Routines are good. We all need some structure in our lives. However, keeping to the same old routine becomes boring and eventually stalls your fitness. Getting outside of your world or comfort zone can be exciting, stimulating and even frightening.
As part of your effort to have an amazing 2011, I propose that each of us tries something new at least once a week. It can be a new food that you’d otherwise pass up (like the okra curry recipe I’ll post tomorrow), asking someone to get together who you might otherwise dismiss. Go trampolining, get a new hairstyle, buy a sexy plaid workout top rather than the usual solid. Why not go for a ride on 40 lb cruiser bike instead of that carbon fiber racer you covet. Believe me you’ll get a workout!
Challenges don’t have to be big they just have to be something you wouldn’t normally do. Something that will take some effort and maybe some guts.
Here are some examples.
- While waiting for my friends on the street the other night, I let a scruffy man with a golf club sing me a song. When he approached me I didn’t look away or get angry. I stood there, let him sing his strange song, I smiled, shook his hand and give him a dollar (sure I wanted to rush home and scrub my hand but I remained calm). I did something a little frightening, but something good. (Fortunately, he used his club to illustrate his song rather than smash me over the head with.)
- My friend Mo just signed up for 2 weeks of early morning yoga classes. She’s normally the high speed, marathon runner, bike racer type. Now, one day into her yoga challenge, she’s not convinced it was her best move, but that’s the challenge. She’ll end up crushing the yoga class, but she doesn’t know that yet.
- Normally I don’t eat much red meat especially meats that seem more like pets than dinner. Rabbit, lamb, veal. But a few weeks ago I had some lamb. Initially I panicked when my date ordered it and immediately started working on my escape plan. Instead I dug deep and give it a try. In the end I didn’t like the lamb one bit, but I tried it and I learned not to do that again.
- The big one. Last summer I rode my bike the entire length of Iowa with my Dad and Paula. It was completely insane as we had not trained for the almost 500 mile ride. However, we all survived and the experience was beyond amazing! We learned that in fact there are no limits to what you can do.
The point I am attempting to get across is that when you challenge yourself you end up surprising yourself. You learn things, you meet new people and you find out what you’re made of. The confidence you gain encourages you to keep trying more and more, new and exciting things. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…it’s all about the stories. In the end all you have are your stories so go out and stir things up!