When life gets demanding, you often put your nose to the grindstone and fight back against the challenges, forgetting to enjoy your life.

It can leave you with an immense sense of accomplishment when you conquer the difficulties that threaten to rob you of your dreams. But it can also take away your ability to stop and smell the proverbial roses.

Rebuilding that ability to enjoy your life is so important. After all, the work that you do and the obligations that you meet are all for the purpose of being able to enjoy your free time. When you lose that free time to meeting those obligations–or are just too tired afterwards to do anything but rest – it’s time to fight back. Here are some ways you can get yourself back into a time of enjoyment.

First, Create a Desire

Many people bolt out of college, the ink barely dry on their diplomas, and jump headlong into their careers. They rack up long hours leading to big success–and simultaneously forget how to have fun.

If you want to be able to enjoy your life at 30 and 40 years old, you need to learn how to build in the fun when you’re 22. Just as you acquire a taste for food, music, or a sport, you must develop a desire to partake of travel. Remember in your younger years that you are as unfettered as you will ever be; capture some of that freedom and make sure you teach yourself how to live life.

Next, Make Plans

Highly successful people make goals in everything they do, whether it’s daily routines or long-range plans. If you’ve built up that habit for work, why not do it for play?

Circle some dates on the calendar. Write in your plans. Workaround meetings, sales calls, and training to get to a luxury resort for a few days. This will help in two ways. First, it will stoke your fire for fun, and second, it will help to build in the time for your adventure.

If you don’t make time for it, there won’t be time for it. Block it out now so that you can aspire to it and so that you can be sure you’ll do it.

Finally, DO IT!

It’s one thing to mark aggressively on your calendar with red ink and to tell everybody that the time slot is sacred. It’s another thing altogether to make it so.

The idea of planning so far ahead is to get you so excited about your trip that you won’t back down from taking it. But one temptation that can come up with a long-term plan for travel is to begin encroaching on it with other commitments as the date approaches.

Make a commitment. Promise your kids. Put down a nonrefundable deposit. Set things in stone so that you won’t cheat yourself, and then enjoy your time.

We’ve talked a lot about travel as your escape from hard work. It’s a very common option but bear in mind that it’s not the only one. An evening at the symphony or some time with charity work can do just as many good things as jetting off to the beach.

The important thing is to take care of your inner adventurer so that your outer achiever doesn’t live alone.

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