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  • Brian VanDongen

20 Ways To Be More Playful in 2020

If you are reading this on the day this post is published, it is January 6: six days in to the new year, in to the new decade.


Approximately 40% of Americans make a new year's resolution. According to research by Strava, most people quit, gave up, or stopped committing to their resolution by January 12. We are half way there to (potentially) you giving up on your resolution.


And it's okay. Most of our new year's resolutions are too broad or vague, don't follow or passions, or are next to impossible to attain.


What was your resolution? Maybe it was to eat better... but what does that mean? Maybe it was to exercise more... but how much more? Maybe it was to run a marathon, but you hate running and won't train for it. Right from the get go, your resolution may have been doomed to fail.


There has to be an easier way. An easier, more attainable resolution, that will help you gain life skills, that will make your life happier and fill you with joy.


In 2020, resolve to play.


Play is a difficult thing to define, but one of my favorites is, "play is in the eye of the player." There is no correct way to play, just as there is no wrong way to play.


But, to make it easier for you, as promised by the title of this post, I have made a list of 20 ways you can live more playfully in 2020.


1. Smile.... when you see a cute dog on the street, when your child scores a goal in soccer, when a butterfly lands on a flower. Smile when something makes you happy.

2. Laugh... at all the jokes (even the bad ones). At yourself.

3. Dance... in the grocery store line. In the office after a long meeting. During the commercial of your favorite TV show.

4. Sing... in the shower. In the car. With a friend. To that song you're not quite sure of the lyrics of.

5. Color... inside the lines. Outside the lines. It doesn't matter... it's your art.

6. Daydream... during your down time.

7. Connect... with your friends. With others. With children. With adults. With neighbors.

8. Jump... in the puddle. Over the fence. Around the house.

9. Walk... at the park. In the woods. Down the street.

10. Watch... silly YouTube videos.

11. Climb... up the slide. Up the tree. Up the stairs.

12. Slide... down the slide. Feet first. Or on your stomach. Or with your eyes closed. Or with your hands in the air (and wave them, like you just don't care... please refer to #2 and laugh at my bad joke...)

13. Tell... goofy jokes. Funny stories. Imaginative stories.

14. Write... whatever is in your imagination. Your life story. Your dog's life story. Magnet poetry.

15. Create... art. Play-doh sculptures. Lego buildings. Paintings, drawings, photographs.

16. Play games... board games with family. Words with friends.

17. Try... a class at the community center. A new activity. A new experience.

18. Go outside... get fresh air. Experience nature.

19. Participate... in sports leagues. In art classes. In culinary classes. In pick-up games. In something you enjoy.

20. Whatever... you imagine as play. Whatever you think is play. Do it. You can't play wrong.


(If you're looking for ways that play can help you and others gain life skills and joy, check out my book, Play to Live, available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.)


Now is the time to make your life more playful. Don't look back on 2020 with perfect 20/20 hindsight and say you should have played more.


Tell me, how will you play in 2020 (and beyond...)?


(Featured image: Adults Playing by Eugene Kim CC-BY 2.0)


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