Are you stuck in a rut and don’t know what to do?  Has your free time become as routine as your job?  I know how that feels, I’ve been there many times.  But I’ve learned how to break out of that rut, try new things and begin again.  Let me help you by sharing the ultimate tool list for trying new things.

You might be surprised by this but trying new things doesn’t require a lot of tools.  You need just two things!  An idea and YOU!  Of course, if you want to keep track of what you’re doing, then you’ll need a journal too.

An Idea

Trying new things isn’t rocket science.  There are so many things out there to learn, it’s just a matter of picking something.  No idea is too small.  Really.  It also isn’t about addressing fears – although it can be.  Trying new things is about learning something new or challenging all of your muscles, including your brain.  Some studies show that doing new things, even as simple as taking a new route to work, stimulates your brain.  It teaches your brain to think creatively.

If you’re already in a rut of sleeping, working, eating, and watching TV then almost anything you do will be new.  If you’re afraid to try new things, then read a new book in a different genre.  Like fiction?  Try non-fiction.  Don’t know your neighbors?  Go for a walk in your neighborhood or walk around a local park. Like learning?  Attend talks given by your local library or go to a local museum. Like physical activity?  Join a gym or hike a mountain.  You can also check out a previous post,  5 Ways to Try Something New, for some simple ideas.


This is probably the hardest part of trying something new….getting “you” to agree to do it.  It really is so much easier to continue in the rut.  I know, I stayed in that rut for years.  Working, cooking, cleaning, raising a son, watching TV and even reading and then repeat the next day.  On and on.  But getting out of that rut is important. Studies* have shown that trying something new not only increases your brain’s creativity and memory, but it can also improve your happiness levels.

Learning something new, practicing it and mastering it makes you feel good.  Not only because you accomplished it, but because you now have a new, positive memory.  It also makes you feel good because it may increase what you have to offer to others and it increases your self-esteem.  This is accomplished in many different ways: setting a goal and meeting it; socializing with others while learning; and learning new ways to adapt to stress.  (Who doesn’t need that?)

It helps to get started by trying something easier, not something with heights or clowns or anything like that.  If you start with something easy, then it’s more likely that you’ll complete it.  If you complete it, there is a feeling of accomplishment that spurs you to try another new thing.  And it’s ok if sometimes you need to bring a friend.  There are some things that are just better with friends.

Have you tried anything new lately, if not what’s holding you back?  Let me know in the comments below.

The Impact of Sustained Engagement on Cognitive Function in Older Adults