My wife and I were recently in Southeastern Arizona around Tucson and Bisbee visiting new sites and exploring the area. Neither of us had been there, so it was energizing to experience new sites and surroundings every day and travel down paths that we had never experienced. It got me thinking: Why aren’t I making a greater effort to break out of my daily routine and experience new things during my non-vacation days?
It is incredibly easy to develop routines in the midst of our everyday lives. Deciding where we go and what we do can become automatic to the point that we actually don’t decide on these things, but rather succumb to the routines we’ve already established. While there are some benefits to a well-established routine, I think we could also benefit from shaking up elements of our routines that are keeping us from new and potentially enjoyable experiences.
Here are a few small examples of how we might go about changing up our daily routine:
- Do you always eat at the same restaurant or go to the same coffee shop every day? Instead of going to the same national chains, why not trying something different and visit a locally owned establishment. Maybe even get in the habit of not eating at or getting coffee from at the same place within the same month.
- Instead of driving the same route to work, school, or while running errands, consider taking a new route, or even a new mode of transportation like a bike, walking, or public transit.
- Are you always watching the same types of shows or movies? Why not instead attend a play or go to the symphony or a concert in a genre that is different from what you usually listen to.
- Get to know people beyond your current comfortable group of friends.
- Read books or listen to podcasts from people or on topics you wouldn’t normally consider, or whose views might be a little different from your own.
Why can’t every week be filled with excitement and new experiences that stretch and grow us? Why can’t we travel down new and interesting paths during the course of our everyday lives? The good news is we can, if we choose to do so.
Look for opportunities every week to experience something new and different that will expand your understanding, increase your knowledge or just make you a more interesting person. They’re out there. We just have to break out of our routines to find them.