The Intention of Adding Joy

I’d waited a whole year to experience this again.

My mouth was already watering in anticipation. This time, I got to bring Gracy girl - my 5 year old - with me to experience it.

I hadn’t done it this way for years. YEARS. I want to say I went with my uncle when I was still a girl. Before that, with my Grandpa Floyd, who died the week I graduated high school. 

Now I get to recreate a tradition with my kids, in hopes it’s happy and yummy memories for them. 

We get our box. We wait in line and listen to the instructions. We march the perimeter until we are led to our row, and directed what was ours. Then we finally got to dig our knees into the straw and reveal the clusters of perfectly red strawberries. 

Not even an hour later, we were overflowing our box with top of those in-season, juicy berries. 

Sprouted Planner Strawberries

Side note: that’s too many strawberries for people with no real plans for them. Lesson learned. 

We did this mid-June and it was an event that brought me a lot of joy...something I have been intentional about infusing in my life this year, and especially this summer

When was the last time you experienced joy? 

Seriously. Stop and think. 

Better yet, tell me! Relive it by writing me an email (hello@sproutedplanner.com) with it. I’d love to hear what lit you up recently. 

As I’m writing this, we are in the final days of June. My family is making our 4th of July lists for our cabin getaway with our friends. When I think about July, I think about untethered joy. Bare feet. Sprinklers. Warm days. Cold drinks. Grilling. Laughing and frolicking children. Popsicles. 

Sprouted Planner popsicles

I don’t want this month to cruise by with us on autopilot. I want to look back and feel myself glow with the joy of it. But that, my friends, takes intention. The intention of joy. Planning joy on purpose. Because listen, I have 2 little kids, a business, and a house to run...joy doesn’t just come willy-nilly for me. 

Will you join me in planning joy into your schedule? Here’s what I’m going to do...maybe this can help you too: 

Leave margin

I can’t imagine I’m unique in the fact that being over-scheduled sucks the joy right out of me. Even if what is scheduled is fun and worthy things. If every single one of my weekends is filled up for an entire month, it takes the wind right out of my sails. It’s hard to be joyful when you’re exhausted.

As you look at the rest of your summer plans on your calendar, if you can, mark off at least one weekend per month to keep as your own. Guard it with your life. If someone tries to make plans for that weekend, a perfectly good response is, “I’m sorry, I can’t. I already have plans that weekend.” Then don’t feel guilty about it. You DO have plans, even if the plans are to do nothing and remain unplanned. 

I come from a long lineage of people who are really good at experiencing guilt where they shouldn’t. Your planned commitment to yourself and your wellbeing is just as valid as a planned commitment to a nephew’s birthday party. 

Make a list

Do you even know what brings you joy? You absolutely should. Writing it down is even better. Why? It will force you to identify what your joyful bucket fillers are in your life so you can have them in your back pocket to plan into your schedule.

It is also a helpful reference guide when you are lost in the thick of everyday living, and can’t think of one single thing that brings you happiness anymore. 

So make a list of what brings you joy. Then make another list of what fun you want to have this summer. Your summer bucket list, if you will.

Here is a little snippet of mine, if you find it helpful: 

Brings Me Joy Summer Joys
  • Reading 
  • Ice cream runs
  • Organizing
  • Beach days
  • Music
  • Bonfires
  • 1:1 with my favorite people
  • Porch nights
  • Alone time
  • Strawberry picking
  • Dates with Aaron
  • Camping
  • Joy rides on scenic routes
  • Boating
  • Coffee shops
  • Bike rides
  • Planning in my planner
  • Gin & Tonics, Margaritas, and Rose

 

Schedule in the bigger things

For things like getting together with your favorite people, or alone time (if that's not regularly a reality), or going to events, you’ll want to schedule those ahead of time. Open up your planner to the monthly spread and plan out at least 1 of those things over the month. 

Especially in summer, people’s schedules fill up fast. Events that require tickets or reservations fill up fast. Get ahead of the rush by planning those activities as far in advance as you can. Camping spots. Concerts. Garden tours. Girls night. Dates with a significant other. All good things to plan ahead. 

Make your intentions for the week AND weekend

My husband and I don’t get to have meaningful conversations much these days. Between his work schedule and the demands of taking care of kids, we communicate what is essential. However, we do try to make it a habit on Saturday mornings to ask each other what we both need AND want to get done during the weekend. After listing out our simple intentions for the weekend, we make a game plan of how to make that happen for each other and our family. It’s amazing how our intentions come to life just by speaking words to them. 

As an example from this last weekend: After our Saturday morning pancakes, I asked Aaron what he needed and wanted to get done this weekend. He said he needed to get the timesheets done for his crew (because apparently, people like to get paid on time...who knew), and he wanted to cut his hair. He asked me the same question, and I said I wanted to get the garage cleaned out so there was room for the new planners that are being delivered in July. Also, remember that clean and organized things bring me joy! Then we made a game plan of how we could do those things, and we did them. 

I GUARANTEE YOU, both his haircut and getting the garage cleaned out would not have happened had we not talked about it. Then we both would have been stupidly resentful of the other person.

Communication...it's good for a relationship. 

Sprouted Planner the more you know

If you’re running the show solo, then write down those intentions. It is much more likely to happen when you go from thinking about them to putting them to ink. Take it a step further by planning out WHEN you are going to have that bonfire, or organize your kitchen.

Recalibrate your schedule and routines to allow spaces for joy to fill in

Let’s use my list for example: reading & porch time. If I want to fit those activities into my days, then my schedule needs to allow for it. I wake up early every weekday morning to do my routine before the kids wake up, including a little bit of non-fiction reading.

At night, we really try to stick to the kid’s bedtimes so we have a tiny bit of time to ourselves before bed. Boom. Porch & more reading time, if I want to. At the least, I always read on my Kindle before bed. I only get in about 10 minutes before I’m nodding off, but better than nothing. 

Every single person’s schedule is going to be different depending on their position and situation in life. Also, every single person is going to have different energies at different times of the day. The better you know and accept yourself and your traits, the better you can make your schedule reflect when you’re most productive, most creative, most tired, most chill, and most likely to engage in XYZ activity that brings you joy. Create your schedule to allow space for joy during times that jive with your natural rhythms and current season of life.

Finally, a reminder that having fun & intentionally adding joy into your life is not frivolous, a waste of time, or something to be fit in if there’s time after all the other things are done. I’m telling myself this as much as I’m telling you because I fall into that trap daily. So much so, that I had to make it one of my priorities this year - add more joy.

 

Don’t let what’s arguably the best month of summer slip by without the joy. Add it by:

  1. Leaving margin
  2. Make a list of things that personally bring you joy & your summer-specific joys
  3. Schedule the bigger thing
  4. Set your week & weekend intentions by saying them out loud or writing them down...those intentions should include something on the above said list
  5. Have your daily & weekly schedule include opportunities for joy


To help you get started, I’ve created a blank list for you to print, list out those bucket fillers, and post it where you can see it every day. You can find that freebie here

Sprouted Planner Joy Printable

Don’t forget to grab my other summer planning freebie while you’re at it.