Believe it or not, having life adventures are possible without getting on a plane, train or even automobile. Life adventures don’t even require a lot of time, so you can continue to bank those sick & vacation days (guffaw if you’re an entrepreneur running a start-up). Having adventures is more about attitude and mind-set than resources.
What is an Adventure? It’s all in your attitude! It is enjoyable, unique and a departure from the norm. With a simple definition like that, you can start having mini-adventures. Not only will you have more fun, but doing new things actually helps you live longer. Yup. Your brain thrives on challenges and learning. “Oh, but I don’t have time for adventure” we hear you saying. Yes you do! A 15 minute adventure injected into your otherwise routine week still counts; an adventure is a departure from the norm.
Adventures are About Randomness. The core of any adventure is that it is unexpected. Injecting randomness into your daily routine is an easy way to start making it more fun & interesting. This means doing things you wouldn’t normally do, meeting people you would otherwise ignore and saying yes to unknown opportunities.
Here are some tips to get you started in having mini-adventures:
- Expect the Unexpected – Your routine is useful for the most part but it is familiar. The whole reason adventures are fun is because they are unfamiliar. So set outside your comfort zone and make room for mayhem.
- You Can Do It – But you aren’t designed to. We, as humans, aren’t designed to seek novelty. Fear of the unknown is usually a much stronger drive than curiosity. So yes, you may need to drag your inner fearful self kicking and screaming over the first hurdle in order to discover something you end up loving (or not) but try to remember, you can do it!
- Sign Up For Classes – Classes are an easy way to try something new. They are easy to seek out, offer new experiences and are usually filled with other people who are just as uncertain and nervous about what is about to happen. Meet-Up groups, Toastmasters, cooking classes, dancing, martial arts & workshops can all offer a simple way to try something new.
- Develop an Interest in People – Do you have coffee with the same three co-workers every week? Switch it up! See someone every week at the gym? Why not say ‘hi’? A side-effect of meeting new people is you get exposed to new opportunities and experiences.
- Eu·stress – Defined as moderate or normal psychological stress interpreted as being beneficial for the experiencer. Failing is a natural part of trying and we need to be comfortable with the stress of failing. If failing seems impossible to get excited about, just remember one of the earliest lessons we learn (and have likely since forgotten) is that failure is a necessary part of success. Remember being young and trying to ride a bike? Sure you fell off, got gravel embedded in your knee (just us?) and crashed into countless bushes before you got any good at it. But now? You’re probably pretty good at it and may even be popping wheelies :)
- To-Try Lists – We are huge fans of lists (just ask our husbands). Why not keep a to-try list to store fun activities? We LOVE using Trello for this, but the sky’s the limit here. Sticky note by the front door to remind you every time you go out, or a list on the family calendar. Whenever something pops into your head, jot it down, even if you don’t have the time to explore it right away.
- Make Time – Living a good life requires time. If you are already struggling to find the balance between work and home life, having adventures may seem frivolous. The problem? Adventures are ESSENTIAL to happiness. We like this article which gives 21 concrete ways to add more hours to your day.
- Yes man!– 10 years ago we read a book that made us feel tingly with excitement at the possibilities. Yes Man by humorist Danny Wallace. He said yes to everything for six months to some very weird & wonderful results. In comparison, saying yes sometimes when your default to say no really wants to take over, just doesn’t seem so bad. Remember, don’t commit your whole life, just offer to try something out.
- Plan Ahead – Adventures require some planning & work. Although a rare percentage of people can spontaneously have an adventure, that isn’t the case for most people. Bound by responsibilities & routine, you can’t just pick up and head out on a day full of adventure leaving work and family behind. So grab your calendar and schedule in some quality ‘adventure time’.
- Document Your Journey - Grab your camera, your notebook, your memory jar; something to capture a physical record of your adventures. It is so magical how a ticket stub, video clip, or digital photo can unlock a memory that has been temporarily shut away. These physical reminders can be brought out on rainy days when you are having a couch day rather than an adventure day. You will enjoy reminiscing and remembering all the times you said YES!
It doesn’t take a lot of work to make life more fun. Yes, there are a lot of things that require your attention - but this is one of them.
- Step One – Pick one new thing you would like to try. This could be a hobby, activity, food, sport or language. Or it could be a more abstract goal, like saying ‘yes’ 2 x today when you’d prefer to say ‘no’. It can be big or it can be small. Just pick one. Don’t worry about whether it’s the best, if you can do it (remember, you can ;) Just pick one.
- Step Two – Find a way to insert this new activity into your next month. Grab your calendar or agenda and slot it in. For something like classes, this is quite easy. Just find one that meets once a week and commit for thirty days. For other activities, like the ‘say yes’ plan, you will need to pick a day of the week and or ‘every lunch break’ or ‘on the way to work’ type scenario. Stick to that for a month too.
- Step Three – Go do it. Try it out, follow through. The worst that can happen is you’ve found one thing you don’t like. The best case? You learned a new skill, you expanded your horizons AND you found something new to add to your list of likes.