Cultivating A Joyful Life | Willing To Try New Things

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Willing To Try New Things

As a group, we thrive on comfort and our version of ‘normal.’ We enjoy seeing the same people, doing the same things, eating the same food, and going the same places. After a long day, it is of great comfort to return to the same home, same peaceful activities, and same bedroom. Peace of mind comes with the knowledge that we’ve gotten the normal things we do done, and a day of that very same nature will be carried out tomorrow, too.

When we become comfortable with the things that make up our daily lives – job, family role, hobbies, etc – that’s a beautiful thing. I know how important it is for that to be a truth in our lives. Without that stability, we will find ourselves on shaky ground.

But how often do we learn about something new to us – an activity, challenge, recipe, even a restaurant – and we’re hesitant to try it, because we’d be stepping out of our comfort zone to do so? Normality is good for us, but in today’s post, I will be stressing the importance of taking the plunge of chasing after our personal pursuits: the art of being willing to try new things.

Hey everyone! I hope that you’re having a beautiful Wednesday. 🙂 ❤ It has been a while since I wrote a Cultivating A Joyful Life post, which is why I’m here with a new one to give you today! There are few things I enjoy writing more than this inspirational blog series, as it helps me to think through the things I pursue in life, as well as helping and motivating my readers. (I appreciate your feedback on these posts!)

Related Post: Cultivating A Joyful Life | An Introduction

As we are still in the first week of this fresh new year, I thought it would be a great time to write a post on pursuing new things in our lives. This could be a hobby, an activity in your community, a new dessert recipe that sounds really good to you – whatever first came to your mind when you read the title of this post.

For me, I have personally been experimenting with healthier eating and daily exercise for a few weeks, as I have neglected both of those practices for too long. The fear of injuring myself, as well as not quite knowing where to begin, hindered me from participating in anything more than the occasional walk. I enjoyed the healthy dinners my mom made, yet I never thought about making every meal I ate throughout the day healthy, as well. In mid-December, I realized that taking it a day at a time by learning more about health and fitness, what worked for my body, etc, I would feel great physically and emotionally. I am excited to be on this journey, and it finally felt like the right time in my life to start making healthy choices. Even though I thought for a while I’d never be confident enough to do so, the Lord gave me strength, and I’m so thankful that He did! ❤

If you have struggled with being open to trying new things in the past, fret not – I have been there many times myself. Whether it was the Lord’s timing, or I simply wasn’t ready, I’ve had it happened time and time again. There are always things that first appear insurmountable to us, for any number of reasons – money, our emotional state, how inspired we are – the list goes on. It isn’t always the right time to try something new, but there are ways you can motivate and inspire yourself to see if you are ready!

With this being the beginning of 2018, I’d like to invite you to try new things with me. The past is in the past – things you weren’t ready for then may be a possibility now. If it feels right for you now, this may be the year to begin. ❤

I would love to now take a look at the relevancy of this topic to the garden of our hearts.

As I mentioned previously, the familiar is a blessing to us. We’re used to how these situations, activities, and other things are, how they’re carried out, and so on. There are little to no surprises when it comes to these things. For a gardener, he will become accustomed to what his plants’ needs are, how long they live, which seasons they thrive in, etc – I’m sure that it’s tempting for many cultivating a garden to stick with the same plants for a long time. For some, this may be just what they want. However, change can be just as beautiful as that which is familiar.

With gardens, both figurative and literal, new plants (or hobbies and interests) will eventually become the familiar to us as we learn the practice and master the difficulties.


New Year’s resolutions are a touchy topic for many, as they work for some and not for others. However, there’s no denying that as one year draws to a close, we think about and potentially set out to do things differently in the new year. Whether we’re brushing up on something, continuing to work toward a long-standing goal, or we’re at the point where we’d love to try a new thing, the month of January is full of new beginnings.

