I’m not very good at being spontaneous. I like living in my Google Calendar and Evernote app to try and keep myself well prepared for what upcoming days look like. There is a falsehood in being prepared though because as this one guy Heraclitus said in 500 B.C. 😛 “Life is flux”. Change is what life is, regardless of what has been scheduled into apps, journals, and calendars. Once you accept that you shouldn’t operate under the assumption of controlling the future, that’s when you open yourself up to the power and magic of spontaneity, that can lead you to great adventures and inspiring memories.
When my friend Jo of GoFitJo invited me just a few days ago to go to Chicago this past weekend, my immediate reaction in my head was to say “no” because I had wanted to catch up on work, do errands, and go about my weekend routine. I also put up blockers and excuses telling myself I should save money, I won’t be able to get anything done when I’m away, etc etc. I’m sure you know these conversations that can go on inside your own head! After thinking and talking this through with myself, I realized one thing: I had a small little voice in my head that kept saying “Why not go? It could be fun” and that’s when I decided to book my trip.
Spontaneity is so important for our personal self growth and development and this leads to profound effects on our happiness level. During my trip there were so many “THIS IS SO FUN” memories I came back home with, I can’t wait to have another spontaneous moment and hop on a plane somewhere else 🙂
If you want to be a bit more spontaneous, capture more memories and joy in your life, and need help in learning to let go of routine, here are some tips that can help you get started in the right direction:
Examine your current routine
Routines are awesome – they help us remain productive and organized! However, routines can also drag us down and create monotony in our lives. When everything is planned out in our day, the element of hope, adventure, and mystery are lost.
You can start small by taking a portion of your day (either morning, afternoon, or evening) and look at what you don’t look forward to as much as you once did. Do you normally go out to meet a friend for dinner and the rest of the day you are more on your own, leading you to feel lonely? Perhaps you can try calling up a friend for lunch instead, to break up the day. If you workout in the morning but really dread waking up earlier and sweating, maybe you’ll find more joy in it and stick to it if you work out in the evening as an after work stress relief. Try experimenting once in a while to see how small changes can make you feel. Small steps to breaking free from routine can lead to unexpected moments of joy.
For me, unlike other travel trips, I did not have any of the restaurants planned. I normally like to do a lot of research on which restaurants and cafes to go to but this time, Jo and I both went with the flow and found eateries where ever we were walking by; and nothing disappointed!
Do something new today
Similar to examining your routine but this time when you think of your day – think of what you haven’t done ever; not just readjusting your schedule. If you don’t take walks outside, you don’t go to the museum, DO IT. When you do something new, you open up new energy and new possibilities into your world. You start to shift your perspective and create new inspiration into your life.
While I love museums, I don’t make it a point to go each time I visit a city. When Jo suggested we go check out a museum, we went to the Museum of Contemporary Arts and I loved seeing all of the different exhibits. Even if I didn’t really understand the perspective of the artist, all the time, it was still something I could appreciate and learn from. After coming back, I made a note to myself to remind myself to check out the museums that are here locally in LA, to keep the inspiration alive.
Connect with friends
Leading a life with more spontaneous moments, doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Of course you have your best friends that you want to share memories with but also don’t be afraid to venture out and invest time and effort in newer friendships you want to nurture. Investing energy into new friendships will lead to more new experiences. Everything you experience together will have an excitement factor that you may not get as strongly with already developed friendships.
Jo and I met off of something called the Internet and I’m so happy that we did! She’s someone who constantly inspires me, motivates me, and makes me laugh and I’m so happy we can walk down our respective journeys together. After this trip, I can say we definitely learned so much more about each other and our friendship will only continue to grow from it!
I hope these tips to add more spontaneity and joy into your life help you in your own personal growth and journey!
All photography by my friend and awesome photographer Jo!