7 Interesting Ways to Shake Up Your Life

Wanna hear something that blew my mind recently?

I was reading Laura Vanderkam’s Book, Off the Clock, and she wrote: “I believe that consciously choosing to create… memories will stretch the experience of time.” She goes on to explain that novel experiences expand time because our brains log them as new and different.

So, for example, if you always eat the same thing for breakfast, your brain just logs breakfast as one thing. If one day you suddenly go totally off script and have a new and interesting breakfast or eat breakfast with a friend, your brain logs this as a second experience. You now have two memories: regular breakfast and that one day when breakfast was different.

If you feel like life has gotten a bit…dull, I suggest you shake things up a bit.

Small changes can have a big impact on how alive and awake you feel. It’s easy to be lulled into a stupor by our daily and weekly routines. If you’re reading this, you might be looking for a little more excitement in your life. You might like the idea of creating more memories and getting out of the monotony of your daily routine. Read on! I have some great suggestions for you.

Let’s consciously choose to create some new events for your brain to recall. Let’s make the next few months a bit more exciting. You can choose to tackle these adventures solo or with someone else, but we know that when experiences are shared, they lead to greater happiness, so don’t be afraid to pull someone along on your journey.

1. Go on a quest: Think of something you like to experience: going to a movie, eating a cinnamon bun, going for a walk…the options are endless. Then make it into a quest. Can you watch all of this year’s Oscar nominated movies? Can you find the best cinnamon bun in your city? Can you walk on one new trail a week? Stretch your quest out over a period of time. Take a few weeks or months to do it. If you choose a routine for your quest (Cinnamon Bun Sunday, anyone?) you’ll also have the benefit of having something to look forward to.

2. Experience your city or town as a tourist: Imagine you were visiting your own city. What would you do? Where would you stay? What are the best places to eat and the best sites to see? Google your own town or city and read the TripAdvisor pages…take a day or a weekend and do some of the things you never have.

3. Try a new twist on an old favourite: Do you have a favourite restaurant or bookstore? Do you always shop at the same grocery store? What if one day you just went a bit rogue? Eat something new from the menu or shop the store in a different direction. Go to a new location and note the differences. A different version of the same thing can be eye-opening.

4. Create a Not-Today Day: If you always take the same route to work or you always put your right leg in your pants first, see what happens if you change it up. In fact, choose a day and see how many things you can change. Our brains are wired to create routine so that we don’t need to use our mental capacity for repeated tasks. We do a lot of things mindlessly. If you choose just for a day to do things differently, you might discover that you like the long way to work, or that it’s surprisingly hard and amusing to put the left leg in first.

5. Plan something exciting: What would you be excited about? A vacation? A random day off for no reason? A new flavour of ice cream from the grocery store? A night out with friends? Dance lessons? Think of something that feels genuinely exciting for you, and book it. It doesn’t have to cost anything or take up much time; it can be as simple as blocking off a Saturday morning to sleep as long as you want. Put it on your calendar and make it happen. Having something to look forward to is a great way to boost your happiness and shake up the day-to-day.

6. Get curious: If you’re unsure what it is you want to shake up, start by just being curious. If you notice something on your daily walk or commute piques your interest, take a mental note and allow yourself to follow your curiosity. If you follow the path of what makes you curious long enough, you might find books on the subject, classes in your area, or groups of people who are also into what you’re into. Have you ever thought about learning a new language, taking a dance class, or learning to play chess? Pay attention to the things around you that spark interest and follow them to see if there’s more opportunity than you thought.

7. Create an adventure group: take to social media or email and find out if anyone else is also interested in shaking up their daily routine. Invite friends to join and ask everyone for their ideas of what you could all do together. Anything from a weekly walk and talk to a monthly event where one person is in charge of planning an activity…your group might have some great ideas that you haven’t thought of.

Ready for some adventure and a bit of a change? We’d love to hear about it! Which idea sounds best to you? Which are you willing to try? Let us know in the comments if you have any other ideas for changing things up a bit!

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