Related Post: Staying Organized in 2018: Tips On Setting Goals for Yourself

I’m definitely feeling inspired with blogging right now, as well as continuing my health and fitness journey! However, I am content to go wherever the Lord leads me. 🙂

What are some things that you would love to try someday? And would they work in your life right now?

Some things are meant to happen at a certain time, while others will simply come to fruition when we are ready. There have been occasions where I thought I was 100% ready to tackle a new hobby or activity (even a certain of blog post!), but then, when I went to do it, things weren’t working out. Timing is everything, even if we are just simply not ready for it.

Observe your life as it is at the moment. Do you have the time, energy, inspiration, and maybe even funds to pursue this? Is there something else you should be doing instead? There are things that could probably wait, and some will last for a time and then fade away.

I know that when you stay optimistic and find joy in the little things in your life, new and old, you will be so happy!

Thank you so much for reading today’s post! I really enjoyed writing it, and I hope it can inspire you. 🙂

Let me know in the comments below:
What is something that YOU would love to try?

— Maggie

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Spending Our Time Wisely

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Spending Our Time Wisely

My favorite time of day is the early evening. That’s when I get to spend time relaxing in my room after eating dinner with my family. Don’t get me wrong; I love eating dinner with everyone, but clean-up takes a while, since there are six people eating, haha! Anyway, once I’ve finished helping in the kitchen and I get to retreat to my room, I enjoy browsing my phone, reading a good book, or working on something on the laptop.

Sometimes, however, these evenings aren’t as productive or enjoyable as I’d like them to be.

It can be hard to relax when there are so many things I’d enjoy doing, to the point where I can’t decide on just one. Switching back and forth between these things works out sometimes, but more often than not, I get much less done than I would have liked, because I did a small amount … of everything.

Do you ever feel like you have too many things filling your free time?

Hey guys! I hope that you’re all doing well. 🙂 I have a post to share with you today that is very relevant to my life, haha! For this part of my Cultivating A Joyful Life series, I will be talking about, as the title suggests, spending our time wisely. We all have hobbies, interests, and activities we love doing, and when we attempt to do too many at once, it can be hard to accomplish what we set out to do.

I have found that dedicating large amounts of time to one thing at a time, instead of dividing an hour or so up among five activities, gets much more done and feels better than the variety. Sometimes, it depends on the day, or the activities themselves, but I’ve noticed how this occurs again and again in many situations for me. Basing what I focus on depending on my mood and inspiration usually helps me, unless I want to accomplish too many tasks at once.

Read More: Cultivating A Joyful Life

How do you regularly spend your free time? Do you feel satisfied with what you’ve done afterward? Or do you feel like me – uncertain if how you’re spending your time is really worth it? I have so many things I love pursuing when I’m able to that I struggle to decide which ones I should do, for how long, and when. Let’s figure out how we can spend our free time wisely in today’s post! Before we go on to the rest of this post, however, I’d like to share how this topic, just like the rest in this series, deeply relates to the garden of our hearts.

To properly care for a garden, whether that’s a real or metaphorical one, you must evenly divide your attention among all of the plants. Some need more care than others, but as a whole, they all require sunlight, good soil, water, and enough individual space to flourish. If, at some point, there are so many plants that the caretaker struggles to evenly care for all the plantlife, it’s quite possible that some will get more than they need, and others will be left behind. Balancing our priorities is a very important aspect of our lives.

Cultivating A Joyful Life |
Spending Our Time Wisely

The funny thing about my hobbies and interests is that at any given time, I am extremely occupied, or very bored. This is because I either have one or two hobbies, or so many that I’ve lost count. I’m quite finicky with hobbies this way, to the point that I have too much time on my hands, or not enough. For the majority of 2017, I have had many pursuits, from language-learning to blogging, to piano-playing to story-writing, and learning to balance these things has taught me a lot.

If you are interested in figuring out how to prioritize more wisely like I am, check out the list below!

