Plan Something To Look Forward To

Administrator Happiness, Uncategorized 0 Comments

The act of planning something to look forward to can enhance your life in a number of ways.  It can provide motivation, increase your happiness and strengthen your relationships.   Here are three reasons why it is beneficial to plan things to look forward to, and three ways to do it.


Sometimes it can be hard to get on with completing tasks that we find boring, uncomfortable or difficult in some way.  Planning something to look forward to as an end result or reward for getting the accounts done, going to your HoopFitness class, finishing the project you are working on (or a section of it), cleaning out the hall cupboard etc gives you a positive reason to get on and get it done.

Quite simply, we feel happy when we have something to look forward to.  Anticipation of pleasure stimulates feelings of excitement, so it is not just the act of doing something you enjoy that stimulates feelings of happiness, but also the envisioning of the act prior to experiencing it.

One of the reasons new relationships are so exciting is because the two of you are regularly planning interesting things to do together.  Generally as relationships go on we do this less and less, the excitement of our relationship diminishes and instead we start to become critical and resentful.  Continuing to, or beginning again to, plan things to do together which you both enjoy helps to reduce stress and unhappiness in your relationship and foster shared intimacy.


Reflect on what sparks joy
Often as adults we lose sight of what we actually enjoy doing in the daily grind of domestic and work demands.  Take some time to think about what sparks joy for you.  This can be simple pleasures such as going to see a movie, or larger visions such as visiting another country.

Make it an experience
This is especially important when you are planning something to look forward to with someone else, but also for your own rewards.  It is best to make the thing you plan to look forward to experience rather than object or food related as ultimately experiences are more fulfilling.  Even something as simple as going for a walk along the beach together will be more beneficial for your relationship than buying a new TV together.  Similarly, spending time engaged in a creative hobby will feed you much more in a holistic sense than consuming a chocolate bar.

Diary it in First
Plan something to look forward to daily, weekly, monthly and annually.  Put those plans into your diary first and then build your other commitments around them.  Daily pleasures can be quite simple.  I look forward to listening to my acoustic playlist on Spotify each evening while I wind down ready for bed.  Weekly things to look forward to could be an evening or weekend class in something that interests you, or a catch-up with a friend.  Monthly and annual experiences can be more involved.  A monthly activity to look forward to might be a night away with your partner and an annual one might be a family holiday away somewhere you haven’t been before.

Give yourself permission to ‘do more of what makes you happy’ and enjoy the planning, anticipation and experience itself.  It is one of the keys to a successful life.


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