Stuck in a rut? One of the best ways to stay fully engaged, energized, and enthusiastic throughout your lifetime is to enjoy new experiences regularly. Here are a few ideas anyone can try.
1. The ninety-day getaway. Every ninety days, plan a getaway either by yourself or with your spouse or significant other. Yes, every ninety days. This doesn’t have to be a trip around the world-the goal isn’t how far you travel; it’s how far you get away, the difference being measured not in the miles you travel but in how far mentally you can break the monotony of routine in order to relax and rejuvenate.
2. The restaurant or dining tour. Make your date nights an excursion to a new restaurant once a week. If you’re in a small town, get a group of friends to host dinner every few weeks. The goal is to get about town and experience new dining experiences.
3. Shows, sporting events, experiences. What’s happening in your city this weekend? Are there shows or performances you can go see? Any new exhibits or exhibitions? Despite the fact that many of us love going to the movies, sporting events, or the theater, most of us rarely do. Make it a habit to be on the lookout for things you can go see and cheer for.
4. Travel adventures. Do you have a list of the top-fifty destinations you want to go to in your life? Are you actively checking them off the list, at least one per year? If not, get to it. Traveling is one of the surest ways to introduce healthy novelty, engagement, and excitement into your life. Make a point of saving up money and vacation time so that you are able to make these adventures a reality. The main rule to observe when visiting new places: do something new. Don’t just stay in the resort or hotel-get out and about and aim for adventure.
5. Expanding your peer circle. It’s funny how “making friends” is so important to us when we’re young, but we lay off our efforts the older we get. But your friendship and peer circles are the most important external influences in determining your happiness (outside of your intimate relationship). Get serious about expanding your peer circle by going to networking events, fund-raisers, and local events and performances. Be on the lookout not just for networking purposes, but for friendship-making purposes.
6. Skill development. What ten new skills should you develop this year? How actively are you currently chasing and working toward mastery of something like writing, speaking, singing, cooking, programming, leading, playing soccer, or some other artistic, athletic, or professional skill? The challenge of seeking new skills is one of the surest ways to test and transcend your own boundaries. Go find something new to learn, and fall on your face trying to learn it. Enjoy the process of learning-it’s one of the easiest paths to a more engaged brain (and life).