1. Write down two lists: one for your hobbies/interests, and another for things required of you. You could include all of the main things, or break them down into sub-categories. For example, if “blogging” was on your interests list, you could also add what that activity consists of, like “writing posts,” “reading posts,” “browsing Reader,” etc.

2. Number the hobbies/interests list by how much those things mean to you right now. I really need to make a list like this, too. Whether you number them in order of your enjoyment of those activities, or by how important they are in the grand scheme of things (i.e. learning Spanish or playing the piano will last longer than a blog post I could work on, lol), it’s totally up to you. 🙂

3. Make sure that you’re completing the things on your important list before moving on to what’s on your interest list. I live by the saying “work before play,” except for in the case of simply needing a mental break. I feel much more relaxed and apt to participate in my favorite activities after I have completed all of the things required of me. At this time in my life, that’s usually schoolwork, helping around the house, and being with my family. While I wouldn’t say that the latter one is ‘required’ of me, it is definitely something essential in my life. 🙂

4. Consider dropping the hobbies that are last to be numbered. There may be a reason they’re not high on your list of favorite things to do. If this is the case, maybe you aren’t as interested in it as you thought you were, or you could simply need a break. Definitely take that into consideration!

5. Work your free time around these lists. I wouldn’t advise practicing this strictly, as that could put unneeded pressure on yourself to spend your time one certain way. However, I know that with writing and numbering my hobbies and interests, and by choosing which I’d prefer to do in what order any given day, it would give me much more peace of mind. It is very satisfying when you know you’re getting things that you love to do done!


Thank you so much for reading, guys! This post has really helped me. I’m working on balancing what hobbies I participate in and when at this time in my life, and this addition to Cultivating A Joyful Life is a reflection of that. I hope you enjoyed it!

Let me know in the comments below:

How do YOU manage your time?

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Nourishing Our Mental Health

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Nourishing Our Mental Health

We have all had times like this. Life is going pretty well; we’re getting things done, enjoying our time, and just feeling happy overall. We have a nice routine and things to look forward to in the near future. For a while, we might not even realize how easily we have it off, and when we do, we’re extremely thankful and hope that it will last as long as it can.

But then, something changes. Just like every chapter of our life, something either eventually or quickly goes uphill or downhill, and there are times when life hits us extremely hard. Whenever this happens in my life, I become numb to normal routine and ways of feeling, and after a very short time, I struggle to remember the happy ways I used to feel.

How do you feel when life has you down?

Hey guys! I hope that you’re all doing well. ❤ I have a new Cultivating A Joyful Life post to share with you on this fine Wednesday 🙂 I began working on this post this past weekend after my mom got out of the hospital (if you want to read about what happened, visit this post). After a very long week, I was finally beginning to feel normal again, able to think more clearly and regain my normal positivity. Upon looking back at how that whole week made me feel, I decided to make two different lists on nourishing mental health. One list is for when life is good, and the other is for those times when we’re not sure if life will ever be ‘normal’ again.

Related Post: Cultivating A Joyful Life | Accepting Changes of Plan

I decided to make two lists instead of one because it is so important that we mentally care for ourselves, regardless of how we’re feeling. In one aspect, it seems more obvious that mental well-being is more important when we’re down, but this is an essential every day of our lives. I haven’t truly acknowledged this until now.

Would you like to come along on this journey with me? Let’s strive for a greater awareness of how we respond to life and care for ourselves, both when we’re happy, and when we’re sad. The first list is one I will turn to when I feel down emotionally, and the other I wish to bear in mind when life is beautiful. (Although, this journey called life is always beautiful, isn’t it? ❤ )

While writing this post, I began wondering if this topic relates to gardens. At first, I didn’t think it did, but then I realized that it does!

Picture this: if a gardener were to become distracted by a big problem in their life (whether in the garden, or outside of it), the plants he cultivates there would be bound to suffer. In the garden of our hearts, these plants represent all of the aspects that make up our lives – including our mental wellness. Without nourishing our minds, we cannot have a sound life. Let’s keep that in mind as we read the ten tips I have written below. ❤ I hope that this may bless you!

