Whether you’re bored, unsatisfied, curious, or looking for a new challenge, these new things to try will give you some inspiration for how to spice your life up.
Spice Up Your (Out-)Look
Like updating your look, you’ve got to try new things every once in a while to keep from going stale and getting out of touch.
All it takes are small updates here and there to spice things up. Keep the momentum, build up the courage to make a few bold moves, and you’ll look back at yourself a couple of years from now and think, “Whoa! What a transformation!”
The following new things to try have had that type of Extreme Makeover effect on Kim and my life. They’re not all guaranteed to work for you, but if a couple stick, that’s a great start.
New Things to Try
“New Hat” Things to Try
These are the lowest-risk new things to try. If any work out for you, great! If they don’t work, no biggie. You can go back to what’s comfortable at the drop of a hat.
Talk About Something New
Try using conversation starters like, “If you could give everyone in the world one personality trait, what would it be?” next time you’re having dinner with others.
More intimate and exciting conversations that strengthen existing bonds and form new ones faster.
Your conversations may spark an argument, make someone uncomfortable, or go so deep it leads someone to embarrassingly over-share.
- 36 questions to fall in love (or quickly develop a strong bond)
- Google Docs list of 75+ “friend questions.
- Buy Table Topics and put the cards on your table as a physical reminder.
You’re not as open-minded as you think and you will only get more mentally inflexible with age unless you do some mental yoga every once in a while to keep it loose.
The exercises make you a bit less stubborn and more creative and curious, at least for a short while.
You find the exercises to be so stupid and pointless that it reinforces your close-mindedness.
- Quick Exercises to Make You More Open-Minded Today
- How to Keep an Open-Mind From Trapping Harmful Beliefs
Women: A Different Way to Wipe
Maybe it’s time to reconsider the toilet paper wiping technique you’ve been using ever since your mommy potty trained you.
Cleaner nether regions with less wasted toilet paper.
You push your T.P. minimization a bit too far and get your hands a bit dirty.
Men: Sit Down to Pee
Only try sitting down to pee at home where you know the toilet’s clean and you want to keep it that way. At public restrooms and in nature, fire away afoot.
Less mess, more relaxing, no more fighting over whether to leave the toilet seat up or down.
It’s extra work to pull your pants all the way down, turn, and sit.
“New Outfit” Things to Try
These new things to try are a bit more involved than just trying a new hat, but they still don’t cost much or involve much risk. Try them once and see how it goes.
A SHIIT Workout
You’ve probably heard of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) before. SHIIT is the super intense version of that. For example, sprint for a minute as if an ax murderer’s chasing you, gasp for breath for one minute, and repeat ten times.
You feel great after and get the cardiovascular benefits of a long boring cardio workout in way less time.
It takes mental strength and motivation to push yourself to work out as brutally hard as you should to get the benefits.
- The One-Minute Workout by Martin Gibala, one of my favorite “sledgehammer” books that change your thinking.
- Martin Gibala interviewed on the Tim Ferriss podcast.
- See our natural workout guide for a bit more info.
Host a Dinner Party
Home dinner parties can be a blast if you spice them up with the right collection of guests and conversation topics. Delicious food doesn’t hurt, but you can have a memorable dinner party with PB&J sandwiches, too.
Quality time with old friends, a chance to make new ones, develop your social skills, and earn reciprocal invites.
Managing invites, last-minute cancellations, and cleaning up after everyone leaves can be a pain.
- Try an at-home version of a Second-Degree Dinner
- Incorporate the next new thing to try on this list…
Do a Blind Taste Test
Discover new preferences and develop a more nuanced appreciation of flavor while having a fun time with friends.
Your favorite in the taste test is revealed to be the most expensive brand, and your least favorite is the cheap brand you thought you loved.
Deprive Yourself of Sight
Wear a blindfold for a whole day (or more). Enlist a seeing-eye person to guide you on walks, help you prepare food, locate items for you, and keep an eye on you while yours are covered.
Enhance your other senses and gain a deeper appreciation of your sense of sight.
Waste a day stubbing your toe and banging your knee a bunch of times.
- Stressed out? Put on a blindfold for 72 hours and bang into chairs, on The Guardian.
- Too much? Try a vow of silence instead to improve your listening skills (and help others’ ears recover).
Some of you might consider trying psychedelics to be too extreme of a “new outfit” thing to try, like a new purple outfit covered in sequins. But trying it once won’t kill you and won’t turn you into a hippy. It’s not even addictive. Take care to try it in the right mindset and setting and the risks are minimal.
A life-changing experience that creates new connections in your brain and opens your mind to a broader perspective.
If you’re not careful, a possibly nightmarish bad trip or trouble with the law.
- The Mind Explained‘s 21-minute-long episode on psychedelics for a quick primer.
- How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan.
“New Hygiene Routine” Things to Try
There’s minimal risk or cost involved in trying these new things, but you have to stick with them for a while to assess whether they work better for you or not.
Exchange Daily Gratefuls With Your Partner
Every day, tell your partner something different about them that you’re grateful for. Continue for as long as you’re together.
Being forced to find and share positives in each other, even on bad days, gives you a greater appreciation for your partner and vice-versa.
After a couple of years, it gets harder and harder to come up with fresh gratefuls you haven’t used before.
