By Lora Ghawaly
It can be exhausting to try to live outside of your comfort zone all the time. You’ll feel too stressed and won’t have time to recharge from your last efforts. However, consistently making small changes is more sustainable, and you’re still challenging yourself in some capacity. Staying in your own comfy bubble might be nice, but you’re going to have a lot of monotonous days in there. Here are a few tips for easing yourself into being adventurous, starting small and working up to larger goals.
1. Don’t go to Starbucks today.
No, this doesn’t mean skipping your daily dose of sanity. It means checking out the funky local corner coffee shop, or even trying your hand at making your own coffee at home (are you Bulletproof?). It’s a good, if small, change of pace, and if nothing else, there is great people-watching to be had at 7:30 a.m. And who knows? It might become your new favorite.
2. Talk to someone new.
Seriously, anyone! The guy waiting for the bus, your cashier at the grocery store, the tiny old lady who lives down the hall from you but you’ve never spoken to…any one of them might be the greatest conversation of your life waiting to happen. Crack a joke, see if they need anything from Target, ask genuinely about how their day is going, give out your business card. You might make someone’s day, or even make a new friend or business connection. Try this at least once a week.
3. Start doing something good for you…and stick with it.
Whether it’s good for the body, heart or soul, find something that makes you feel better and make it happen regularly. You can hit the gym, start a diet, finally attend an acting class, go to therapy or write letters to your grandma. Just find something that makes you feel great every time you engage in it, and make it a habit. It’s never a bad thing to increase the number of positives in our lives.
4. Propose an idea at work.
If you’ve noticed your company’s pitiful online presence, make a social media plan. If you’re dying to get that one brand as a client, brainstorm how to make it real. Find a way to cut costs. Search out sponsors. Approach someone whose work you admire and suggest a partnership. Do the work, and the rewards will follow.
5. Go on a solo trip.
This is a big one, but it is a life-changing experience for many people. It can be a quiet little weekend getaway to the nearest beach, or it can be a three-week holiday to Paris. The point is to get away from other people’s opinions for a little while and do exactly what you’d like to do. If that means lying in bed with a croissant and staring out the window at the Eiffel Tower for half the morning, perfect. If that’s heading to Beantown and running the Boston Marathon, wonderful. If you decide you really need to spend time in a little cottage in Vermont while you work on your novel, do that. Making your own choice and then actually taking action on that decision is an empowering thing in any person’s life.