Should You Reclaim Your “I Used To’s?”

It’s easy to let former activities and hobbies slip as more responsibilities are added to our lives.

Think of all the things you did 5, 10, or even 20 years ago that you haven’t done in who-knows-how-long. Chances are there are experiences on that list that you’re fine with never doing again (babysitting or mowing lawns for income, wearing braces, mandatory piano lessons, dealing with sloppy roommates, to name a few).

However, maybe there are some experiences you viably miss and would love to pick up again, if only you had the time.

If you’ve taken big life steps, like earning promotions, starting a family, or taking on more outside responsibilities, it’s natural for some things to be left behind.

How Do I Know Which “Used To” Experiences to Reclaim?

Did you used to do something when you were younger that you’d happily do today, even if you didn’t get paid or recognition for it? That one might be worth reclaiming. However, there are other “Used To” experiences that could help propel you forward in your life now.

Go ahead and make a personal “I used to…” list. Include only the things you wish you could do again, or you planned to restart but just haven’t had the time.

Now, take a look at this list and determine how these “Used To’s” will help your path to success — whether that be success in your career, personal or professional relationships, fitness goals — or simply to restore balance to your life.

Here Are Some “Used To” Examples to Reconsider

“I Used to Go to Church / Be in a Book Club / Be a Part of an Organization / Volunteer”

Basically, any activities that expand and strengthen your social circle deserve to be re-booted and here’s why:

A broader social circle means you’ll be continually introduced to new perspectives, new mentors and mentees — and new opportunities from sources outside your immediate realm.

After all, the majority of new hires are due to word-of-mouth recommendations or already established relationships. You never know where meeting new people will take you! From finding a soulmate to finding a new job, it never hurts to have a broad spectrum of people in your world.

(Remember a key lesson from my book, WINology – World Class Performance “relationship is currency?”)

“I Used to Be in Shape / Play in a Softball League / Run / Swim / Tap Dance”

Did you used to love sports and being active? Just like being social, there are tons of reasons why getting your game back will help you in the long run.

Heart-pumping exercise increases your serotonin levels, which is why exercise is a common recommendation to combat depression and anxiety. Getting in shape will boost your confidence, regenerate your competitive spirit and remind you how rewarding it feels to be part of a team.

And if your old exercise is no longer appealing, then pick up something new — adding a little fitness to your daily routine, regardless of what it is, is always worth making time for.

“I Used to Write / Play an Instrument / Paint / Build Things”

Did you engage in creative activities, but no longer make time for them because you don’t see how they fit into your current life?

Those creative skills can be transferable to an array of arenas that maybe you haven’t recognized just yet.

For example, if you love to write, you can use this skill to help your company with marketing, your favorite volunteer organizations with website content or newsletters, or take on some freelance writing projects — or maybe you played soccer so now you could coach youth players and get back in the game.

Everyone has an inherent passion which should never be left behind. Even if it’s just for the immediate joy of painting, writing, kayaking, swimming, or whatever activity you love to do, engaging in it will pay off in a myriad of ways.

Your Favorite “Used To” Could Advance Your Goals Today

Your favorite “Used To” could resurface as a marketable skill in other areas of your life. Or it could expand your social circle where you’ll encounter new opportunities. Or it could simply give you the confidence boost you need to pursue a new opportunity or accomplish a goal.

“When I started eBay, it was a hobby, an experiment to see if people could use the Internet to be empowered through access to an efficient market. I actually wasn’t thinking about it in terms of a social impact.” – Pierre Omidyar

The trick is to repurpose the things you loved to do so they fit into your world today. Once you recognize that those “I used to’s” can be changed to “I still do’s,” you’ll be one step closer to new opportunities, new successes — and most importantly– new ways to win in life.

What are your “Used To’s” that you would love to start doing again? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image quote attribution: Charles Buxton, English parliamentarian

Article Name
Should You Reclaim Your “I Used To’s?”
You can reintroduce favorite activities you used to do into your life today to achieve personal and professional goals - and win in life.