Change Your Play History: 15 Tips to Increase the Fun in Your Life

"Joyfulness keeps the heart and face young.” ~ Orison Swet Marden

Life without fun is like the sky without the sun or the ocean without water. Fun is all about creating good times for yourself. Fun adds color to a black and white world. It's essential to your well-being.

Lately, I've spending a lot of time with my 2 year old grandson. We've visited the zoo three times in the past 10 days.

He loves the petting zoo, the red barn, and all of the animals. He chases the roosters, caresses the soft feathers on the hen as she sits on her eggs and giggles as the pigs twirl their tails.

This week I invite you to increase the amount of fun in your life. It's a good responsibility to have. With a little planning you can visit new places and see and do new things. With a little willingness you can look for humor, be flirtatious, play games, and enjoy people and activities. 

Read on to discover. how to get your fun meter running.

"A day without laughter is a day wasted." ~ Charlie Chaplin

1. To have fun become a fun person. 

I grew up on an 88 acre produce farm. My siblings and I began working when we were five years old. When we were ten we were expected to work up to eights hours a day planting, harvesting, and selling produce at the Farmer's Market. My mother, with her playful, attitude taught us how to make work fun. In all types of weather, we sang, laughed, and made up games, and contests to pass the time together.

On April Fools Day silliness and practical jokes are the norm. We make an intentional choice to adopt a playful attitude that brings joy and happiness to those around us. 

2. Write down 5 things you like to do.

Coffee with friends, a Saturday morning group run or browsing a bookstore are a few inexpensive ways to add enjoyment to life. Attending concerts, the theater, or sporting events at a nearby university can make an ordinary weekday feel like Friday. Participate in activities that will free you from your routine.  

"At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities." ~ Jean Houston

2. Carve out time for fun.

Create a plan to make the things on your list happen. Decide what day and time works for you. Clear your calendar, hire a child sitter in advance, and break free. Turn off your electronics and give fun your full attention. 

"The essence of pleasure is spontaneity." ~ Germaine Greer

3. Be spontaneous.

My sister has third row, season tickets, for the Detroit Red Wings games. She invites her best clients to attend but they often refuse to take the time off of work. Unplanned fun is often the best kind. Accept the next five invitations you receive. Get in the habit of saying “yes” to pleasure and fun!

“Fun is good.” ~ Dr. Seuss

4. Experiment with life.

Try something new. Meet new people. Learn to explore. Take a dance or cooking class. Instead of your usual movie and dinner on Friday night, plan an evening hike or bring out an old board game. 

"Time spent laughing is time spent with the Gods." ~ Japanese Proverb

5. Make fun a habit.

Create a ‘to be’ list and put fun at the top. Choose to smile and laugh more, learn how to be silly. Watch stand-up comedy both on and off line. When ever I’m in a line waiting, I challenge myself to see if I can get one person around me to laugh. It's rare that I fail. It only takes practice to learn how to make others laugh.

 “Ask not what fun does for you. Ask rather what you do for fun.” ~ The Oaqui

6. Make small changes.

Watch a sunset or sunrise, ride your bike, or watch an old movie. Experiment with unusual music. Wear a new color or change the way you wear your hair. Go barefoot. A life lived in a rut is like waiting to die. Change one small thing today, color your world happy.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” ~ Walt Disney

7. Save your change.

For one year, everyday, save all of your change. Put it in a large, clear container. Think of it as your fun money. Plan a road trip. Each time you make a deposit, mentally plan where you’ll go and what you’ll do. Repeat this every year. If you live 25 more years imagine what you could see and do!

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” ~ Unknown

8. Shut off your television, cell phone and computer.

Free your mind. Be present. Notice your surroundings. Make eye contact with strangers. Engage in conversation. Get connected face-to-face. It’s good for your soul.

"Have fun in your command. Don't always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave when you've earned it, spend time with your families." ~ Colin Powell

9. Slow down.

Taste your food. Turn off you inner critic. Savor quiet moments. Stop thinking and talking about your work or your 'to do' list. Enjoy being with yourself. Become someone who is fun to be around. 

