People are creatures of habit. We like our predictable routines and the ebb and flow of our days to go from waking up, going to school, putting on our work face, and coming home to unwind. Routine is useful for a lot of things, like studying, getting to work on time, and organizing a productive day. However, there comes a point where we can get too comfortable in our routine and begin refusing spontaneous adventure. We resist change. We stagnate.
Breaking free of stagnation is simple. Look at five areas of your life you where you want to experience more of something and then read on to inspire a fire under your feet. First, do you want an adrenaline rush to kick you into a new reality? Or is it more relaxation your over-wrought mind is craving? Perhaps you need fresh inspiration on a project you’re feeling mired down in? Or are you longing to feel more empowered and confident in your work place? Lastly, is it creative motivation you require to get unstuck? Now that you have a fresh focus, get out and do a few random new activities that haul you out of your boring old comfort zone.
- Stand Up Paddle Board on a new lake.
- Immerse yourself in a restorative yoga routine (find one on YouTube for free).
- Enroll in an art class.
- Cycle for the weekend; check out new trails.
- Cook a gourmet meal and pair your appetizer, main course, and dessert with wines (check out the Not-So Starving Student in The Voice Magazine).
- Grab your adventurous friend and book a zip-lining experience.
- Join a hiking group and explore new mountains, falls, and trails.
- Learn to climb the walls at a climbing gym with a friend so you won’t back out.
- Sign up for a writer’s festival.
- Volunteer to teach English or tutor.
- Volunteer to help with a marathon and cheer on the participants.
- Treat yourself to tandem paragliding on your birthday or anniversary or for no reason at all other than you’ve always wanted to do it.
- Turn off your phone and take an entire afternoon and nap.
- Light up your bathroom with candlelight; soak in a bubble bath with new age music playing softly in the background.
- Take music lessons and learn to play your ukulele, guitar, bongos, or whatever.
- Grow a container of organic garden herbs or greens.
- Take dance lessons.
- Practice eating vegetarian three times a week or more.
- Join a curling league.
- Join a book club and commit to reading three new books a month for a year on any subject.
- Learn how to do something you thought was impossible, like sky diving, or driving a tank (I did this and highly recommend it to everyone).
- Go on a new photography trip every weekend or one evening a week, and only take photos of a certain theme (e.g. things that are blue, leaves, children, doorways, furniture).
- Write a letter to five people who have made a difference to your life and mail it to them.
- Create one big piece of artwork for display in your home.
- Learn how to give your vehicle an oil change.
- Visit a loved one in hospital or assisted living—bring them a beautiful bouquet or plant to brighten their small space or bake a homemade treat they haven’t had in a long time.
- Get a radically different hair style than you’ve ever had before.
- Schedule an appointment with a financial advisor and learn all you can about budgeting and making your money work for you instead of the other way around.
- Commit to practicing a new habit every day for the next thirty days and reward yourself with a new item at the end.
- Choose one day a week to unplug from everything: computer, iPad, cell phone, all social media; spend that day noticing everything in front of you.
Remember the wise words of Yoda: “Do . . . There is no try.”