Try opening your heart or mind to a new activity or idea this weekend. Great, new experiences may follow. (Carey Hope)

Try opening your heart or mind to a new activity or idea this weekend. Great, new experiences may follow. (Carey Hope)

What could you possibly do in 48 hours that could add to your joy and well-being? Well, lots of things. Psychologists recognize that as we go about the business of working, raising kids and keeping up with our many obligations, we also get stuck in patterns that may stand in the way of our happiness.

But sometimes, just opening your heart or mind to a new activity or idea can open your world to great, new experiences. To begin, spend some quiet time envisioning a goal you’d like to reach. Second, grab a pad, or a lovely journal, so that you can keep track of the things you want to do. Here are a few suggestions:

▪ Make that call. Whether it’s a long lost friend you’ve been meaning to call for years or the favorite cousin you lost track of after the last family reunion, pick up the phone and prepare to smile. Sometimes we become so bogged down in busy work we lose track of people we truly enjoy. So reach out and bring them back into your life.

▪ Boost your bank account. This may be a lot easier than you think. Of course you have to spend on necessities and the occasional splurge, but if you’re like most of us, you’re dropping a bundle on things you don’t really need.

Here’s a start. Most workers spend $2,500 a year on lunch. Make a short shopping list of easy lunch staples, maximize your leftovers and pocket a profit. Step two: Kick the impulse-buying habit. There’s a reason retailers bombard you with displays of five-piece color-coordinated outfits and easy-to-grab items on your way to the register. They make millions of dollars a year on those last-minute purchases. To keep your change, shop intentionally with a list, enter the store with a time limit in mind, do not shop as a hobby, learn to say “no” to your little ones, and don’t buy an outfit when you just need a blouse.

▪ Plan an adventure. If you spend every summer in the same little cottage on the vineyard, plan to spend this year someplace you’ve never been. Give in to your imagination. If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Once you decide, start jotting down your plan.

Discovering a destination can lead to new ideas, new friends and even a new love … you never know.

▪ Face a fear. Oprah once said:The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.” Psychologists agree that Ms. “O” is speaking the truth. The thing about fear is that it can keep you from realizing your dreams.

Begin by asking yourself: “What am I really afraid of? What’s the worst-case scenario?” Then allow yourself to start dissecting and solving the problem as if you were really dealing with it. You’re likely to find that it’s an unpleasant, but manageable task, once you allow your fear to become real.

If, for example, you are scared to step on the scale, decide that once you know your real weight, you can begin to handle it, one pound at a time. Or begin creating a plan to maintain, not gain. That’s much better than imagining that you’re 50 pounds overweight and unable to cope.

▪ Forgive someone. We are all carrying this burden to some degree or another. Whether the hurt is ancient or recent, make the decision to let it go. You don’t have to let the person off the hook, you have to free yourself of carrying that anger around. Whatever it is you’re still upset about, recognize that it’s weighing you down and move on.

About Fierce Fridays — Tips for Weekend Well-Being

We each cherish those precious days off at the end of the week, but increasingly those of us who are charter members of the sisterhood of the stressed and overworked are losing our Saturday and Sunday leisure time to weekend work and domestic duties.

To make sure that you do something every weekend that’s just for you, we’ll be sharing a little advice to make those 48 hours a great time to recharge your batteries, bring a little good news into your life or discover a quick and easy way to improve your health.