- Daily Gratitude: A Cheesy but Easy Way to Fix a Struggling Relationship
- More quick but effective relationship hacks
Account for Your Time
Note down the quick details of how you’re spending your time and for how long on an electronic journal and keep it up all day, every day.
Increased awareness of what you’re spending your time so you don’t fritter it away and an electronic memory bank so you won’t forget.
It takes practice and mental energy to get into the habit. And it takes time.
- Keeping Track of Time: A Simple Habit for an Unforgettable Life
- Investing Time vs. Spending Time, by Tynan
Get Into Natural Workouts
Spend less time moving metal around in some sweatbox gym and more time moving your own bodyweight (and others’!) in the great outdoors.
The freeing feeling of fresh air and moving your body in fun natural ways (handstands, sprints, jumps, climbs, etc.). And it costs nothing.
It takes creativity and knowhow to come up with different workouts and takes some willpower to do when the weather’s nasty.
- GMB Fitness for all sorts of inspiration to subscribe to one of Kim’s favorite email newsletters.
- Why You Might Want to Ditch the Gym to Work Out Outside
Stop Following the News So Much
Unsubscribe from any daily news-related subscriptions, remove the news from your phone, and stop watching it on T.V.
Fewer biases, less unnecessary worry, and more time and mental energy to focus on things that immediately affect your life.
News-aholics may think you’re an ignorant tool when they find out you don’t know the name of every country’s president or prime minister.
- Quit the News? 15 Thought Experiments That May Change Your Ways
- Stop Reading the News, by Rolf Dobelli
Do Mini Research Projects
Refocus the time and energy you spend on random podcasts, books, news reports, articles, and social media towards doing a deep-dive on a single topic. Find various sources of information on it, take notes, and discuss what you learned with friends or on the internet.
Learn to love learning and develop skills and knowledge that stick with you and improve your life.
By focusing on one topic, you may miss out on broadening your perspective by learning new things on other topics.
- If you can’t think of a topic or find friends to discuss with, consider joining us to research a new one every month for The Unconventional Monthly.
“New Hair Style” Things to Try
These new things to try require a bit more risk can take some time getting used to. When they work our well, you’ll be glad for it and look back at your past self and wonder what took so long.
Try Prolonged Fasting
Fasting is probably the most impactful new thing to try in this list, so please slow your scrolling and consider it.
By prolonged fasting, I mean going a couple days to a week without food. Many friends, family members, readers, and I have given fasting a fair shot and never looked back.
Of all the potential benefits of prolonged fasting, the biggest one to me is that it kicks your addiction to having to eat at regular intervals throughout the day.
It’s hard to break free from a daily routine that starts with sugary, processed cereals for breakfast and ends with ice cream for dessert.
- What to Expect From a 3-Day Fast if You’ve Never Fasted Before
- The Complete Guide to Fasting, by Jason Fung
Sleep On the Floor
I don’t mean sleep on unpadded hardwood. Sleep on a thin mattress on the floor, Japanese (or camping-at-home) style.
Toughen your body up and potentially strengthen your spine, save money on mattresses, and save space in your home where your bed used to be.
Like removing your shoes to go barefoot outside, there will be an uncomfortable adjustment period.
- A Year of Sleeping on the Floor, by Keeping Thrifty
- Read Why We Sleep, another of my favorite “sledgehammer books,” to understand how sleeping is so important.
- Consider getting an Oura Ring to be more conscious of your sleep quality.
Wear Merino Wool Clothing
Merino is anti-odor, wrinkle-resistant, and insulative. While it’s most popular as a technical fabric for outdoor enthusiasts, it’s becoming increasingly popular as everyday wear.
It keeps you comfortable in hot and cold and because it doesn’t get stinky, wrinkly, or dirty, you need way fewer articles of clothing.
Way less variety in styles, way more expensive, and not as soft as silk or high-quality cotton.
- Merino Wool’s Pros and Cons: The Honest Truth (It includes my favorite merino apparel for first-timers.)
“Nose Job” New Things to Try
There’s no turning back from these ones, so you’ll want to carefully think about them and plan them out before taking the plunge.
Rather than dedicate your working life to something not entirely fulfilling so you can do whatever you want when you retire, “pretire.” Work for a few years to accumulate professional skills and a financial cushion, then seek out a fulfilling career you’ll never want to retire from.
Have various (ad-)ventures, develop new skills, and potentially stumble into a fulfilling career that you never want to retire from.
You fail at everything you try and burn through all your savings so you have to beg to get your old job back.
- Pretirement: What to Do When Early Retirement Isn’t Early Enough
- Mr. Money Mustache for all sorts of financial freedom inspiration
Move to a New Country
Move somewhere new for at least six months so you can make local friends, learn some of the language, get intimate with the culture, and start to feel at home.
A more well-rounded perspective on life, new skills and friends, and more memories than you’d make if you stayed put.
You may miss out on funerals, weddings, and other significant events back home and/or get infected with permanent wanderlust, which isn’t entirely healthy.
More New Things to Try
You Tell Us
Help us and fellow readers come up with more new things to try. Leave a comment with your ideas.
Some people read your suggestion, try it, and it improves their lives in some way.
Nobody tries the idea you spend a minute or two sharing. Boo hoo.
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