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10 Simple Ways to Add Spontaneity into Your Daily Routine

10 Simple Ways to Add Spontaneity into Your Daily Routine

“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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

More by this author

Alli Page

Allie is a pessimist-turned-optimist healthy food junkie who blogs about happiness, healthy living and travel.

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Last Updated on December 13, 2019

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

1. Just Pick One Thing

If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

2. Plan Ahead

To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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3. Anticipate Problems

There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

4. Pick a Start Date

You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

5. Go for It

On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

Your commitment card will say something like:

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  • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
  • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
  • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
  • I meditate daily.

6. Accept Failure

If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

7. Plan Rewards

Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new? Why not pick one from this list: 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them

Featured photo credit: Ian Schneider via unsplash.com

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