Selecting Leisure

Selecting Leisure…

 Begin your search for interesting leisure with a survey of your desired payoffs instead of lists of activities.

It is not unusual to develop desires for new leisure activities. Without the motivation, however, it is difficult to maintain the effort that is often required of new activities. One reason is that in the beginning we often lack the required skills and information to sustain us until we achieve some success and thus enjoyment. An idea that some have found useful is to begin the process of selecting leisure activities by looking at the kinds of “payoffs” you would like to experience. Once you have those clarified, it should be easier to identify activities that are more likely to meet your desires. Here is simple method for clarifying desires and choosing activities.

Begin by making a list of personal desires. Your list might include the following.

  • Meet Other People
  • Extend the Pocketbook
  • Increase Pleasant Family Interaction
  • Produce a Product
  • Use Your Talents and Intellect
  • Be Creative
  • Help Others
  • Be Competitive
  • Appreciate Nature
  • Escape
  • Aesthetic Enrichment
  • Entertainment
  • Be Different
  • Physical Exercise

Your list may or may not include some of these desires, but hopefully the list got you started. Try to complete such a list by thinking about the kinds of pleasures that are important to you. 

Once you are more or less satisfied with your list make three columns on a sheet of paper. Head them Desire One, Desire Two and Desire Three. Select three of the desires on your list and enter one  under each column headings. You could take three desires that are similar or three that seem different or simply take three at random.

Now, make a list of activities in each desire column that you think might work for you. When you are finished making your lists you will have generated a collection of leisure activities, each of which appears to be capable of satisfying at least one desire. It may be interesting to scan the lists to see if one activity meets multiple desires. You can stop this part of the exercise here, or run another set of desires through the activities routine.

In a reasonably short period of time, you should have a list of appealing activities. The question now, is do you have the resources to initiate them? To find out, let’s evaluate. To do that, select one of the activities with high appeal and consider how it measures up to the following conditions.

  1. Time: How many hours a week or month would the activity require? Could you fit it into your schedule or could you adjust your schedule? 
  2. Money: How much initial investment would be required and what would be the on going expense? 
  3. Space: How much and what kind of space and facilities would be required? Can you meet these requirement? 
  4. Aptitude, Skills and Training: What are the requirements and can you meet them? 
  5. Effect on Others: Who might be affected if you do this activity and how? How can you deal with the reaction of others?

Use the following Rating Scale to evaluate your responses to the five conditions

1= No Problem
2= Maybe a Problem
3= A Real Problem Meeting This Condition

Evaluate one or more of the activities that interest you significantly by repeating the procedure.

When you have finished the exercise, it is still up to you to make a choice and make the commitment to begin the activity. No way around that. But, as a result of your thinking about Leisure Payoffs, Activities and Conditions, you should be in a better position to make the choice.