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25 Little Changes to Make the Day More Exciting

Jumping

“All appears to change when we change.” -Henri-Frédéric Amiel

I admit it, I’m a change addict. I love new cities, apartments, jobs, and friends. This can be both a strength and a weakness.

On the one hand, I never shy away from a new experience or opportunity. On the other hand, it takes a strong effort for me to stick with anything once the novelty wears off.

So today I started thinking about all the ways I can make a day exciting without changing any of the big things that need to stay constant if I’m to make progress on my larger goals. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. Start the day with a blank piece of paper and the question: “What if today were my last?”

Write down what you’d do differently and then try to do at least five of those things.

2. Wear something much bolder than you usually do.

This gives people the opportunity to see you in a new light, which means they may interact with you differently.

3. Take a different path when you walk to work.

Maybe you’ll pass a restaurant you’d like to try sometime or a gym that’s offering free classes.

4. If you drive, park your car a mile away and take the bus the rest of the way.

I did this one time and met a man on the bus who I dated for a month. Well worth the detour!

5. If you take public transportation for your commute, make the time meditative or educational.

Practice deep breathing, listen to soothing music, or download an audio book for the ride.

6. Bring your camera and take pictures of things that catch your eye throughout the day.

You’ll notice a lot more than you usually do—and new people will likely talk to you to figure out what you’re doing.

7. Change your workspace.

Bring new pictures and candles, or move your desk if you’re able. Rearranging furniture always makes my space more exciting.

8. Start collecting something you often see throughout the day.

It will make the whole day more interesting if you have your eyes peeled for rare coins, specific pens, and odd food labels.

9. Make it a goal to talk to five people you don’t know.

And I mean real conversations. Ask them what they do on the weekends, what their favorite memory is, and whether or not they like spam. (Okay, the last one is less interesting, but I think it says a lot about you if you eat unidentifiable lunch meat.)

10. Commit to complimenting everyone you encounter on something.

Sometimes it will be easy; sometimes it will be challenging. Every time it will brighten someone’s day and fill you with joy.

11. Take a class during your lunch break.

Head to the gym, learn to do pottery, start guitar lessons. You can always eat a sandwich at your desk later.

12. Eat lunch at a different time than usual.

You never know what you’re missing in the office when you head out at the same time every day.

13. Make lunch and bring enough for two people.

Then offer some to someone in your office.

14. Give yourself a challenge.

Maybe it’s to find a lower car insurance rate or talk to someone you secretly admire. I get a big kick out of little victories like these.

15. Read about a topic that’s completely new and interesting to you.

Then start a conversation about it. It’s always fun to share a new passion, especially if the other person gets excited, too.

16. Learn ten new words from a thesaurus and then use them all twice during the day.

Maybe I’m just a dork but I get excited about stretching my vocabulary!

17. Practice mindfulness during a boring activity.

In Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s book The Miracle of Mindfulness, he explains how he stays fully present when washing the dishes—and enjoys it. Anything can be interesting if you get curious about how it works.

18. Count risks.

See how many (smart) risks you can take throughout the day, like accepting a difficult assignment or committing to something you’ve never done before.

19. Say yes to everything.

In the movie Yes Man, Jim Carrey said yes to absolutely everything, even an intimate moment with someone’s grandma. I’m not suggesting you go to that extreme, but you’ll likely have an exciting day if you say yes to most things you’re asked.

20. Commit random acts of kindness.

You’ll get a warm fuzzy feeling and you’ll create some good karma for yourself. You never know when that kindness will come back to you and open up your world.

21. Bet on things.

Once on The Office everyone bet on stupid things, like how long it would take Kelly to explain Netflix to Ryan, or whether Creed would notice they replaced his apple with a potato. If you’re pulling an all-nighter, this could be a fun way to hold onto your sanity.

22. Set up a profile on a dating site (if you’re single).

I was on Match.com for a while—don’t laugh—and I have to admit I kind of watched my email like a kid counting down ‘til Christmas.

