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5 Ways to Create Adventure and Joy Every Day

5 Ways to Create Adventure and Joy Every Day

Life can get monotonous with the daily grind. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are easy, simple ways that you can make life fun everyday. Before I give you the 5 tips to bring more adventure and joy into your life, I’ll share with you how I realized how important it is to integrate these tips into your life.

Over a decade ago I was enamored with the Jack Kerouac road-trippin’ adventurous lifestyle. I got on a plane to Costa Rica with only a small backpack and a guide book. No plans, no reservations and barely a word of Spanish on my tongue. That same year I traveled across Canada with a friend and spent my summer picking cherries in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. These adventures sparked freedom and joy into my life. I knew I had to maintain this feeling.

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When I moved to Vancouver to pursue my studies in nutrition, I knew I had to bring that quality of adventure into my everyday life. I thought about how when you are traveling, or on the road, every new landscape is breathtaking. Every moment is a joyous surprise. I received pleasure from walks through unknown streets and forests on my many travels, and realized how simple it could be to bring this joy and adventure into my every day.

That was 8 years ago now, and to this day I still look for the adventure and joy in the everyday. Here are 5 of my favorite ways to keep life exciting:

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1. Follow Your Feet

Let your feet guide you. When you go on a walk that is meant for enjoyment, instead of having a pre-conceived route of where you think your walk or run will take you, let your feet speak for you. It is an intuitive practice of allowing your body to guide you, and often leads to the discovery of new streets, parks, and a total sense of adventure. As you set out on your walk with the intention of your feet being your guide, you will find that your body will have a pull to a certain direction—go with it. To this day I still discover new roads, routes, and gorgeous havens that amaze me all the time. I recently found a magical forest near one of my favorite beaches. I couldn’t believe that 8 years went by and I hadn’t discovered it until about a week ago. That’s the beauty of adventure and following your feet!

2. Take Mini-Trips

Month-long and year-long adventures are not realistic for many people. But most of us can find a day or a weekend to get out of town and explore. Getting out of your city and exploring a new city or quiet rural village, or island, is an adventurous way to spark joy into your life. Out here in Vancouver, there are many islands near the mainland that feel like I am far away from the bustle of my own city and transport me to a whole new life, if even for just a weekend. Whether you live near some islands, or are simply a few hours away from another gorgeous city or town, getting out of your everyday surroundings helps to spark your spirit and rejuvenate your sense of appreciation and joy for the little things.

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3. Use a different route to work

If you are not in a huge rush and can afford an extra 10 minutes to give a new route a try, do it! Through walking or driving down a different street you may discover a new shop or park that you never knew existed. So many treasures often lurk just meters away from us. If you always stay on the same path, you will never know what wonders are just around the corner. Since not taking your regular route can throw your timing off balance I recommend leaving your house a few minutes earlier to account for the minor time difference it may take. It is incredible how just one block over you may discover the place you dreamed of.

4. Shop for groceries somewhere new.

I find when I travel, the supermarkets and stores are always so different than what I am used to back home. Usually it’s because I am in some mega store in the USA where there is ten times the options as here in Canada, or I’m in Mexico astonished at their wide selection of tropical fruits and tortillas, and small overall assortment of food through the aisles. Nonetheless it contributes to the adventure of discovering a new place. I do the same thing here. There are a few major chain stores and several mini-marts. I find that when I go into a store I rarely visit, I discover an exciting and different array of options, and it contributes to a sense of adventure in my discovery of something new to try. It’s amazing how these little things really add a sense of adventure to your day.

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5. Do something out of the ordinary.

When I travel I am always checking out new cafes and restaurants. My daily routine changes and I am living more in the moment. When I am lacking adventure, I’ll purposefully get out of my regular routine, and head off to a new café as if I was traveling, or start my day off in a slightly different manner. If you find that every Saturday you have the same weekend routine, splash it up by deliberately changing what you do. It may involve going out to eat somewhere different, or putting your chores on hold while you craft up something new and fun to do. During the week you might decide to set your alarm a little earlier so that you can start your day differently, perhaps with a little walk or reading a book. The little changes that you make to your daily or weekend routine create a sense of novelty and joy.

Now it’s your turn. Did this article inspire you? Then put it into action! Take one of these tips and mark down in your calendar when you plan to engage in your first adventure. Then have fun with it and see where the adventure takes you. Report your plans and insights in the comments below. Let’s all live with a little more adventure and fun in our lives.

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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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