Fun, Joy, Play Index 2022

Every year around this time, there is discussion around resolutions.

How can we even think about coming up with any resolutions for 2021, after the years we’ve had in 2020 & 2021? Is it even worth thinking about what to look forward to especially in this new normal where there is so much uncertainty?

I say it is more important now than ever to embrace hope amongst all the chaos thrown at us in 2020 & 2021.

When my dad passed away back in 2015, his brothers who had not seen each other in over 30 years, all showed up. I was full of grief and sadness. Also, being surrounded by so much family, I felt gratitude, support, love, and joy. I thought, how could I feel these positive feelings in the midst of tragedy? Shouldn’t I feel guilty for feeling these positive emotions? Then I realized that I can feel all the emotions at the same time. Joy and grief, sadness and gratitude. Just like in Pixar’s Inside Out, emotions are complicated and we must embrace all of them and allow them to flow through us in order to truly experience life.

Challenge the Usual Resolution

Two years ago, I chose to challenge the antiquated BS resolution plan. Most new year’s resolutions last only till January 12th before people end up giving up. So, I asked myself, “why not create something new that allows you to savor the current year while exploring the possibilities of the upcoming year.

So, I created the Fun, Joy, Play (FJP) Index.

It asks us to embrace our favorite fun, joy play moments of the previous year, savoring those moments, and think of what type of moments we want to create in the upcoming year. It seemed like a fun and inspiring exercise that spoke more to the soul.

So, in the face of such loss and tragedy, where many people went through major change and personal growth, the Fun, Joy, Play Index can play a vital role in helping you reflect on 2021 with a new perspective. Then, you can embrace the uncertainty of 2022 with hope and anticipation.

I Challenge You

“If you don’t prioritize adventure, if you don’t prioritize newness, you get a calendar full of responsibilities and appointments.”

– Jesse Itzler

So, I challenge you to try out the Fun, Joy, Play Index. Consider this simply as a play experiment. Be curious and see what comes up for you.

There are eight FJP questions.

If you need a guide on how to best answer these questions, you can see my personal answers below. Enjoy the FJP journey!

Suggested Tips:

  • The deeper you are willing to go with the answers, the more you will get out of the play exercise
  • You may feel compelled not to want to explore the fun, joy, play moments of 2021 when you may have dealt with tragedy and loss. This is precisely why the exercise is worth trying. Embracing the complexity of 2021, both joy and grief are vital to living in this complex world. Celebrating happy moments does not discount the sad ones and vice versa. Both can exist and should be acknowledged.

Through this exercise, we are simply exploring the moments that we may have missed while mourning during the chaotic times of 2021.

FJP Questions

1. What moments bring you an immense amount of joy & fulfillment when you think about 2021?

2. When did you laugh the most and who were you with?

3. What day or moment made you smile the most?

4. What was your most awe-inspiring, surreal experience of this year? (If you can’t narrow it down to just one, go ahead and list more. Why limit yourself?)

5. What did you learn this year that blew your mind?

6. What adventures did you go on this year and what made them so much fun?

7. What FJP moments do you want to create in 2022 and who can help make them happen?

8. What old stories are you willing to let go of, so you can have fun, joy, play moments in 2022?

Bonus Question: How do you feel now about your year after answering these questions?

If you are up for a fun challenge, take the answers you came up with for 2022 FJP Moments and reach out to the people who can help make these moments happen.

Anticipation is sometimes as much fun as the actual event.

I wish you all of the fun, joy and play that you deserve and more in 2022.

Jeff Harry’s FJP Moments of 2021

1. What moments bring you an immense amount of joy & fulfillment when you think about 2021?

Watching my nephew make a run to the State Championship in Illinois. I decided to come for a weekend and I ended up staying two weeks to watch him.

His brother even flew and surprised him for the State Semi-Finals game:

Also, I did a few tipsy storms with friends to brainstorm ideas over zoom that were quite magical.

2. When did you laugh the most and who were you with?

I laughed the most recently during a beer tasting at a friend’s house. It was so much just

3. What day or moment made you smile the most?

Watching the sunset in Porto, Portugal. Being able to leave the country, even for just a short time and putting into context what is important in life was worth the trip. It reminded me of what is important and how special it is to cherish the moments.

4. What was your most awe-inspiring, surreal experience of this year? (If you can’t narrow it down to just one, go ahead and list more. Why limit yourself?)

I got to interview the top play expert in the world, Dr. Stuart Brown. This all happened because I reached out the year before to help promote a movie about play. This is one of my biggest takeaways from our interview:

5. What did you learn this year (about the world yourself) that blew your mind?

I learned how to ask for help and support more than I ever have in any previous year. This was a tough year mentally, emotionally, and in my business. Being able to lean on people, such as the MistressMind, helped me realize I wasn’t alone.

Made more videos that showed a more vulnerable side of me.

I learned the power I have to affect people, especially when in my play element. Recognizing it as my unique superpower, instead of thinking it isn’t that unique. Finally owning my power is an experience that is new to me.

6. What adventures did you go on this year and what made them so much fun?

  • Said goodbye to some people that meant a great deal to me — Beauty in the sadness
  • Had a 3-Hour conversation with a staunch Trump supporter on YouTube — Never experienced something like this before
  • Moved out of my apartment in Illinois and headed back to Oakland — Scary yet familiar, as if going back in time
  • Traveled to Portugal on a whim when parts of the world opened up for a brief time — Forgot how big the world is and how much impact we can have on each other as human beings
  • Was interviewed on television for 3 different countries
  • Went on a 24 Hour Date (that did not go well) — The experience was fascinating, especially being that I hadn’t gone on a date in over 2 years

7. What FJP moments do you want to create in 2022 and who can help make them happen?

My FJP moments of 2022 have to align with my play values, which have become even more clear this year.

Play Values: Community, Creative Collaboration, & Connection

So, FJP Moments that I want in 2022 include:

  • Taking more leaps and bold risks that make me nerv-cited (e.g., speaking on bigger stages, reaching out to people that intimidate me, saying what’s on mind especially if it’s unpopular)
  • Choosing to be part of more community opportunities and/or doubling downing on the ones that exist (e.g., book club, Thank U, weirdos unite, etc.)
  • Prioritizing transformational conversations vs transactional ones

8. What old stories are you willing to let go of, so you can have fun, joy, play moments in 2022?

  • That I do not make much of a difference in people’s lives
  • That I am not worthy of being fulfilled, loved, and appreciated for who I am

Bonus Question: How do you feel now about your year after answering these questions?

Excited for what is possible and humbled/grateful for all the awesome people that I connected with this year.

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If you are up for a fun challenge involving your friends, take the answers you came up with for 2022 FJP Moments and reach out to the people closest to you who can help make these moments a reality.

Whether we achieve all of these is not as important as striving for what they represent. Hope, optimism, perseverance, and joy. Sometimes, anticipation is sometimes as much fun as the actual event.

I wish you all of the most fulfilling, fun, joyful, play-oriented, epiphany-filled, life-affirming year of your life in 2022!

Workplace Positive Psychology Play Whisperer / Helping Fortune 500 Companies Build Psychologically Safe Workspaces Through Positive Psychology & Play