An Overachiever’s Guide: Reclaim Your Joy

Oh Adulting…… why are you so joyless?

Is that how you feel? Does adulting suck the life out of you?  It often does to me. 

But why do we allow it to?  Why is it so acceptable to become joyless pits once we reach a certain age? 

Can we reverse this trend?  

Heather thinks so, in her book An Overachiever's Guide To Breaking The Rules: How To Let Go Of Perfect and Live Your Truth she explains how.

First, it’s understanding that joy is a level above happiness. It happens in the present moment when we are fully present, when we have let go of our distractions.

To me joy means belly laughing. You know that laugh that babies and kids do? That laugh that comes from deep down inside of you. That is full of pure joy and happiness. That is what joy means to me.

And I have recently realized that I rarely do it. I rarely belly laugh, truly laugh. I may giggle at something. But I rarely allow myself to so deeply let go of the responsibilities around me to TRULY and deeply laugh. 

That’s a shame.

I’m so distracted by my shoulds, by my responsibilities, by the TV, by my phone. I’m constantly multitasking which prevents me from truly being anywhere in the present moment.

And the present moment is the foundation of joy.

Heather reminded me to put my phone down and fully focus my attention on where I am and who I’m with. 

To give myself permission to be unproductive and slow down. 


To release the ego of overachieving and hustling. To realize that I can do things just for fun and that the reason from doing something does not always have to be a productive outcome. 

Heather also reminded me to be gentle with myself. To not beat myself up for not living in joy, because our brains are made to notice negativity to keep us safe. 

It is not our fault that noticing joy is a process we need to work on every day. Our brains are made to notice bad things so we can avoid those same bad things in the future, which is helpful, but also draining on our souls.

We need to purposefully notice joy. We need to purposefully slow down.

We need to create our bliss list and do at least 1 activity from that list EVERY DAY.

Here is my list:

  • Playing with my kids (truly going all in and playing with them)

  • Walking

  • Gardening

  • Reading

  • Napping

  • Laughing

  • Riding a bike

  • Yoga and light exercise

  • Volleyball with my friends

  • Hanging out with the neighbors

  • Hanging out with my family

  • Swimming in a lake

  • Jumping in a lake

  • Catching fish

  • Breathing deeply

  • Caribou coffee (white chocolate mocha – mmm mmm good)

  • Writing

  • Snuggling with my husband, kids or dog

  • Playing with my dog

  • Reading a book with my kids

  • Teaching my kids

  • Discovering new ways to do things

  • Teaching people how to do things easier, more efficiently and better

  • Sharing successes with others

  • Celebrating success

  • Guided meditations


Now it’s your turn to create your list. 

Once that is created, I challenge you to make sure that each day you are doing at least 1 thing from your list.


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