Busy schedules often leave people little time to embark on an adventure outside of their typical days. Wise Bread has compiled 25 ways you can add some excitement to your daily routine.
Variety is more than just the spice of life; it expands our experience and makes our lives more fulfilling. Unfortunately, many of us are bound to tight, overwhelming schedules that leave little room for novelty or adventure. The good news is that making your life more interesting is easy if you are willing to make small departures from the norm. Here are 25 simple ways you can make your life more interesting — starting today.
1. Greet the Dawn
Even if you're not a morning person, plan to watch the sun rise. Prepare for this moment by picking out a view point and determining when the weather in your area will be clear enough to usher in a beautiful day. Brew some strong coffee and bring a friend along. As the sun rises, remind yourself of all the possibilities that a new day holds.
2. Take a Different Path
Give yourself some extra time to take the scenic route to work. Try side streets instead of the freeway. Make a conscious effort to change your routine travels once-in-a-while and discover new places and new people.
3. Plan a Mini Roadtrip
Explore new vistas right around the corner. Search the web for nearby points of interest or comb the countryside for vegetable stands and garage sales. You don't have to travel far or spend a lot of time (or money) to make the most of the miles you roam.
4. Move to the Beat of a Different Drummer
Tired of listening to the same old song? Applications like Spotify allow users to preview different artists and listen to entire albums for free. Spotify can also make suggestions for other music based on the genres you enjoy most. Who knows, your quest for variety might reveal a whole new musical interest!
5. Turn Off Your TV
Watching TV is a passive activity at best. Why not turn it off for a day and actively search out your news and entertainment elsewhere? Read a newspaper, enjoy a play at a community theater, or simply revel in some rare silence.
6. Make Something Interesting
7. Find a Poem
Awaken your inner Shakespeare by penning a sonnet from words you find in newspapers, owners' manuals, magazines, or even this blog post. For example, choose every third word from your found material and place them into a word bank. Next, choose words from your bank that fit into a Haiku format (5 syllables for the first line, 7 for the next, and 5 for the last).
8. Wander Down Memory Lane
Remember all those pictures you took at your last family reunion or vacation? What about that old diary tucked away in the shoebox? Find those memories and spend some time with them. As you wander down memory lane, reflect on what was interesting to you back then. Sparking a new interest can start by rekindling forgotten embers.
9. Visit With Children
Kids aren't afraid to color outside the lines or paint the sky orange instead of blue. Spending time in their company will open you up to the wild musings of your inner child. The young folks in your life will revel in the attention and sometimes, as the old saying goes, kids say the darnedest things!
10. Make Your Own Value Meal
If you had only $2.00 to make a meal, what would be on the menu? Scrounge around your pantry first and complement your culinary findings with a $2.00 purchase (or less) at your local grocery store or farmer's market.
Read on for more.
11. Play Anthropologist
Grab a small notebook and a pen and situate yourself in a park, at a cafe, or in the mall. Write down your observations of the people you see and make notes of the tidbits of conversation you can't help overhearing. This exercise takes you out of your own head and tunes you into the world around you.
12. Perform Random Acts of Kindness
Make your day more interesting by bolstering your positive outlook and giving someone else's mood a little lift. Research in positive psychology shows that doing something unexpected and kind has benefits for you, as well as others. Try holding the door for someone, send a thank you e-mail, or try composing a "love letter" to a stranger.
13. Eat Outside the Box
Introduce your taste buds to a new experience. Maybe you've noticed a new restaurant or heard about an ethnic cuisine you've never eaten. Go ahead and give it a try — even if you only have an appetizer at first. For maximum effect, search out a recipe on your cuisine of choice and make it at home.
14. Have a Simple Scavenger Hunt
Have you ever noticed how focusing on one thing makes other things nearly impossible to see? Challenge your awareness patterns by going on a quick scavenger hunt in your home or office. Choose a simple trait to look for, like words spelled containing the letter "Q" or anything with the color green in it. Try to amass a collection of ten things that meet your chosen criteria. You might even find those long lost keys in the process.
15. Flip a Coin
Can't decide between two items on a menu or what to do on a random Sunday afternoon? Call one heads and the other tails and leave the decision to random whims of chance. You might be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
16. Discover Treasure at the Library
Visit your local library and wander among the shelves. Scan the titles for something that grabs your attention and then look at the books on the shelves above and below. Because of libraries' organization system, there's a good chance you'll find something related, but just slightly different from what you originally found interesting.
What better way to make your day more interesting than to be the change you want to see in the world? Consider the local groups who do good work in your community. Reach out to them and offer your time and talent. If you are unsure where to start, an online resource like VolunteerMatch.org can help connect you to the causes near and dear to your heart.
18. Spend Time With Pets
Animals can be an endless source of interest and entertainment for the people in their lives. Treat your dog or cat to a new toy and spend a little time helping them enjoy it. Don't have a pet? Consider adopting one from a shelter or pet sit for a friend.
19. Revisit Your Childhood Dreams
What do you want to do when you grow up? Try to recall how you answered that question as a child. Did you want to be a nurse, an artist, or used car salesperson? If you're not already living that five-year-old's dream, take some time to read about the career you would have picked for yourself.
20. Stop and Smell the Roses
When did you last spend time enjoying a rose bush, bed of hydrangeas, or a beautiful bouquet at the grocery store? Flowers have been evolving for over 100 million years to bring you their enchanting looks and inviting fragrances.
21. Don't Surf — Stumble
StumbleUpon is a free web-based tool that helps you discover new sites, photos, and blogs. Just select what interests you, and StumbleUpon will suggest random related websites.
22. Repurpose Something
Add interest to your day, save money, and help the environment at the same time. Find an everyday object and envision another use for it. Brainstorm reuse ideas for typical throwaways like paper plates, coffee cups, and plastic bags. What new and useful creations can you make?
23. Say "Bonjour! Ciao! Hallo!"
Learn how to greet someone in a new language. It's quick and easy to acquire a few simple phrases like "How are you?" and "Thank you" in another tongue. Once you've mastered some pleasantries, find someone to practice them with. You might make a new friend in a faraway place!
24. Switch Hands
Most people tend to prefer one hand over the other for writing and other manual tasks. If it's safe and practical, try writing a short note or doodling a simple picture with your other hand. See if you can master simple tasks using your non-dominant hand.
25. Realize That Today Really Is Interesting
You don't have to do anything extravagant to experience a little variety in your life. Let go of the reins a bit and see where the ride takes you. Meeting new people, finding a poem, or a reviving a dormant talent carry benefits that extend far beyond breaking out of the mundane.
What will you do to make your life more interesting today?
Check out these smart tips from Wise Bread: