So a while back after enduring another semi-depressing New Year’s Day I created something called my Zest for Life Project. I remember the day quite well actually. Not only was I under the proverbial weather it was also an overcast afternoon with a tinge of gloom in the air, the Christmas tree was still sparkling green and red which was only making me feel even more like a deadbeat, and marathon watching HGTV just wasn’t hitting the spot.
Rather than reveling in the idea of a fresh new year, I was re-living the past twelve months and quickly coming to the realization that if I didn’t take action….any action, I’d more than likely be doing the same exact thing next New Years Day.
Thus the Zest for Life Project was born.
After mulling and re-mulling everything that I just hadn’t gotten to during the previous year, I created a list of things I wanted to do and experiences that I wanted to have that I believed would elevate me as a person and enhance my life in general. A self-conscious worry wart with a tendency to shy away from new experiences, these natural tendencies left me wanting more out of life but not quite sure how to do so without getting too uncomfortable.
While muddling through my list of life-enhancing items, I quickly learned that uncomfortable is the name of the game when it comes to creating a life you love. Quite surprisingly, I’ve learned to lean into that sinking feeling of horror in the pit of my stomach and that all-too-familiar sweaty upper lip when faced with an uncomfortable situation. I’ve even become somewhat fond of it and if I haven’t felt it in a while I know that it’s time to put myself out there again.
When it came to my Zest for Life list there was really no timeline or structure, it was just a list. Little did I know that with that little list came a profound shift in my life. With each item, no matter how weird a la “sit in a sauna” I was breaking out of my comfort zone, living my life and creating my own story.
“With each item, no matter how weird a la “sit in a sauna” I was breaking out of my comfort zone, living my life and creating my own story.”
So I thought I’d re-visit my Zest for Life list and see how it’s coming along. On a scale of check (yes), nope (nope), or meh (kinda)…here’s my progress.
Go places by myself – check. I regularly go out for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee by myself and even to the movies. It’s actually quite liberating and not nearly as scary as I thought. Now I’m working on venturing out without any books, devices, or other safety nets.
Join a women’s golf league – nope
Play the cello at an open mic night – nope, but I did take a few cello lessons with local cello extraordinaire, Amy Marie of Post Paradise fame and came to the realization that I need more than a few cello lessons to play at an open mic night. A work in progress.
Get my motorcycle license – nope
Get crafty – meh. I ordered a few soap and candle making books that are currently gathering dust. I also took a few wine/painting classes but it was mostly for the wine. We also now have a hand-painted headshot of our dog.
Make a Cake Boss cake – nope
Get involved in Network Marketing – check. Genesis Pure has completely changed my life, my health, how I make my living, how I interact and respond to people, I’ve gained confidence and love organic foods and leafy greens more than I ever thought possible.
Get organized…whatever that means – meh. It’s a work in progress.
Learn how to knit – meh. I bought a book and all the necessary items. Tried it a few times and then proceeded to toss out said book and necessary items.
Talk to random people – check. Still working on it though, luckily my network marketing career makes me get out there and talk to people…whether I feel like it or not.
Take a fashion risk – nope but I bought a cute hat that is still waiting to see the light of day.
Start a gratitude journal – check!
Sit in a sauna – check, and I hated every minute of it. Not only do I get very uncomfortable in close proximity to naked people but intense heat and humidity makes me squirmy, nauseous and grumpy.
Be in a flash mob – check! I was sooooo excited to be a part of a flash mob during a Genesis Pure event last October. I definitely want to be in more flash mobs. Group-based choreographed moves really seem to get me off. I think I must have been a back-up dancer in a previous life.
Write and publish a book – check…ish. I’ve got my concept all lined out, it’s just getting over the mental hurdle of writing an entire book. It seems a bit daunting but doable, definitely doable. However, I did start a blog!
Not only creating but looking back at this list has been a game-changer for me. No matter how silly or weird these actionable items seem to be, they were all significant to me in one way or another. And whether I tried and succeeded, tried and failed or didn’t even try, putting this out there was the first step toward actually living out my life. Now when I’m presented with an opportunity, rather than automatically retreating, I add it to my Zest for Life list and forge ahead.
I encourage anybody and everybody to create their own Zest for Life list and start plowing through. I guarantee that you’ll have a few aha moments of your own. It might even change your life.
I’d love to hear from you! What items would you put on your Zest for Life list?