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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 November 12, 2020

15 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals

15 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals

The truth about many of our failed goals is that we haven’t achieved them because we didn’t know how to set and accomplish goals effectively, rather than having not had enough willpower, determination, or fortitude. There are strings of mistakes standing in our way of accomplished goals. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to fall victim to these mistakes for 2015. There are many common mistakes we make with setting goals, but there are also surefire ways to fix them too.

Goal Setting

1. You make your goals too vague.

Instead of having a vague goal of “going to the gym,” make your goals specific—something like, “run a mile around the indoor track each morning.”

2. You have no way of knowing where you are with your goals.

It’s hard to recognize where you are at reaching your goal if you have no way of measuring where you are with it. Instead, make your goal measurable with questions such as, “how much?” or “how many?” This way, you always know where you stand with your goals.

3. You make your goals impossible to reach.

If it’s impossible of reaching, you’re simply not going to reach for it. Sometimes, our past behavior can predict our future behavior, which means if you have no sign of changing a behavior within a week, don’t set a goal that wants to accomplish that. While you can do many things you set your mind to, it’ll be much easier if you realize your capabilities, and judge your goals from there.

4. You only list your long-term goals.

Long-term goals tend to fizzle out because we’re stuck on the larger view rather than what we need to accomplish in the here and now to get there. Instead, list out all the short-term goals involved with your long-term goal. For instance, if you want to seek a publisher for a book you’ve written, your short-term goals might involve your marketing your writing and writing for more magazines in order to accomplished your goal of publishing. By listing out the short-term goals involved with your long-term goal, you’ll focus more on doing what’s in front of you.

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5. You write your goals as negative statements.

It’s hard to reach a goal that’s worded as, “don’t fall into this stupid trap.” That’s not inspiring, and when you’re first starting out, you need inspiration to stay committed to your goal. Instead, make your goals positive statements, such as, “Be a friend who says yes more” rather than, “Stop being an idiot to your friends.”

6. You leave your goals in your head.

Don’t keep your goals stuck in your head. Write them down somewhere and keep them visible. It’s a way making your goals real and holding yourself accountable for achieving them.

Achieving Goals

7. You only focus on achieving one goal at a time, and you struggle each time.

In order to keep achieving your goals, one right after the others, you need to build the healthy habits to do so. For instance, if you want to write a book, developing a habit of writing each morning. If you want to lose weight and eventually run a marathon, develop a habit of running each morning. Focus on buildign habits, and your other goals in the future will come easier.

Studies show that it takes about 66 days on average to change or develop a habit.[1] If you focus on forming one habit every 66 days, that’ll get you closer to accomplishing your goals, and you’ll also build the capability to achieve more and more goals later on with the help of your newly formed habits.

8. You live in an environment that doesn’t support your goals.

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan in their book, The One Thing, state that environments are made up of people and places. They state that these two factors must line up to support your goals. Otherwise, they would cause friction to your goals. So make sure the people who surround you and your location both add something to your goals rather than take away from them.

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9. You get stuck on the end result with your goals.

James Clear brilliantly suggests that our focus should be on the systems we implement to reach our goals rather than the actual end result. For instance, if you’re trying to be healthier with your diet, focus more on sticking to your diet plan rather than on your desired end result. It’ll keep you more concentrated on what’s right in front of you rather than what’s up in the sky.

Keeping Motivated

10. You get discouraged with your mess-ups.

When I wake up each morning, I focus all my effort in building a small-win for myself. Why? Because we need confidence and momentum if we want to keep plowing through the obstacles of accomplishing our goals. Starting my day with small wins helps me forget what mess-ups I had yesterday, and be able to reset.

Your win can be as small as getting out of bed to writing a paragraph in your book. Whatever the case may be, highlight the victories when they come along, and don’t pay much attention to whatever mess-ups happened yesterday.

11. You downplay your wins.

When a win comes along, don’t downplay it or be too humble about it. Instead, make it a big deal. Celebrate each time you get closer to your goal with either a party or quality time doing what you love.

12. You get discouraged by all the work you have to do for your goals.

What happens when you focus on everything that’s in front of you is that you can lose sight of the big picture—what you’re actually doing this for and why you want to achieve it. By learning how to filter the big picture through your every day small goals, you’ll be able to keep your motivation for the long haul. Never let go of the big picture.

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13. You waste your downtime.

When I take a break, I usually fill my downtime with activities that further me toward my goals. For instance, I listen to podcasts about writing or entrepreneurship during my lunch times. This keeps my mind focused on the goal, and also utilizes my downtime with motivation to keep trying for my goals.

Wondering what you can do during your downtime? Here’re 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time.

14. You have no system of accountability.

If you announce your goal publicly, or promise to offer something to people, those people suddenly depend on your accomplishment. They are suddenly concerned for your goals, and help make sure you achieve them. Don’t see this as a burden. Instead, use it to fuel your hard work. Have people depend on you and you’ll be motivated to not let them down.

15. You fall victim to all your negative behaviors you’re trying to avoid with your goals.

Instead of making a “to-do” list, make a list of all the behaviors, patterns, and thinking you need to avoid if you ever want to reach your goal. For instance, you might want to chart down, “avoid Netflix” or “don’t think negatively about my capability.” By doing this, you’ll have a visible reminder of all the behavior you need to avoid in order to accomplish your goals. But make sure you balance this list out with your goals listed as positive statements.

How To Stop Failing Your Goal?

If you want to stop failing your goal and finally reach it, don’t miss these actionable tips explained by Jade in this episode of The Lifehack Show:

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Bottom Line

Overcoming our mistakes is the first step to building healthy systems for our goals. If you find one of these cogs jamming the gears to your goal-setting system, I hope you follow these solutions to keep your system healthy and able to churn out more goals.

Make this year where you finally achieve what you’ve only dreamed of.

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Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

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