Do you ever feel like your life is stuck on repeat? Routine can be considered a sign of stability, but the risk that comes with having too much routine is that you’ll look up one day and realize you’ve basically been repeating the same year of life over and over. As I’ve gotten older I’ve found myself surprised by the life I’ve built, but I’ve also found that I am sometimes more risk-averse. This is often a result of learning from past experiences, other people’s experiences, or just plain overthinking. Regardless, I’m convinced that every day I’m becoming a more authentic version of myself and I have found that it is important to challenge my own processes and routines to ensure that the I remain fully engaged in my own life.
Here are some of my favorite ways to disrupt routines and create more opportunities to have authentic experiences:
1. Buy something you’d never wear. Have you ever seen someone and thought “I could never pull that off”. We waste money regularly, so why not randomly buy something you think you’d never wear, but believe would look great on someone else. You might be surprised when one day you have the courage to try it out. If you aren’t willing to take that leap, try shopping somewhere you’ve never been and see what you find.
2. Try a difficult recipe. Whether you like cooking or not, it’s always fun to try new things. For example, a friend of mine recently created a four-course meal based on the Titanic menu for a Downton Abbey watch party. If it works out, that’s great, if not, chalk it up to experience. If you want a real challenge, try baking something. Again, most people waste money on the silliest things, so take a chance on something random.
3. Visit a tourist spot in your city. When you’ve lived in a city for a while it is very easy to fall into a routine. Whether it’s food, shopping, or going out, most people explore less as time goes on. Take some time to find visit tourist spots or find travelers lists that tell you the best places to visit. We like to search the internet for top ten lists and see what all the hype is about. You’ll be surprised to find there’s a whole new world right under your nose.
4. Text an old friend. If you’re like me friends are family, but that also means you may not talk every day. Take some time to send a quick hello to an old friend and see what happens. Sometimes that small spark gives way to an opportunity to reconnect or even rebuilt an old relationship. Other times it helps you see how much you’ve grown.
5. Do something that makes you nervous. Let’s start by making it clear I mean this in the most healthy, appropriate, and legal way. Reconnect with an organization you were affiliated with, volunteer, take dance classes, or anything else that has crossed your mind but you talked yourself out of it. Either way, give yourself an opportunity to feel those nerves again. You may surprise yourself and enjoy it.