"Sometimes when I'm talking, my words can't keep up with my thoughts. I wonder why we think faster than we speak. Probably so we can think twice. ~ Bill Watterson

10. Refuse to gossip, complain. End the comparison game.

Nothing good comes from participating in these things. They will suck the energy, life, and joy out of your existence.

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” ~ Dr. Seuss

11. Don’t take life so seriously.

If you find yourself full of fear, worry, or dismay seek outside help. Commit to taking action for what you can change and let the rest go. You won’t be able to enjoy life until you do.

"We never have to tell small children to have fun!"

12. Feed Your Inner Child.

Play board games. Join in a pick-up game of basketball or football. Paint. Roller blade. Run. Swim. Visit a farm or a country fair. Get outside. Go to a friend’s house and play. Have a slumber party. Play charades or truth-or-dare. If I sound like I'm repeating myself, it's intentional!

"We are driven by five genetic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun." ~ William Glasser

13. Enjoy the small stuff.

Find time to notice, appreciate and enjoy, a cup of coffee, a quiet morning, a cool breeze, a full moon, a joke, the stillness of a mountain, the laughter of a child.

"I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot" more fun." ~ Charles R. Swindoll

14. Rent a cottage with other friends or family.

Share the expense and the joy. We did this each summer when our children were in high school. My memories of those times with our friends and family are priceless.

"I don't have a normal job, so I really appreciate having friends who are writers and artists. It's fun to have a group of people you can call in the middle of the day to go for a hike." ~ Natalie Portman

15. Spend time in nature.
Go camping. Plant a garden. Visit the botanical gardens. Pick your own strawberries or blueberries. Build a tree house.

Life is too short to be anything but happy. I believe we are here for joy, fun, and adventure. Why not make it a priority!

Want a perfect opportunity to get the needed support for changing your life? My friend Anastasiya Goers is offering a one month 'Live a More Balanced Life Challenge' FREE! 

Creative Commons License photo credit: chris friese

Tell us how do you experience fun and joy?

{ 38 comments… add one }

  • Joy August 1, 2011, 4:02 am

    Hi Tess,
    Awesome *fun* tips, Tess!
    I specialize in *fun*..makes my heart happy, enlivens my spirit, allows me to access overflowing gratitude, and it lightens the space around me. There is a “story” that life is a chore, a struggle, a series of climbs…I rewrite that story to read: my life is as magical as I allow it to be..and it truly is..I open my heart to the day, and am rewarded with abundant delight and joy, which I generously share with those around me (the “how to have fun” part as well as the delight and joy)…
    Joy recently posted…The Joy of BecomingMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tess August 1, 2011, 10:42 am

      Joy,
      Love your the new story. Thanks for sharing the magic you bring to blogging and to the world. I appreciate your positive energy.

      Reply
  • Melody | Deliberate Receiving August 1, 2011, 5:59 am

    Hi Tess,
    I love all of your tips and I find that I’ve actually practiced them all. I remember, one of the biggest insights I received in this department was after the I read the book “Yes man”, a book about a guy who decides to say yes to every opportunity that comes along. Every single one. While this took it to the extreme, it did make me think about how many things I’d been saying no to, often automatically, and I vowed to change. I have. Unless I know that I won’t like something for sure, or it just feels really off, I accept all invitations. I don’t force myself to do things that I really don’t want to do, but if it’s something new and I’m not sure if I’ll like it, I give it a try. I’ve had some amazing experiences just by opening myself up to the unknown and being willing to say yes more.

