Factors Influencing My Personal Leisure Choices
The term “leisure” generally encompasses an individual’s residual time after having completed necessary daily tasks, activities that we engage in during this free time and our enjoyable experiences during free time (Bourbeau et al. 289). There are numerous leisure activities available for us to engage in during our free time such as swimming, travelling, watching TV, listening to radio, playing computer games, playing golf and engaging in voluntary work. My personal leisure choices include watching TV, watching movies, listening to radio and playing computer games, all of which are influenced by various factors, as explained in the following analyses.
Various factors related to history, self image, media and culture have influenced my personal leisure choices. Historical factors include feminist movements, sexual revolution, workplace changes and civil rights. Feminist movements played a vital role in opening up spaces for both women and men to move beyond rigid gender, race, ethnic and class definitions of self that may tend to constrain personal leisure choices (Jenkins and Pigram 177). Sexual revolution which took place in the 1960s brought about a wide set of choices in our lives, including opening chances for self fulfillment and growth which were previously denied especially to unmarried persons (Patterson 712).
Workplace changes, particularly improvement in technology, have created opportunity to combine work and leisure. Civil rights in US, which were set up in the 1960s, greatly changed the social roles of men and women and created numerous opportunities for people to engage in various leisure activities, which they couldn’t engage in before (Patterson 712). Generally, the historical factor increases leisure opportunities in which I may choose to participate in.
Factors related to self image which influence personal leisure choices include body image, gender, self confidence and self esteem. As a man, my body image and gender roles increase the list of leisure activities that I may choose from. My personal attributes such as self confidence and self esteem have either positive or negative impact on preferences to specific leisure activities. For instance, as a result of recollection of past negative socialization, I developed poor self confidence and low self esteem in relation to playing rugby.
Social expectations, stereotypes and media images are some of the media factors that influence personal leisure preferences. I prefer leisure activities which are positively evaluated in the media and which I am expected to participate in by the society. Also, prominent leisure images in the media increase popularity in mind, which increases chances of participation in them. Thus, social expectations, stereotypes and media images constrain my leisure choices.
Cultural factors influencing personal leisure preferences include religion, race, ethnicity, family, political affiliation, age and occupation. My religion discourages some leisure activities such as gambling, which are deemed to contribute to immorality. I avoid participating in expensive leisure activities, which is typical of members of my race and ethnic group. My early exposure to specific leisure activities in my family and the fact that I am single affect my participation in my choice of leisure activities. As a youth, my body is active and thus, I am able to participate in leisure activities which old people may not. As a student, I prefer to choose leisure activities which are not very luxurious.
Goals for Improving and Expanding Personal Leisure Choices
I have several goals which will enable me to improve and expand my leisure choices. The first goal is to make my body more physically fit. I plan to achieve this through joining and becoming an active member of physical leisure activities such as playing football, swimming, and playing volleyball. Secondly, I plan to participate in more enjoyable and fulfilling leisure activities which will enhance my social growth and which will enable me to overcome social anxiety. I plan to achieve this through joining a socialization group whose members meet regularly during free time to discuss and debate social issues affecting human life.
The third goal is to engage in more constructive leisure activities, which foster a sense of purpose and usefulness. To attain this goal, I plan to join a volunteering group which is actively involved in environmental protection through, for example, plantation of trees. Fourthly, I wish to reduce time that I take in watching TV, listening to radio, watching movies and playing computer games. My last goal is to engage in leisure activities which will help me to manage stress more effectively. All the leisure activities that I plan to participate in will enable me to realize the last two goals. Achieving these goals will enable me to improve and expand my leisure choices.
The following is a list of both local and Web resources which I can utilize to achieve the above goals:
Russell, R. V., and L.M. Jamieson. Leisure Program Planning and Delivery. Champaign: Human Kinetics, 2007. Print.
Leitner, M. J., and S.F. Leitner. Leisure Enhancement. New York: Routledge, 2004. Print.
Mackenzie, L. and G. O’Toole. Occupation Analysis in Practice. New York: John Wiley &
Sons, 2011. Print.
Admin, F. Planning Leisure Time, 2008. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. http://www.2time-sys.com/2008/05/28/planning-leisuretime/Chuang, D. J. Principles in Practice Improving Our Leisure Time, 2010. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.
Smith, C. How to Plan Leisure Goals So You Enjoy Life Better! 2009. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.
Bourbeau, J., Nault, D., and E. Borycki. Comprehensive Management of Chronic Obstructive
Pulmonary Disease. London: PMPH-USA, 2002. Print.
Jenkins, J., and J.J.J. Pigram. Encyclopedia of Leisure and Outdoor Recreation. New York:
Routledge, 2003. Print.
Patterson, J. T. Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974. Oxford University Press,