a Snapple cap framed that sports an inside joke with my two best friends, and a large cup of colored pens my mother sent me from Germany. Joy. If you don't need to be at a desk to get the job done take advantage of that freedom. I have taken conference calls on hiking trails, walks by the sea, and even in one of the fabulous aviaries at the San Diego Zoo. See if there are adjustments you can make to your space and location that might help make tasks filled with a bit more joy. Why not?
4) Soundtrack for Joy - sound has such a profound impact on our bodies and mind. Music can rally us to our feet, be our nighttime lullaby, and get us pumped up, or calmed down. Numerous studies have been done to study the effects of music on the brain. One published in 2014 in Scientific Reports study the effects from Beethoven to Eminem confirmed that
listening to music affects the processing systems in the brain. Specifically, ones associated with sensory-motor processing as well as memory and emotion. Let's use this to our advantage and create a soundtrack to the day that brings joy. A coffee shop or classical music in the morning helps you ease into the sunlight of the day. A more energic mix may help prevent that afternoon slump. Jazz music just makes meals taste better in my opinion so I always have it playing during lunch and dinner. Use this chemistry to entice a reaction of daily joy and cultivate the soundtrack to your life.
5) Routine of Reward - In James Clear incredible book Atomic Habits he discusses the benefits of a reward system. It is difficult to change any behaviors, even bad ones that we don't enjoy. Sometimes it is easier to just keep the status quo. Creating a system of rewards for integrating your new joyful habits will help ensure you continue to have joyful days for years to come. Reward yourself for taking the steps to have a joyful day. Your reward can be as simple as checking things off a list (a job well done makes my little German girl's heart so full). However, more tangible rewards are also effective. A nice candle to bring a beautiful scent into your home, a cozy sweater to have on the back of your desk chair, or even a hot bath at the end of a joy-filled day. You created a day full of joy for yourself. Celebrate choosing joy. Set up a reward system so that you keep choosing to have your day colored with joy.