“As you get older, it gets a bit harder to keep the spontaneity in you, but I work at it.” — David Hockney
We live in a very structured world, filled with places we have to be, people we have to see, and meetings we must attend from 9 to 5. It’s easy to allow ourselves to become slaves to our routines, with little room left for fun or adventure. However, this is no way to live all of the time. Life should include adventure, fun, and getting outside of your comfort zones.
The older we get, the more important it becomes to find simple ways to escape our routines. Here are nine easy ways to bring more spontaneity into your routines:
1. Brush your teeth differently
Do you normally begin on the left side of your mouth in the back? Try the opposite side in the front. You’d be surprised what a difference a small change such as this makes.
2. Drive a different way to work
Driving to work can easily become boring and mundane—we trek the same exact path five days a week—but the act of changing it up really brings clarity. Do you normally take the interstate? Try leaving 10 minutes earlier and taking a local route. You might be surprised by the scenic routes that exist right near your apartment.
3. Try a new activity with friends
Do you normally hang out at a specific coffee shop or bar with friends? Try changing places. Or, even better, embark on a completely new activity like bowling, karaoke, or hiking.
4. Talk to strangers
Social norms in the United States have become very isolated. It is considered abnormal to talk to someone on the bus, at the airport, or even in your neighborhood. How unfortunate this is! When we close ourselves off in this way, we are missing a wide variety of opportunities to get to know someone new, hear a story, or hear a new perspective. Try extending a greeting, a compliment, or a statement to a stranger and watch as the person opens up.
5. Socialize with different coworkers
How often do you stick to your work clique? Do you ever speak to someone different on your lunch break? Try breaking out of your comfort zone and talking to someone new. You never know what potential relationships are waiting to unfold.
6. Take mini-adventures on the weekends
Instead of sitting around in your apartment on the weekend cruising Netflix, why not do something fun like an outdoor adventure, road trip, or overnight getaway with friends? The weekend is the perfect time to insert something exciting into a routine week.
7. Stand on one foot while brushing your teeth
I know this sounds super silly, but standing on one foot while brushing your teeth turns your monotonous routine into something intentional and mindful. Give it a try, you’ll be shocked at how different you feel.
8. Change your usual coffee shop
Do you normally set up your laptop and work at a coffee shop down the street from your apartment? Why not try walking an extra two blocks to the local organic coffee shop in the next neighborhood over?
9. Become a “Yes!” person
There is a concept in improv called “yes and…” This concept involves accepting the situation of your fellow performers and expanding on it. In real life, this can be equated with saying, “Yes!” to new opportunities, adventures, and overall fun in your life.
10. Sign up for a new class
Why not sign up for that class you’ve always wanted to try but never have? Do you fancy whitewater kayaking? Scuba diving? Art? Improv? The time is now!
What do you do to add spontaneity into your routine?