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16 Things You Need to Do on Your Own Before Doing with Someone Else

16 Things You Need to Do on Your Own Before Doing with Someone Else

Since times unknown, being alone has been equated to loneliness. This is one of the biggest myths and deep-rooted beliefs that make very little sense. Some people feel terribly lonely surrounded by hundreds of people, but experience the highest level of freedom in isolation.

I am a big believer in finding happiness by doing things on my own. Contrary to popular belief, this has nothing to do with being an introvert, having no friends, or being lost in abandonment. In fact, I am very social and have the most amazing family, friends, co-workers and mentors. While I enjoy spending time with them, I also enjoy my own company. It is not only fun and rewarding, but a great way to reassure yourself that you are capable and independent.

Not convinced? Scared? Out of your comfort zone? I urge you to try these things on your own, unaided and unaccompanied. Disclaimer: You are most likely to experience pure ecstasy.

1. Immerse in a murder mystery.

Pick up any Hercule Poirot novel by Agatha Christie from your nearest bookstore. They are easy to read but gripping enough to let you lose track of time. For more nail-biting thrillers, try Jo Nesbo or choose from the list of best murder mysteries of all times.

2. It’s time for fine dining, at home.

What is your favorite dish? Replicate it at home, buying fresh ingredients and following a trustworthy recipe from a cookbook or the Internet. Create an ambiance in your dining space with your best dinnerware, a glass of wine, candlelight and music. Dress up and treat yourself like a king. You deserve it!

DinnerAlone2

    3. Play Scrabble® with yourself.

    No one will rush you, and there will be no annoying Mr. Smarty Pants to compete with. You don’t have to resist looking at the dictionary either. At the end of the day you will have some new words under your belt. It’s a win-win situation.

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    Scrabble

      4. Create an inspirational word art.

      Even if the paintbrush is not your friend, tap into your hidden creativity by making a simple piece of art using words. Use leftover newspaper, magazines, pens and other random objects lying around your home. Go crazy with your imagination as you make your own rules. Once done, hang it on the wall and pat yourself on the back.

      InspirationalArt

        5. Travel to a new city.

        If you haven’t been on a getaway by yourself, it’s high time you do it. Don’t rob yourself from the joy of getting lost in an unknown city. Wake up whenever, go wherever and eat whatever you want. Discover and explore the beauty of the world, without a timetable.

        TravelAlone

          6. Exercise your vocal muscles.

          Want to feel heard and liberated? Sing at the top of your lungs, while no one is around. The neighbors might hear you. If you enjoy it too much, you may actually break into a dance, which brings me to the next point.

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          Singer

            7. Dance until you drop.

            Warm up at home and master your moves. Then hit the dance club. Don’t be shy; you may actually end up having a fan following. Freestyle dancing helps increase your self esteem, improve flexibility, balance better and burn calories. What are you waiting for? 5-6-7-8!

            Dance

              8. Head to the theaters for an animated film.

              Who needs company to watch an animated movie? You spend approximately two hours gazing at the screen engaged in some serious laughter. Most of the time, you don’t even remember who you came to the movies with. Besides, you own that whole bag of popcorn.

              AnimatedFilm

                9. Meditate in style.

                One of the best solitary activities that can energize you, refresh you, and take all your stress away is meditation. Take time off your routine activities to reflect and introspect. Delve into your inner self and find harmony. For some unconventional meditation techniques, look here.

                Meditate

                  10. Take an epic ‘selfie’ video.

                  Select a solo scene of your favorite actor or actress. Get into the character and record yourself enacting that scene. Perfection takes practice, so you may need a few takes. Brave enough to put it on Youtube?

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                  Selfie

                    11. Be the first person in the gym.

                    Wake up early and wait for the gym doors to open. There is nothing like working out in a clean sweat-free environment, while no one is judging your flab. No gym membership? Mother nature is your treadmill.

                    Gym

                      12. Sip a martini like 007.

                      Happy hour can be happier when you go the bar alone and stylishly ask for a martini. Savor each sip and open yourself to the opportunity of making new friends.

                      Martini

                        13. Go for a picnic in the park

                        Give up time spent in opinionated discussions, all for the perfect spot in the park. Soak in the sun, let the breeze flirt with you and observe your surroundings. People-watching is an underrated educational activity.

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                        Park

                          14. Be your personal shopper.

                          Take yourself shopping for a makeover. If you’re on a budget, accept the challenge and find atypical stores. Getting a new look can be a huge confidence booster.

                          MakeOver

                            15. Strike off the longest living item on your to-do list..

                            What is that one thing featured on your ‘things to do today’ that’s been there since last month? Take time on a weekend to finally do it. Find a sense of accomplishment from life’s little things.

                            ToDoList

                              16. Make your own Happiness Jar.

                              Every time you enjoy doing something alone, write the activity on a piece of paper. Drop it in a container and label it “My Happiness Jar.’ If you are bored, feeling blue, or stressed, simply draw a random slip of paper from this jar and do what is written.

                              HappinessJar

                                Photo Credit: Featured Image and many other post images are sourced from Creative Commons, license 2.0.

                                Featured photo credit: Jump over Mt. Rainier/The U.S. Army via flickr.com

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                                The Gentle Art of Saying No

                                The Gentle Art of Saying No

                                No!

                                It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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                                But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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                                What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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                                But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

                                1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
                                2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
                                3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
                                4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
                                5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
                                6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
                                7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
                                8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
                                9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
                                10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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