23. Ask someone to come out to play.

Kids are always willing to jump around, get messy, and give get their blood pumping. You still have legs and endorphins—tap into that. Play basketball after work, go bike riding, or spend some time on the swings.

24. Learn something new during all your routine activities.

When you buy coffee, ask the barista how long the shop has been there. When you make copies, pay attention to how the machine works.

25. Swap apartments with a friend for a night.

Assuming you trust each other, why not? A change of scenery can work wonders; and it’s always fun to see how someone else lives.

I once read that intelligent people are never bored because they’re always curious. You’re smart—start exploring! If you keep your mind engaged and fresh during your downtime, you’ll have far more passion and focus when it’s time to get productive. And equally important, you’ll enjoy more of the minutes that would otherwise just pass by.

Before you go! If you didn't already see it, check out my guest post on Zen Habits, Letting Go of Attachment, from A to Zen. Thank you to Leo for posting it, and thank you to all of you for supporting Tiny Buddha!

Photo by Will Foster

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Great ideas!

  • Hi Lori,

    I just stumbled on your site after seeing your post on Zen Habits! Great article on attachment! And way to get a post with Leo.

    I feel like we all carry so much extra baggage around with us from the past and future. If we could only embrace the “Now” a little more and not take life so seriously. It is a constant endeavor and having posts and inspiration like yours is so important to stay on track. It gives such great inspiration for my blog as well, Reading For Your Success. Seeing you're work goes a long way. I think I might have a topic that you'd enjoy for tindbuddha after looking at a few of your quotes. I will send it along. I hope it helps.

    Congrats on all the people you are helping!

    Scott

  • Hi Scott,

    Thank you for the note! It's so true about the baggage we carry around. I've been there before and I deal with the urge from time to time. Whenever I seep into the moment and let go, I feel so much peace and happiness.

    I popped over to your site. What a wonderful idea! I've never heard the phrase “action-based reading” before, but it resonates with me.

    For anyone reading, you can learn more here:

    http://www.readingforyoursuccess.com/

    Congrats to you, as well. I'm pleased to have met you. =)

    Lori

  • JD

    Great stuff Lori 🙂

  • JD

    Guest test…

  • Joshia

    Safari test…

  • Lori! I LOVED this list. I found you from your Zen Habits article too. I've seen lists like this before, but you added many ideas I hadn't thought about. My son challenged me to start a blog which, as you know, really stretches you to think and look at things differently. I've only been writing it for 2 weeks but it's exciting to be my own personal “work in progress.” Maybe someday my words will enlighten someone, or at least maybe give them a bit of a smile. I like your writing style and your site will definitely be bookmarked. Thanks for a great post!

  • Thanks JD =)

  • I'm glad you enjoyed it! Congrats on starting your new blog =) Based on your positive attitude alone, I'm sure you'll make lots of people smile.

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  • I’ve also just found your blog, and how relevant this post is to me… I’m also a change addict, my husband always asks me ‘so where are you thinking of moving to this week?’. Great post, great blog!

  • Thanks so much! I know that feeling well. My lease (with my boyfriend) expires in September, and I’m already making lists of places we could move to. There’s just so much to see and do–it’s tough to think of staying in one place!

  • Chantel

    Your post was so inspiring for me :). 
    Changing little things in your daily life really does go a long way. Life can always stay fresh and exciting. By the way, I especially LOVE your idea of switching appartments with a friend for  awhile. I’ve always loved the feel of moving to a different house and settling in. This is basically the same, except with a bit different style than your own for the decor. Definately trying it sometime!! 
    Thanks for sharing (:

  • I also love the feel of moving to a different house! I’ve moved quite a bit through the years, and I love that I have memories of sleeping in so many different places. I really do believe that variety is one of the cornerstones of happiness, at least for me. Happy changing. =)