The Ultimate Guide to Fun: Making a Dreams List

Katie Corbett holds a book

By Katie Corbett

I’ve blogged about dreams before and how important it is to have them.

In her book, “What the Most Successful People do on the Weekend,” Laura Vanderkam says that creating a list of dreams provides ideas of things to do on the weekend. You’ll have a ready-made options list of things you can do by yourself or with others. Here are some tactics I have found helpful for creating a Dreams list.

1. Create an Excel spreadsheet and create different categories as column headings. Some of mine are: Things I want to learn; Places I want to go; Foods I want to try. They could be anything.
2. Grab a notebook, laptop or piece of paper and write for a set amount of time. Don’t judge any of the ideas that come up—just write.
3. Number the lines on a sheet of paper from 1 to 100. (You will probably need multiple sheets for this.) Write a dream on each line until you have 100 dreams on your list.
4. Think about 3-5 things you want in each of three categories: To Be, To Do, and To Have. Pick one from each list and write the steps you’d need to take to accomplish it in a 12-week period. Start working toward it today.
5. Read magazines that get your creative juices flowing. (I like to read travel magazines.) When you come across something you’d like to try, write it down.

Hopefully, you will find one of these methods helpful in your quest to generate dreams lists. Remember to review your lists often and cross off the things you get done.

Most of all, enjoy the process! You’re dreaming, after all. You might as well have fun with it.

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The Best Time of Day for Hobbies

Katie Corbett holds the book "When"

By Katie Corbett

While my husband and I were in the process of putting our condo on the market to sell, I wanted to make sure I had enough fun in my life to combat the stress of this venture. I did this by doing a new hobby each day. I wanted to guarantee I made time for this project, so I determined the best time of day when my brain would be most ready for fun.

I consulted, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing,” by Daniel H. Pink. In the book, the author explained that the brain was most capable of creative and fun pursuits in the afternoons and evenings. During that time, I made sure to try something new. Some of the activities I enjoyed were:

• Learning to use the Cranmer Abacus, a device people who are blind can use to do math.
• Solving sudoku, logic and word puzzles.
• Doing crossword puzzles using either braille or an accessible crossword gaming program on the computer.
• Cooking during my lunchbreak at work.
• Baking a cake using all paleo ingredients.
• Going on a waterfall hunt.
• Birding and apple picking.
• Playing guitar.
• Writing poetry.
• Studying astronomy.

One might ask, “That’s great, Katie, but how did you come up with so many varied and unique hobbies to try?” Well, I created a spreadsheet listing all the hobbies I wanted to try and areas of life I wanted to learn more about. I chose the items I was most interested in pursuing, and wrote them down on index cards. On each card, I wrote down what doing the hobby would look like, such as reading for an hour and a half or solving one sudoku to completion. That way, if I got bored or couldn’t think of a hobby to try, I could draw a card and add some spontaneity into the project. I made a rule that I could not repeat a hobby more than once within each seven day period. To track my progress, I made a notebook listing each day of the week on a separate line, and wrote down on that line what fun activity I did that day.

If you are looking for more amusement in your life, I encourage you to take an afternoon or two and try some new hobbies. Any time after 4 p.m. will do. Tell me in the comments what kinds of activities you find you enjoy. Explore and have fun!

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