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As K mentioned yesterday we, we recently went a little crazy and rearranged our house. It started with switching up our downstairs living room and dining room but being the OCD couple that we are it didn’t stop there. We quickly found ourselves moving from room to room creating tornadoes of furniture, decorations, and cleaning supplies.

K and Z living room Fells Point row home

I cannot get over how big of a difference this made in our daily lives. The simple switch downstairs made us actually want to spend time there such as eating breakfast at our dining table (imagine that!) which hasn’t been used in months. I changed around my office too. Though still the same room the new arrangement makes an astronomical difference in my level of focus and creativity. I no longer want to beeline for the nearest café just so I can get some work done.

The benefit of these changes in our home got me thinking about other changes we can make in our lives which inspired this post. It is often easy to let ourselves get set in a routine and not diverge from it because of inconvenience or fear of the unknown. However, though routine may be comforting and is not always a bad thing it has a tendency to become redundant and stifle your creativity and excitement for life. There is a fine line between stability and complacency.Same way vs old way graphic

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To battle the ever present villain of stagnation I’ve decided to create a challenge to either try something new or rediscover an old hobby that you let fall by the wayside because you got too busy.

Now I know what you might be asking, “Hey Z, I want to try new things but where do I start?” or “I’m too busy, I’ll do it next week”.

“I WANT TO TRY NEW THINGS, BUT WHERE DO I START?”

I’ve developed a plan to help us both along the way to rediscovering the simple things in life. My challenge is to try one and only one new thing every week.

If you’re anything like me you have a million different interests, say yes to everything that comes your way, and then get overwhelmed and end up not doing any of it. The first thing you have to realize when making changes is that baby steps are crucial. Take a few minutes at the beginning (or the end) of your week to choose one thing you would like to do. Then guess what your goal for that week is?? Do it!You create your own opportunities

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Trust me, if I could sleep only 1 hour a night I would (I may or may not have been up since 3 a.m. this morning). Think of all the activities you could do with 23 hours in a day! Anyways I know that’s not feasible so we have to make the best of the time we have. Take one interest at a time and explore it. You may figure out that you don’t really enjoy it that much and you can move on to the next thing. However, you may also discover you have a real passion for it and you will want to do it every week without even thinking about it.

Realizing your passion is pretty simple really, if you wake up wanting to do something immediately, good chances are you’re passionate about it.

I’m not a psychologist or anything but that would be my guess. My only stipulation is that you don’t waste times with things that don’t really excite you. Trust me, you will know when you are doing something you genuinely enjoy. If an activity just seems like work and you have to convince yourself to do it just stop and move on to the next thing. Don’t apologize to yourself or anyone else for not being into something regardless of how trendy it is any given day of the week. Focus on your interests and not those of people around you (Getting out of Your Own Way).

Pursuing your passions will naturally lead to being surrounded by people with the same interests and mentality. The most recent blog post over at Nerd Fitness hit home for me and inspired me to “stop” and say “no” more often.

 

“I’M TOO BUSY. I’LL DO IT NEXT WEEK…”

For those who use this excuse I’m going to call your bluff because you won’t. There will always be one more task to accomplish or one more person needing more of your time. There is no job or obligation in the world that I know of that will prevent you from finding time for yourself to discover the things you love. Unless your job is your passion in which case more power to you for getting paid to do the thing you love most! However, even if that is the case it is important to have interests outside of work.

I’m certainly not pointing the finger because pursuing my career has nearly consumed me over the last decade. I went from 70hr work weeks in the Marine Corps to obsessing over my college education trying to prepare for the ideal job. Two years ago I found out the career I wanted most was not going to work out for me and I’ve spent that time frantically trying to rediscover myself. However, this “rediscovering” time was counterproductive because I spent more time looking for work and learning skills I thought would make me more marketable than figuring out what I actually wanted to do with my life.

Z in Fells Point

Over the last month I have taken the time and seriously thought about what I want my life to look like. Though I feel behind the curve I’ve realized that everything happens for a reason. I realized that the ideal job I was pursuing the majority of my career would not have made me happy. Sure it sounded cool when I watched movies or read books about it but it would have prevented me from pursuing my true passions: traveling with K, taking care of my body, and embracing my inner nerd, among other things.Never give up on a dream quote

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This is the one piece of advice I cannot stress enough, don’t pursue something unless it excites you! You can ask K and any of my friends that I’m an old man at heart so take the wisdom of a 70 year old in a 28 year olds body, and don’t put things off until tomorrow when you can do them today.

LET’S GET STARTED

So now that I’m done rambling let’s get this challenge started. My plan is to post weekly as a way to hold myself accountable and make sure I take my own advice. It will also be an opportunity for any of you to share what new activity you tried or old hobby that you rediscovered.

Don’t forget, take one thing at a time and don’t forget to ask yourself “Did I actually enjoy that or did I just enjoy the idea of it?”

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Z wants to know…

What’s something new that YOU could try next week? It could be anything from a long-lost hobby to a new restaurant to a new type of book. Anything!

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