Are you stuck in a rut? Following the same routine every day? Do you want to try something new but aren’t even sure how to go about it? You’re not alone! Don’t worry, you can still try new things. No matter how old we are. Even now, you can still learn how to try new things!
Why It’s Important to Try New Things
Trying new things keeps us engaged and gives us energy. It also helps us to be more satisfied, but get this…it also helps to make us more interesting to other people. Imagine that, people want to connect with you and learn more about you when you have new things to share.
If you’re a retired senior, then trying new things can improve your memory, increase your happiness and give you more opportunities to socialize. These are all important for a happier and healthier life as we age.
Studies have also shown that when older people learn new things it helps their brain to keep dementia at bay. Doing puzzles and games helps to improve short-term memory. But learning complex things that are challenging and difficult is where you’ll see the most improvement.
But if you’re in that rut of doing the same thing over and over, you might not know how to try something new or you might be afraid to do it. This short guide will help you move from fear to trying something small and then onto trying bigger and more complex things.
A Short Guide to Learning Something New
Sometimes the thought of trying something new can be overwhelming, especially if we go to the biggest, scariest things in our minds. Instead, we’re going to break everything down into steps.
Make a List
Before jumping in to try anything new, let’s take a pause and create a list of new things that you want to try. Anything goes with the list. It can be reading a different genre, going out to dinner by yourself, having a cocktail party at your house, planning an exciting vacation, or just driving a new route to work.
The key here is to remember to include those small steps, like driving a new route to work, because accomplishing them will be easier and, in turn, give you the confidence to tackle a bigger item on the list.
Rank the List
Now it’s time to rank your list in order of scariness. We’re going to break it down into those things that are easy to accomplish, followed by medium, and hard.
Easy are those things that require little effort and no money but still require you to step outside of your comfort zone. These are things like reading a new book genre, taking a different route to work, changing the time of the church service you attend, or even trying a new recipe.
This is something I like to call testing the waters or dipping your toes in the water. Yes, they require some effort. And yes, it might get a little uncomfortable. But each of these things should be simple enough to complete, be free, and just take a little time commitment on your part to complete.
Medium items are those things that are the next step up, sort of like going waist-deep into the water. This list might include things like going to a restaurant or movie by yourself, accepting an invitation you’d normally say no to, hosting a cocktail party at your house, or donating blood. And then, find an app to help you learn meditation to lower your stress!
Hard items are those things that can be a little scary. This is where we dive under the water. Maybe it’s time to ride that roller coaster, try a new hairstyle, or host a dinner party. Hard items take more of a commitment in time, money, or going outside of your comfort zone. With the help of Apps and YouTube, learn a new language, study yoga, or Tai Chi, or learn to play an instrument.
What might seem easy to one person can be hard for another. So, don’t worry about what’s on your list or how you order them. What’s important is that you are keeping yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically flexible…especially during these trying times.
Now it’s time to pick that one item that you’re going to start with. I suggest it be from the easy list. The reason why we start with easier things is to build confidence in our ability to go out on a limb and try something new. The more things you rack up, the more confidence you gain to start moving up the list.
I hope you find this short guide helpful and I hope it helps you to get out of your rut, off your merry-go-round, and up to the water so you can dip your toe in! I’d love to hear about your new adventures.