Comfort zone?? What's that? I don't think I even have a comfort zone! Okay, okay, I do...we all do. But I also push myself constantly to get out of that comfort zone. And it's given myself and my family a much more enriching life! Matt and I have always been willing, and excited to try new things. Whether that's trying a new food, going to a new restaurant, meeting new friends, traveling to new places, or just doing something on the weekend that we've never tried before. I remember when Matt and I first started dating, and my sister warned him "Be careful, she gets bored very easily...with everything in her life!" Matt, of course, translated that as I would be bored with him very soon, and would move on, but, of course, that was not the case. My sister did nail a personality trait of mine on the head though...because, in general, I do get bored easily....bored of the same old things...bored of that same old comfort zone that so many people get way too comfortable in.
There's nothing wrong with having a comfort zone...it's there to provide....well, comfort. It's there to be able to rely on when you need things a little bit easier. It is, however, tragic when you never get out of that comfort zone. You miss out on so many new and exciting opportunities. And you may say, "I don't need new and exciting opportunities...I'm quite happy with the opportunities that are currently in my comfort zone"...but being close minded is such a self defeating trait...there is so much life to be lived out there! And you don't even know what you are missing out on unless you put yourself out there and try new things! And think of how much more fun and interesting you will be to the other people around you, too...whether that's to your spouse, your kids, or your friends!
Now, I'm not going to pretend that we are constantly on a crazy, new adventure all the time...or that we are trying new food every single day...that we don't ever go to the same restaurants, or bring Ellie to the same places that we know and love. And when things are stressful in our lives...yes, we rely on our comfort zone...because it's what we know best. But we are also constantly thinking of new things to try, and planning new places to go and experience. And I'm so excited that we are exposing Ellie to life outside of her comfort zone as well. I'm hoping as she grows up, this is a trait we can continue to instill in her and foster. It will keep her well rounded, open minded, adventurous, and an exciting and interesting person to be around!
Stuck in your comfort zone? Here are some easy ideas to get yourself out of it!
1. Pick one place in your city/town that you've never been to...and then plan a day trip there! Experience it and have fun with it! And once you're done with that, pick another place, and do it all over again! Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone also means getting out of your comfortable neighborhood and exploring what else your city/town has to offer you.
2. Find a new hobby that you have always wanted to try! If you can't think of something you've been wanting to do, then just pick anything you are remotely interested in, and give it a try. You might surprise yourself! Plant a small garden, take a class, join a club, make something crafty...it doesn't matter what it is, just do something different! Something you've never tried before!
3. Load up into the car and just take a drive...anywhere. It can be for the day, or for the whole weekend. You don't have to have a route or a destination in mind. Just drive, and experience things as they come.
4. You can be a "homebody" and still step out of your comfort zone at home...cook a new dish weekly, plan a new activity for your kids every week. I promise you, that no matter how happy and content they seem playing that same old game over and over in the backyard, or riding their bikes up and down the same old street everyday, they will be excited and grateful if you plan something new and different for them. And your spouse? Try planning a new and different date night for your spouse at home, once a week, after the kids go to bed. The point is to just provide new, fun experiences for your family...and many of those experiences can be done in the comfort of your own home!
5. Planning a trip? Pick a place you've never been to! Traveling to new destinations is one of the most enriching and rewarding things you can do.
6. Try out a new restaurant. Double points if it's a brand new cuisine that you've never tried before!
7. Stepping outside of your comfort zone doesn't have to be expensive. Find out if your city/town has any free festivals coming up. Research your local college's continuing education department to see if they offer any free classes or seminars. You don't always have to spend money to try something new!
8. Is your spouse not too keen on leaving his/her comfort zone? Don't use that as an excuse! Plan to do some thing without him/her. You don't always have to stay within your comfort zone because of your spouse.
9. Don't be so quick to say no when you are offered an opportunity to do something that is out of your comfort zone. Try not to be so close minded and try not to over think every little detail of it. It'll be way too easy to talk yourself out of it if your over think it. Just go for it...worse comes to worse, you don't quite enjoy it...but at least you tried! But conversely, you might be pleasantly surprised!
Summer is quickly approaching, and that is the perfect time to experience new things!
So get out there...and start trying all the things life has to offer!