    What’s more, I realize how much I enjoy the company of people who say yes easily. It’s so tiring when I have to try and talk friends into having a good time with me. Those friends who routinely and easily say yes, and are just generally up for a good time, get the invitations first. They tend to be more open to having a good time (rather than looking for reasons that justify why they shouldn’t have come…)
    Those are the people I like to hang around with and that’s the person I want to be. :)

    Hugs,
    Melody
    Melody | Deliberate Receiving recently posted…Why People Who Walk Slowly In Front Of You Are So Damn Annoying (And How You Can Stop Wanting To Punch Them In The Head)My Profile

    Reply
    • Tess August 1, 2011, 10:44 am

      Melody,
      I never thought about how much energy it takes to convince someone to do something. You are so right, hang around with the ones who are willing and ready to get their fun on.

      Reply
  • Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition August 1, 2011, 6:50 am

    Tess,
    This is what I needed to hear today!.I’ve had my nose to the grindstone for the last few months finishing my book and now I’m editing it. I’m also working on a workbook and other products to go with it but, I’m sooo tired. I do need a break from it even though it’s something I want to do. I love all the tips. We do need to balance our lives with fun. Too much focusing on work only not only makes us dull to be around – but it dulls the mind and the senses too.
    Thank you for the great reminder my friend.
    xoxo,
    Angela
    Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition recently posted…How We Undermine Our IntuitionMy Profile

    Reply
  • Tess August 1, 2011, 10:45 am

    Angela,
    I’ll be ready to celebrate and help you market your wonderful book when you are finished. Sometimes fun is put on hold. Especially in the creating of something biig;)

    Reply
  • David Stevens August 1, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Hi Tess,
    “Fun” is a big part of my Life and the Coaching relationships that I have. Many tend to lose sight of this important aspect of Life. I mean it’s Life afterall & we are meant to have Fun. Sadly, it will be “too late” for many who don’t make the time to have a little fun. Thank you for the uplift.
    be good to yourself
    David

    Reply
  • Tess August 1, 2011, 5:19 pm

    David,
    I like to laugh and make others laugh. Play, celebration and fun are absolutes in my life. I won’t do without them! Thanks for sharing your take on this. I appreciate you,

    Reply
  • Terri August 1, 2011, 10:29 pm

    I have a friend who so needs to read this. She’s still angry she’s in Saudi Arabia, 6 years later!! It’s past time to get over it, and the reality is, she doesn’t have to stay. But, to just hang around and be mad, angry, and resentful towards her husband is what she’s chosen to do, and it’s sad. Because she’s a nice person.

    Reply
    • Tess August 2, 2011, 1:36 am

      Terri,
      Your friend is wasting her time and life, that is sad! When I have a friend that is stuck I send them loving thoughts or a prayer or two. We often look at that as the only thing we can do, when in reality it’s the best thing we can do. 6 years is a long time. Another thought is, she may be depressed. Is she willing to talk to someone professionally? A third thought is some people don’t want to change. There is a payoff to everything. As long as she complains she doesn’t have to take responsibility to change her situation.

      Reply
      • Terri August 2, 2011, 4:13 am

        It is so sad. But, it also kinda makes me mad. It’s like “get over yourself!!” Regardless we have it better than 80% of people on earth. Most people are born into 3rd world, impoverished situations. I thought she was reaching out when she first starting tell me her problems, but then the more I listened the more I’ve decided that she just wants to whine, complain, and blame, all of which I have little patience for. I think you’re right, I think she may be depresses and I don’t know if she’s willing to talk to someone professionally. I just knows she needs help and I think in these situations real help only comes when you want to help yourself.

        Reply
  • Cathy | Treatment Talk August 1, 2011, 10:58 pm

    Hi Tess,

    Wonderful post on having fun. We can so easily get caught up in our life and forget to live it up while we can. It’s great to remember to be spontaneous and just say, “yes.”
    Cathy | Treatment Talk recently posted…Is Your Child Immune? Underage Drinking Doesn’t DiscriminateMy Profile

    Reply
  • Tess August 2, 2011, 1:38 am

    Cathy,
    I can get tired and by the end of the evening say ‘no’ to hubs even when I need to say yes. It’s something we can all be aware of…how often we pass on fun and why we do it.

