When I think about living my best, healthiest, happiest life, creativity and self-expression are always part of the picture. I have to write, create, draw, paint, and express myself—it’s a MUST for my well-being…

and also the very first thing that gets pushed aside when I get busy.

After a little trial and error, and a lot of persistence, I’ve narrowed it down to three things that I feel are MUSTs to have consistent joy in your life, aptly named:

3 Musts to Feel Joyful


When you envision yourself feeling happy and joyful, where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? What makes the experience a happy one?

If you struggle with these questions, think about the last time you felt truly alive and happy. What were you doing? Was it back in high school, maybe college? Was it a specific class that was centered around a forgotten passion? Was it that you were being expressive, using your hands, playing, learning, or connecting?

To whose life do you feel drawn? The woman that runs her own business? The mom down the street with an adorable newborn? The musician that plays at the local coffee shop? Ask yourself what about their life you’re drawn to and WHY.


We all have our reasons why we can’t make time. How are you supposed to take up painting when you’re exhausted from your job? You have bills to pay, there’s no way that you can travel and see the world. Or maybe you’re with someone that would never support the thing you desire to do.

Stop making excuses and start looking for solutions!

If you set aside just thirty to sixty minutes each day to paint SOMETHING, before you know it, you would have a finished piece. You would have discovered your style, improved tremendously in your technique—and had a lot of fun.

If you stopped buying Starbucks every day, cut back on your expenses, and watched travel deals like a hawk, I’m positive that you would find the perfect opportunity—within your means—to travel and start seeing the world.

If you ditched that person that doesn’t support you (hello—that’s NOT love), then you would be left with no excuse not to do the things you want to do.

There is always a way. It may not be exactly how you picture it in your head, but if you just start, you’ll get there. Make as much time as you can. If it’s only five minutes a day—just do it. Start right now and before you know it, you’ll be living a life that’s infused with your passions, leaving you joyful and satisfied.


You MUST have a regular, daily practice. If writing brings you joy, helps you feel centered, and allows you to be focused, then it’s necessary to the successes in all areas of your life. If painting makes you feel happy and alive, allowing you to eliminate stress in your body, keep you from diving into depression, and adds color to your world, you have to make the time to put brush to canvas—every day.

We often overlook these essential things in our lives because they seem frivolous. If you have time to paint, you probably have time to do something more productive. But if you don’t make that time to do something that lights you up, you will be stressed out, off balance, and far less productive on a long-term basis.

If your life feels overwhelming, start small. Free-write for five minutes each day. Paint something—anything—for fifteen minutes every day. Jog once around the block every morning. Bake something one day each week. Before you know it, you’ll feel the benefits of these little spurts and will find yourself giving more and more time to the things that you love. The more time you’re able to give to these things, the happier you’ll feel. You’ll be more productive, more loving, stress-free, and fulfilled.

Find five minutes in your day and make it a priority.

And remember: go with the flow!

You may start out focused on writing every day, but if and when you find yourself drawn to something new and unexpected, just go with the flow. Your spirit is initially drawn to what it needs to thrive so that it can carry you on the path you’re meant to take. Go with the flow.

By: GalTime Contributor Stephenie Zamora

GalTime.com is an online magazine with one simple mission: to empower and entertain women.  GalTime is founded on the belief that every article and video we publish should help women lead happier, healthier, more informed lives. GALTime content is derived from a large network of contributors who are a unique combination of highly respected and often award-winning experts in their own fields, and well-established bloggers who have created powerful social and viral networks.