5 things you can do today to broaden your horizons
Forming and sticking to habits and routines is part of our nature. As humans, we find safety in familiarity and, although that once served as a survival tactic way-back-when, we still tend to stick to what we know. These days, however, many of us still seem to cling to the familiar, rarely ever venturing out of our comfort zone in order to experience something new. The trouble with that is that we often miss out on so much that life has to offer. I think it’s time we change that. Don’t you?
Now, before we start, I’m not talking packing up everything you own into a backpack and moving to Kazakhstan or shaving off your head and living like a Buddhist monk - there are so many little things we can do and so many boundaries we can begin to push in our everyday lives that will increase our knowledge and broaden our horizons. So, where do we start? How about trying out some of these suggestions:
Pick out a book that you’d never usually read
I’m a sucker for sticking to a particular genre when reading and very rarely straying, so this is definitely a piece of advice that I need to apply to my own literary adventures. Being partial to the historical fiction genre, I am often unsure about straying in case I invest my time into a book that I simply do not find rewarding or educational. However, the odd time that I have ventured into categories like thrillers, mystery or romance, I’ve often been surprised at how enjoyable a change of pace can be. I’m still a historical fiction lover at heart but taking that leap into unfamiliar territory has not only allowed me to explore a different breed of book but has also meant that I have been able to discuss the world of reading with a greater number of people than before. Even if you decide that the new genre isn’t for you, that extra conversation point can definitely be worth it. Need some reading inspiration? Peruse my favourite books here.
Visit a local festival/event/museum
Living so close to a capital city can really be a blessing for this kind of thing because there's simply always something going on in London. In fact, I’d quite happily bet that you’d be hard-pressed to find to find something you didn’t like the look of. Of course, not all are within arms reach of a major cultural hub like I am lucky to be, but there will always be community events going on in your local area if you take the time to look. Who knows, you may find a new group of friends, a new hobby to take up or even learn more about your area’s local history. There’s always something to be gained, even if it’s learning that you don’t like attending community events!
Break out of your culinary box
One of the easiest options on this list, and one I do regularly to keep things interesting is to break out your chef hat and cook something completely different to your usual menu. Not only will this give you something fun to do (either on your own or with others) but it will broaden your culinary repertoire and provide a new recipe to try out at your next dinner party.
Try out a new hobby (even if it doesn’t stick)
Ever fancied knitting, learning to play chess or even trying out a new sport? What’s holding you back? Often ‘life’ gets in the way - we claim that we’re too busy and don’t have enough time to start something new, but to be honest, that’s usually bullshit. Most of us have spare pockets of time all over the place that are just waiting to be filled with fun new activities to spice up our lives! Why not take up cross-stitching on your commute or try your hand at Sudoku over breakfast? You’ll be surprised how much time you are wasting whilst completing menial tasks. Whether you love it and incorporate it into your life or you loathed the thought of it after 3 days, the fact that you tried something new is what counts.
Sign up for a course/group
With promises of resolutions and lifestyle changes still fresh in our minds from the new year just passed, January is the perfect time to start learning something new. Whether it’s an instrument, a blogging skill like SEO or photography, or in my case, a language (just signed up for Italian lessons at my local adult learning centre!) I can’t think of a better way to start off the new year. Also, keep in mind that this doesn’t have to cost you anything - there are plenty of group meet-ups that you can participate in for free if you look for them. So, what do you feel like learning?
Life is so easy to get caught in and routines rarely change, so it’s nice to shake things up once in a while. Are you going to try anything from this list? Do you have any other suggestions for broadening your horizons? Let me know in the comments section below!