    Reply
  • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot August 2, 2011, 2:47 am

    Hi Tess, I love this post. We do have to work on it. Strange how all those silly things that brought us so much pleasure as children fall by the wayside once we’re boring grown ups. I often feel embarrassed because I’m quite immature. Playing hide and seek, jumping out on people and shouting “boo” to make them jump or making “snot surfers” for our supper still bring me immense pleasure. But why not?!

    PS. Snot surfers are pea soup (home made) with toast cut into surfboards with toast men standing on them!
    Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot recently posted…5 Hot Books to Read I LovedMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tess The Bold Life August 2, 2011, 4:09 pm

      Hi Annabel!
      This is hilarious…and that’s exactly what I was thinking…what are snot surfers. I play and do crazy things with my grandchildren and embarrassed my own. We would make great neighbors. You kids must think you’re a blast.

      Reply
  • Amrita August 2, 2011, 5:40 am

    Hi Tess
    Your blog is awesome.Thank you for being a source of constant inspiration.
    And yea I have sent you friend request on facebook ! Hope you will approve it !

    With Love and Light
    Amrita :)

    Reply
    • Tess The Bold Life August 2, 2011, 4:11 pm

      Hi Amrita,
      I’m happy you like my blog. That’s a big compliment.I’m heading over to FB to look you up. Have a great day!

      Reply
  • Sue Alexander | Inspired Type August 2, 2011, 8:33 am

    Hi Tess ~ I love seeing the picture of your grandson at the petting zoo! So precious!! It reminded me of taking my boys when they were little. I enjoyed much more time on fun when my kids were young… and now that they’re grown and moved out, I really need to find new ways to get some fun back into life. Thanks for this wonderful uplifting post and the happy inspiration! :~D
    Sue Alexander | Inspired Type recently posted…Unconditional Love, Unconditional FriendshipMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tess The Bold Life August 2, 2011, 4:14 pm

      Thanks he’s such a sweet kid and my other grandchildren are teenagers and getting ready to move on. It makes Henri perfect for this time in my life. You can come play with us anytime!

      Reply
  • Ken Wert August 2, 2011, 11:20 am

    Great post, Tess!

    My biggest obstacle is #3. I tend to be very spontaneous and turn almost anything and everything into something funny. I sometimes get in trouble for it. :) But I do have a hard time scheduling fun. I know I need to, but am constantly fighting the workaholic in me.

    Thanks for the reminder, Tess!

    Reply
    • Tess The Bold Life August 3, 2011, 12:43 pm

      Hi Ken,
      Good for you for being funny about life! As for the workaholic part the internet and a blog can tear your life away if you allow it. I have everything I need and more and still am tempted to work too much but really? Why?

      Reply
  • Sandra / Always Well Within August 2, 2011, 5:35 pm

    Tess,

    I think you wrote this especially for me. :) How can I not break the fun barrier with this great advice. I especially like the idea of saving all my change for a once a year fun extravaganza!
    Sandra / Always Well Within recently posted…Your 2011 Word: Dead or Alive?My Profile

    Reply
    • Tess The Bold Life August 3, 2011, 12:44 pm

      Sandra,
      Yes break the fun barrier…that in itself sounds fun or funny! Let me know where you go if you do plan a trip with change saved.The fun’s on!

      Reply
  • winsomebella August 2, 2011, 5:58 pm

    I spend two days a week caring for my two year old granddaughter. I told her parents I would do this as a gift to them but quickly learned that I was the recipient of the gift rather than they. What fun we have and how nice it is to play again. Your ideas will be added to my mix of fun.
    winsomebella recently posted…Naked Women in All Their GloryMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tess The Bold Life August 3, 2011, 4:50 am

      Winsomebella,
      Yes that’s the thing it’s a win – win for all. It’s also weird that I wouldn’t do it for anyone else and I wouldn’t do it for a job. I love children but having four of my own was more than overwhelming. My interest doesn’t lie there.

      Reply
  • jonathanfigaro August 2, 2011, 8:54 pm

    Number 1 is the best in my opinion. We have to first become the person who wants to have fun before we have it. This means we have to step away from fear and comfort. Allowing us to becomes more than we are now. This is where Personal growth happens and greatness is preserved.

