A manual for daily adventure

July 31 2012

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Go to work, come home, throw together dinner, veg out on the couch.

You’ll never live the life you secretly wish for if you become routine’s slave. You have to shake things up.

When you enjoy your life, you’ll inspire people around you to test limits they’ve drawn for themselves. Passion and excitement are contagious. Improved relationships, enhanced creativity, boosted productivity, discovery of yourself and the world around you are just a few byproducts of a life with fire behind it.

Sounds great, but how does this happen? Certainly not overnight.

Here are 80 ways to get you started.

We all have different thresholds for daring and adventure, so pick a few that feel brave to you and dive in. Let me know how it goes.

  1. Pack a lunch. For a friend.
  2. Go see a movie by yourself.
  3. Bring a slinky to the office.
  4. Rotate a stack of favorite photos in your wallet.
  5. Buy sidewalk chalk.
  6. Invite people you don’t know very well over for dinner.
  7. Dance.
  8. Call a friend unexpectedly, for no particular reason.
  9. Put Play-Doh on your desk.
  10. Write a love letter. To yourself.
  11. Stroll through a bookstore and notice which section pulls you in.
  12. Buy the Sunday paper and savor it with a treat.
  13. Do something to fail. Something you know you’re miserable at. And enjoy.
  14. Ride a bike. Rent if you don’t own one.
  15. Host a themed party.
  16. Take public transportation, even if you think it’s slower.
  17. Start a scrapbook with images you tear out of magazines, newspapers, funny office memos.
  18. Schedule a coffee date with someone you admire.
  19. Write a pageful of questions. Don’t worry about answers.
  20. Try a new restaurant.
  21. Mail a thank you note.
  22. Walk home from work a different way.
  23. Book a trip.
  24. Stare out the window.
  25. Set aside fifteen minutes to write. About anything.
  26. Make a themed playlist.
  27. Ask a friend for a book recommendation.
  28. List 100 things you’d like to do before you die.
  29. Sign up for a class.
  30. Teach a class.
  31. Move! Jump. Climb. Skip.
  32. Bake lasagna for the local firehouse.
  33. Compliment a stranger.
  34. Brush your teeth with opposite hand.
  35. Run an extra 5 (minutes, miles, blocks, laps).
  36. Concentrate on nothing except pouring yourself a cup of tea.
  37. Host a trivia night at your place.
  38. List 10 “self care” items. Aim to do 2-3 each day.
  39. Order in. Unplug and turn off everything. Eat by candlelight.
  40. Support a local business owner.
  41. Take your workout outside.
  42. Don’t send an email. Walk over to your colleague’s desk.
  43. Smile at a kid who isn’t yours.
  44. Find a recipe and cook.
  45. Look up. See the sky.
  46. List 4 things you are thankful for in this moment.
  47. Pick up your favorite book and head to the park.
  48. Watch a black and white movie.
  49. Make yourself feel uncomfortable.
  50. Consider the book you’d write.
  51. Bake something — a pie, cookies, bread. Wrap it in pretty paper and give it away.
  52. Set a new fitness goal.
  53. Initiate conversation at the coffee shop.
  54. Volunteer.
  55. Do 1 thing today that really excites you. Tell no one.
  56. Sing loudly in the shower/your car/your backyard.
  57. Doodle.
  58. Plant something.
  59. Allow yourself 5 minutes of nothing.
  60. Set out to scare yourself.
  61. Paint. Draw. Make something. It doesn’t have to be good.
  62. Visit a farmers market.
  63. Count your breaths, 6 seconds for each: Inhale. Pause. Exhale.
  64. Buy yourself flowers.
  65. Book a massage.
  66. Style your hair differently.
  67. Hide a note for your partner to find.
  68. Put your other shoe on first.
  69. Be a slob. Don’t make the bed. Leave it on the floor.
  70. Daydream.
  71. For one day, don’t make any plans.
  72. Write on a napkin.
  73. Eat with chopsticks.
  74. Act like a tourist.
  75. Clean. Throw out junk. Organize.
  76. Build a tent in your living room.
  77. Pretend you’re famous.
  78. Ask yourself: “If you could do anything, anywhere, what would it be?”
  79. Donate money to a cause you’re interested in.
  80. Write down what your life looks like this time next year. Five years from now. Next week.