Some ruts we know we’re stuck in and want to get out. Some are just so comfortable we don’t even realize we’re in them until we want a different result in our lives and can’t figure out why it’s not showing up for us.
This list will help you strengthen your change muscles and get in the habit of getting unstuck and breaking out of a rut.
1. Research a dream vacation online
Virtual travel is easy and cheap; it just takes some imagination. Go online and start looking for an incredible dream destination. Put together a vacation plan and look for pics of all the places you want to see.
2. Try a new recipe
If you cook frequently, or better yet don’t cook much at all, pick a recipe you’ve never tried before and prepare a meal for someone.
3. Wake up an hour earlier
What would you do with an extra hour? Find out. Read, relax and enjoy the quiet, or go for a walk. Do whatever you want. Just don’t go back to sleep.
4. Take a break and get away from your desk
Stand up and go for a walk. Find a bench to sit on that you’ve never visited. Check out a part of the building you don’t typically see.
5. Rearrange your office and change your view
A new layout will allow you to see things a little differently and force you to break some old habits and routines. Give it a try.
6. Go to a restaurant you’ve never been to before
Maybe you’ll like it, maybe you won’t. The fun is in trying something new. Make sure to take someone with you to share in the new experience.
7. Think of a memory or story you’ve never shared before
Try to think of something long forgotten from your childhood or an embarrassing college story. Take a few minutes to remember fondly.
8. Share a memory or story you’ve never shared before
Share a story you’ve never told before with someone to bring them closer. Then ask them to share one with you.
9. Investigate a new hobby online
There must be something out there that you’ve always been interested in doing or trying. Mine is powered paragliding. Take a few moments to do a little online research and read about it.
10. Investigate an old hobby online
Reconnect with a past hobby. Check out what’s changed and what’s stayed the same in a few online communities. Maybe even head out and watch for a while. Heck, maybe even try to jump back in and see if you’ve still got your chops.
11. Learn a joke or magic trick
Check out YouTube or your favorite search engine for some help with this one. Just make sure to practice before you show it to anyone.
12. Challenge a friend to a joke or magic trick contest
I did this with my wife and it was a blast. Find a friend or small group and challenge them to learn and prepare their best trick or joke for a little friendly competition. Maybe you can buy the winner dinner.
13. Find a accountability partner
Maybe it’s less about accountability than motivation for you. Either way, finding someone to share your wins, progress, and challenges with can be very helpful.
14. Offer to help someone else
It can be very fulfilling to reach out to someone and help them solve a problem they’re currently struggling with. You may get a lot out of it.
15. Challenge yourself to a streak
It’s fun to do one new thing. It’s awesome to do thirty in thirty days. Or maybe a seven day creativity challenge is more up your alley. Either way, challenge yourself to try something new every day and see what comes into your life as a result. Make sure to share your progress on social media.
You can even come share your progress and get some support in my Facebook group facebook.com/groups/StartYourChallenge.
16. Join a club
Toastmasters. A barbershop chorus. Those are two of mine right now. Head over to meetup.com and find yours.
17. Do something silly
Find a complete stranger and tell them your joke or show them your magic trick. Wear a costume into a store. Ask someone if you can use their phone to call and wish a relative happy birthday. Have some fun and do something silly.
18. Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do
We’ve all got those activities that from time to time cross our minds and we think, “someday.” Well, start writing them down.
19. Go do something you’ve always wanted to do
Take your list and now go do one of those things. Do it as soon as possible. Today even. It’s probably not as hard as you think. The first step is simply deciding.
20. Pick the scariest thing from your list and go do it
Did you do one yet? Great! Now pick the scariest thing on your list and get out there and do it!
21. Change your travel routine
If you’re normally the driver, ride along as a passenger. If you normally drive with the radio on, turn it off and look around more. Sit in a different seat on the subway or bus. Take a different route. Do something to mix up your travel routine.
22. Set a timer and try to finish a project you’ve been putting off
Chances are it won’t take nearly as long as you think it will and it will feel great to get it off your to do list. So set a timer for 25 minutes, or an hour or two, and just sit down and knock it out. If you like to listen to music while you work, pick something non-distracting so that you can stay focused and do your best work.
23. Become an expert in something
Pick a topic you’ve always been curious about and spend a little time each day researching and reading about it. Before long, you’ll be an expert. Who knows what you could do with that info? Maybe you’ll find a new hobby, maybe you’ll just discover a cool party topic. Have fun with it.
24. Research a world-changing issue
There are many big problems out there waiting to be solved like water desalination, world hunger, sustainability, and space travel, to name a few. Pick one and start doing some research on it. Maybe something will occur to you that hasn’t been tried before.
25. Reach out to someone old
A college roommate. A childhood friend. Track them down and reach out to reconnect. No pressure to do anything. Just say hi and let them know you’re still out there and were thinking about them. Chances are they were thinking about you, too.
26. Reach out to someone new
Anyone you ever thought you’d like to get to know. Get on LinkedIn and find an introduction. Chances are you aren’t separated by more than a couple degrees, so put your network to work for good.
27. Eliminate a friction or annoyance from your life
Find a way to make that annoying door chime stop ringing. Move the trash can to somewhere more convenient. Fix that broken door latch. Find an alarm clock with a more pleasant alarm. There are many small annoyances we live with in our day-to-day lives. Pick one (or three) and just change them. It’s probably not that hard and you’ll be surprised by how good it feels.