    Reply
  • Chrysta Bairre August 3, 2011, 6:16 am

    What a great, and fun, article! I write a lot about gratitude and happiness in my blog, and perhaps it’s time to write about more fun. My last fun article was quite some time ago.

    Thanks for the reminder to have fun today!
    Chrysta Bairre recently posted…Links to Love: How to be happyMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tess The Bold Life August 3, 2011, 12:47 pm

      Chrysta,
      I would say fun is a big part of happiness and I sure am grateful for it. It would tie easily in to your writing.Go for it.

      Reply
  • pea August 3, 2011, 11:15 am

    Oooogh the UNPLANNED fun bit…I’m trying …I’m trying!

    Reply
  • Tess August 3, 2011, 12:50 pm

    Pea,
    There will come a time where you will stop trying and just play. You go girl!

    Reply
  • Wise Ears August 3, 2011, 1:39 pm

    I am so intense and have been working on being more fun to be around and it is definitely hard work for me – see I just turned it right around. It was a habit I was not allowed to have growing up….and sometimes when I was being “silly” with my children my mother would just take me to task and humiliate me in front of them…
    my siblings were masters at public take downs.

    I love putting on my fun music and happy dancing to lighten myself up and funny books and movies are just divine gifts
    Loved reading this post and it brought a smile to my face….I work at smiling when I am on my walk – 10 calories burned extra for every mile :)

    Patricia of Patricias Wisdom
    PS
    I have not figured out how to download the new book of yours and Lance’s – I would like to see it and share it with my readers…any suggestions?

    Reply
  • Tess August 3, 2011, 6:46 pm

    Hi Patrica,
    I’m so happy you’re learning how to include more fun into your life. Some things are difficult to undo I totally understand. Smiling and walking sound good to me;O)

    Reply
  • Justin | Mazzastick August 3, 2011, 9:52 pm

    Hi Tess,
    Such a great list that can help us return to who we really are. Human beings and not human doings. I have to admit I have trouble turning myself off and just relax and have fun.

    Oh well, with some practice and patience I will become a pro.
    Justin | Mazzastick recently posted…5 Powerful Tips To Become Really ConfidentMy Profile

    Reply
  • Tess August 4, 2011, 12:49 am

    Justin,
    I haven’t heard that for a while…human beings not human doings. I would add commitment to practice and patience.

    Reply
  • Danica Torres August 4, 2011, 3:07 am

    Hello, Tess. Your post is making me pull out a piece of paper and a pen and start writing the top 5 things I’ve been wanting to do but never got the chance to ever since I gave birth to my now 5-year-old son. It’s not something extravagant or pricey. Things as simple as going out for a night of karaoke with my girls or a weekend nature-tripping with my husband.
    Danica Torres recently posted…Japanese Language Learning SoftwareMy Profile

    Reply
  • Jannie Funster August 4, 2011, 1:09 pm

    “Shut off your television, cell phone and computer” but then I’d miss Tess too much!

    5 things I love to do…

    1. blog
    2. walk in nature on a cool early morning
    3. crow like a rooster at sunrise
    4. eat a brownie sundae
    5. climb a tree.

    I like the idea too of doing something new, like a cooking class.

    Going to the Space Center on Monday, in Houston — that’ll be new!!

    xoxo
    Jannie Funster recently posted…There Are Churches — a poem in 72 wordsMy Profile

    Reply
  • kevin August 7, 2011, 5:20 pm

    This would probably people would miss you Tess, your posts are awesome! You have a mind-relaxing power that enlightens the readers and adore you more. I have “fun” reading this post and I hope for more blogs to come. Thanks.
    kevin recently posted…Installing Wordpress On Your ServerMy Profile

    Reply

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Take Your Fear and Shove It
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Welcome! I'm Tess Marshall and I’m Passionate about supporting people who want to lead a fearless and bold life.
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