Cultivating A Joyful Life |
Nourishing Our Mental Health

When Life Has You Down

1. Remember the positive aspects of your life. This is a big slip-up of mine; I tend to focus so intently on the problem/s (as do most, if not all, people) that it becomes all that I see. There are SO many blessings still present in our lives when we’re going through something stressful. Even when it’s hard to see it, I know that this practice will be really helpful for me in the future.

2. Do simple, fun activities that you love. When I’m mentally overwhelmed, I appreciate spending the free time I have participating in exactly what I listed: very simple and enjoyable activities, things that I enjoy no matter how I’m feeling. This could be watching a video, playing a card game, going for a walk – something that does not take a lot of thought, but is fun nonetheless.

3. Continue to care for your body. It can be easy to let your normal care routine fall to the back of your mind when you’re preoccupied elsewhere, but I assure you, you will feel much, much better after taking a hot shower, eating a healthy breakfast, doing a yoga lesson – whatever you usually do that makes you feel good physically. One of the most important ways to continue feeling mentally well is to take care of your body.

4. Confide in family and friends. There are few things that help me more than talking about how I’m feeling and what’s on my mind with my family. The support system we have between all of us means that no one is left behind; if one of us is dealing with something, then everyone else becomes involved until that person is well again. It’s beautiful what our families and friends do for one another. ❤ It is especially important when we’re going through something; being there for each other is essential. 🙂

5. Focus on maintaining a positive outlook. Boy, I know that when I’m dealing with a rough time in my life, the last thing I do is expect the best. This is most likely why I find it hard to stay happy when dealing with something negative; if I only expect that everything will go wrong (which it never does, by the way), then I can’t even be joyful when things go right! I’m so worried about possible worst-case scenarios that I ruin my outlook. Practice this the next time you’re going through a rough time in your life. Hoping for the best changes everything. ❤

When Life is Good

1. Be mindful of how you feel and what you do when you’re content. I tend to flounder around during difficult seasons of my life because I forget what daily life was like when I was happy. Our minds usually grab the most negative things to dwell on, which means that when we’re down, remembrance of happier days is not within easy reach. When you’re doing well emotionally, I challenge you to take note of your feelings, responses, and actions – it may really help you when a hard time rolls back around!

2. Cultivate the relationships you have with friends and family. This is a good time to do this, because when we’re happy and mentally well, it is much easier to feel and react the same way to those we love. ❤ Go out of your way to show them kindness, spend extra time having a heartfelt conversation – whatever you feel your could do to make their day.

3. Appreciate the blessings in your life. From good health to stability to beautiful weather, it is all too easy to take things we have for granted. It’s crazy to me how our view of life can change in a matter of minutes when something suddenly alters or goes wrong. Something in our lives we didn’t even realize was a blessing is then out of our reach, and it is then that we can appreciate it. Learning to show gratitude for all things is something I desire to practice more often. (:

4. Work toward bettering your weaknesses. This is not a pursuit we can easily pursue when we’re not feeling well. (Except for in select cases, where the problem actually helps us accomplish this!) When I’m happy, this is much easier for me to focus on, such as being more graceful, forgiving, and kind.

5. Accomplish what makes you happy! To maintain this happiness, checking things off your to-do list and filling your days with enjoyable activities is an essential. ❤


I hope that this post has inspired you guys as much as it has inspired me! Nourishing our mental health is something very important to keep in mind (literally, haha) at all times. Some of the things I’ve listed above are things I myself need to work on. I didn’t share these lists because I’ve already mastered the art of mental care, in case you guys were wondering – I’m right there with you on this walk of life! Let’s practice these good habits together. ❤

Let me know in the comments below:

How do YOU care for your mental health?

I pray that you’re having a good week!

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx