Joanna Zaremba mug - NEW Oct 2021 - for Intentional Living column Cheyenne Edition.jpg

JOANNA ZAREMBA

A few weeks ago, my focus for 2022 popped into my head.

2022 would be, “The Year of Fun.”

Last year, my focus was Creativity. I had a long list of creative activities I wanted to do, but I didn’t have a system to ensure I would actually do them.

Instead of pursuing artistic endeavors, the year ended up being about creating for work while also learning about the creative process.

I created my first online program, which ended up challenging me in all kinds of ways — some enjoyable and some not.

I recorded and re-recorded exercise videos, improving them through trial and error, and when tech issues came up — like when I discovered my mic wasn’t working. I learned how to edit videos and found a platform to host them, wrote a 31-email sequence to deliver the program, launched a new website alongside it, and more.

It was exciting and exhausting and fun and frustrating all wrapped into one.

Last year, I wrote more than ever — this column, newsletters and blog posts, and freelance news and features articles.

I stretched myself with improv and voice-over acting classes and recorded my first promos.

I recorded 13 episodes for a podcast I’m launching in 2022, and I learned how to edit audio. It’s more involved than you might think. Who knew we use so many filler words while we talk?

I read books like Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Process,” “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield, and “Creativity” by John Cleese.

But the book that impacted me the most was “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron, which I worked through during the last 12 weeks of the year.

This is where fun — and play — came into clear focus.

Before reading Cameron’s book, I knew intellectually that play was essential, especially for my 7-year-old son. I knew I and other adults needed more fun and play in our lives. In fact, I planned to create a therapeutic play course for caregivers to use with kids.

Despite this, fun still felt extra, like a nice idea that my real life might not allow for.

Taking the weekly “artist’s dates” Cameron prescribes fed my inner artist while imbedding fun and play into my life.

Twelve weeks later, I no longer believe fun is optional. I now know its essential to feel like yourself, to access your creativity, and to show up in life as a whole, resilient and resourceful person.

But as “Atomic Habits” author James Clear writes, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

I’m prepared this time. I have a visual system in place to ensure fun remains a part of each day.

This is why 2022 is, “The Year of Fun.”

I need it. My family needs it. My business needs it. Everyone needs it.

Joanna Zaremba is a writer and a movement and mindset coach. She gives people the practical tools they need to feel good, access their own answers, and take action toward what matters most. She has lived in the Pikes Peak Region since 2011. She can be reached at joannazaremba.com.

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