Building Joy & Meaning Into Every Day

You deserve to count on bits of joy and meaning in every day. And because our days make up our lives, this practice leads to a more joyful, meaningful life.

We imagine that we’re not the only ones going through intense ups and downs right now, with the ongoing pandemic and winter weather. We’ve really been feeling the need to have things to look forward to, as well as everyday highlights we can count on, so in this episode we talk about Building Joy & Meaning into Every Day. 

We share the activities that bring each of us joy and meaning, with tips for intentionally making them part of our daily schedules, and what we’re looking forward to — getting inventive when the list is too thin. We encourage you to borrow from our lists and tell us what’s on yours.

The “Costco Coven”: Wearing our matching plushy hoodies with our mama at Christmas

Here are some ideas for incorporating joyful or meaningful items from your list into every day: 

  • Prioritize including these in your regular schedule. What else is life about? Download our free workbook and create your own fuel-boosted schedule as you plan your week, starting with and scheduling around what fuels you. 
  • Bookend the day. Try to do something first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.
  • Pair your joy and meaning activities with things you already do. Pairing is an effective strategy to create new habits — like cleaning or exercising while listening to a podcast or music.
  • Set the bar super low. Follow Atomic Habits author James Clear’s advice, and “Make it easy enough that you can get it done without motivation.” Set intentions that are super easy to realize – go outside on your balcony or in your backyard for 5 minutes, read one page of a book, send one text to a loved one. We discuss the book Atomic Habits in more depth with the hosts of Brown Girls Read in Episode 45.
  • Take micro breaks between tasks. Melia calls these “dopamine breaks” – things that boost joy and also fuel you with focus and energy for your next task.
  • Start fresh every day. If at bedtime, you realize you haven’t done anything joyful or meaningful that day, be gentle with yourself. Some days are like that, and it doesn’t help to beat yourself up about it. Reaffirm that you deserve to experience joy and meaning every day and can try again tomorrow. 

Here are some ideas for thinking of things to look forward to: 

  • Look for little things to look forward to daily, weekly, and monthly. They can be pandemic-safe and don’t need to be big trips, just something that sparks joy.
  • Create things to look forward to. Could be a trail walk with a friend, a Netflix night with a movie you’ve been wanting to see
  • Write them down somewhere visible, like on your calendar, on sticky notes, or on a chalkboard like Melia does. Savor the anticipatory joy of looking at them. It multiplies the overall satisfaction you’ll feel from the activity.

Get In Touch

How do you build joy and meaning into every day? What things are you looking forward to? Email us at podcast[at]semitogether.com or send us a voice memo.

Subscribe to the Semi-Together newsletter and check out past issues. You can also support the podcast through Patreon at patreon.com/semitogether.

If you’re an adult recently diagnosed with ADHD, Melia would love to coach you to open the space to build more joy and meaning into your life. You can schedule a free Discovery Call at risingspiralcoaching.com.