My favorite quote says: the measure of my success is my joy.

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I wrote it on the front of my journal. It’s the background of my phone. Eventually, it might even become a tattoo on my forearm.

I can’t help but wonder what my life would look like if I heard that quote and lived by it earlier in life….

Even now, I have a choice. I can like the quote and be inspired by it. I can do that without ever acting on it. The other choice is to pursue it. To live it. To intentionally pursue joy as a success target more than I pursue money, weight loss or status.

Here’s what I know for sure:

I don’t want to wonder about that same question a year or 5 years from now.

I want to pay more attention to pursuing joy NOW.

I don’t want to look at myself in a month, a year or 5 years from now and say, “I didn’t pursue joy. I spent all my energy on things that matter less…

For too long I defined success in other ways: money, relationship status, weight, fitness…

The measure of my success is not the size of my jeans.

The measure of my success is not how I feel about my naked body.

The measure of my success isn’t how clean I eat.

The measure of my success isn’t how much weight I can lift or how frequently I workout.

The measure of my success isn’t the number of podcast downloads I have.

The measure of my success isn’t the amount of money I have in the bank.

The measure of my success is my joy.

All good, right? Except: What do we do about it?

If you’re like me, you might feel stumped when it comes to creating more joy in your life. I had so many questions when I first saw this quote.

What is joy for me?

How do I create joy?

Where do I turn when I don’t think there is much joy in my life? How do I start? What do I do?

I will never forget all those years when my mom would ask, out of nothing but parental worry, “What lights you up? What makes you happy?” and I didn’t have an answer.

I knew I enjoyed food. It certainly brought me pleasure. But it didn’t bring me joy. Even when I was eating, I was far from joyful.

I didn’t know where to start…

Here’s my approach to tough questions: try my way to the answer. Work my way to potential solutions. I refuse to stay stuck on a question. I’ll simply try my way to a solution.

I started a list. What might bring me joy?

  • Being with people I love
  • Singing & dancing
  • Letting go of the need to be cool and just having FUN
  • Laughing until I cry
  • Swinging on a swingset or riding waves in the ocean

Then: which of those things can I make time for this week and how?

Here’s what it looks like for me lately:

  • I walk to the water to watch the sunset when I can.
  • I started going to an adult gymastics class where we jump and flip and do silly things adults don’t normally do.
  • I started taking aerial yoga and guitar lessons.
  • I try to connect more with people I love.
  • I give myself permission to stop working and have more fun.

I am actively LOOKING for ways to have more fun and create more moments of joy in my life.

Because the measure of my success is my joy.

How about you?