My thoughts on passion projects and finding inner happiness in a world of struggles and stresses

fortuneThere’s a strange thing that happens when I open up a fresh word document, or open a brand new notebook. I somehow loose myself and forget all of the struggles that have plagued me as of late. Whether it’s the fact that I basically haven’t had any alone time in over a month, or that I’ve worked 60+ hours a week for almost a year. Maybe it’s that I’m publishing a book in February and a text book in the spring. Any combination of these could cause the normal person to stress.

But I’ve got words, and they never fail me.

I’ve been so tied up in projects that are going to bring me closer to my long-term life goal that I’ve forgotten to stop and smell the roses for the past few months. I’ve forgotten to take time to write for pleasure, instead of for purpose.

That stops today.

I live my life on a very regimented schedule. I work a normal day job doing what I love, then teach acting to my students every day, which I also love, but I’m lacking the free time to work on my passion projects. So, I’ve developed five life goals that will allow me to complete my passion projects.

1 – Make time

There’s always going to be an excuse. There are a million things that have to get done, and that’s never going to change. Projects get piled on top of other projects, and just when you finish one thing, another one pops up. My new goal is to make time, and it should be your goal, too. I use Google Calendar for everything these days, and I love it. I’ve started to plan out my day according to my writing hour (first thing in the morning) and my project hour every evening.

2 – Stick to the schedule

I love living a flexible life, but sticking to the schedule is the key to maintaining balance.  I’ve decided that nothing comes before my passion projects and my fun writing times; not even the writing time for work.

3 – Have someone hold you accountable

I’ve got a group of writing friends that keep me on track with my books, but I’ve got another friend that keeps me on track with working on projects that I love. It’s not about them telling you what to do, it’s about them checking in on you to see if there’s anything they can do to ease up the time to give back to you. Just make sure that you do the same for them. I’ve been fortunate enough to gain friends that share common interests and help me when needed, and I help them.

4 – Silence the outside world

I’m one of the most connected people I know. Face to face interaction, phones, texting, email, and social media have gotten us all more connected than ever, but during your passion project time, you’ve got to shut the rest of the world out and dedicate yourself to what you’re working on. It’s you time to the extreme, and it happens daily.

5 – Forgive yourself if you break the schedule

You’re bound to falter. Maybe you’ve set your passion project hour to first thing in the morning and you’ve got to get that extra hour of sleep because the night before was rough. Maybe you’re going on vacation for a while. Whatever the situation may be, forgive yourself if you miss a day or two, but don’t let yourself fall out of the habit. It takes 21 days for something to become a habit. Don’t break it for too long.

Whatever you do, take time to stop and enjoy life, and do what makes you feel good. That’s the ultimate purpose, isn’t it?

What are some of your tips for making time to do what you love?