I'm a huge fan of resolutions. I'm a fan of lists in general, and goal lists that I can cross off are the best kinds! I've had a running list since 1995 and whatever I don't complete that year goes on my next years list. But this year I want to do something different. Instead of the vague and hard to achieve "lose weight", "save money", "complain less", I've decided to combine my resolutions with my bucket list. These tips for keeping adventurous will also lead to new places, interesting people, and overall growth and happiness. They'll help to create memories, conquer fears, and discover new joys. So here are my 7 resolutions for an adventurous 2015!
1. TRY SOMETHING TWICE
My motto in life is to try everything twice. Sometimes the first time we try something we're so clouded by our fears, assumptions, or what others have told us that we miss the enjoyment of the experience. So if some experience wasn't quite what you expected or was so long ago it's hard to recall, try it again! This doesn't have to be some epic adventure like skydiving (but if it is, HELL YEAH, go you!) Maybe it's a food that you haven't had in 20 years but convinced yourself you still hate. They say tastebuds change every 7 years and some of my favorite foods like avocado and mushrooms I once swore I would never try again. So whatever it is, push yourself to give it another go. Except Haggis, once is enough when it comes to Haggis, sorry Scots!
2. TAKE YOURSELF OUT
I truly believe every person should be comfortable and confident going out on their own. This one is harder for some people than others. I had plenty of years as a single 20-something, moving to cities where I didn't know anyone and was forced to do this. And they were some of my favorite nights out and incredibly empowering. Challenge yourself; no ipad, no books, no calling your friends, or facebooking all night to avoid feeling uncomfortable. Start small, maybe a movie where there's no pressure of talking to anyone. If siting at a restaurant alone seems strange, sit at the bar. Making friends with the bartender is always a good move and you meet some interesting bar patrons. I once ended up hanging out with a guy from Office Space and going to a tree lighting with a Disney sing-a-long. And for the sports lovers, sports bars are an amazing way to meet fellow fans or have fun bantering with rivals. Be safe about it, but this can be a great way to get to know yourself.
3. GET INTO NATURE
Obviously I'm a big advocate for outdoor adventures. I love when people try a new hike or camping for the first time and discover a new love. A lot of you may already have the nature bug like me and not need convincing, but if the great outdoors and sweating up dirt trails doesn't appeal to you, I encourage you to try something different. It doesn't have to be some weekend in the wilderness either. Maybe it's an outdoor yoga class or an afternoon on a sailboat, but there's something to be said about some good ol' vitamin D. Looking at a vast ocean, towering mountain range, or sprawling field can sometimes help put things into perspective. Simply unplugging from technology and taking an hour away from it all can reduce stress and lead to a happier year and healthier you.
4. CHECK OUT A LOCAL EVENT
Most cities have a local paper to help with this. I loved getting the Nashville scene and now the LA Scene to see what new and interesting things I can find. Street festivals, music events, art openings, sporting events, craft shows, and farmers markets are just a few of the fun things your city may have to offer. I highly recommend making a date with your city. Whether you're new to town or have lived there your whole life, support your neighborhood and discover what cool things it has to offer.
5. DO SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU
Look, we've heard this a million times. And people always say it's the best way to get over your fears. I disagree, I have never gotten over some of mine. But what an adrenaline rush! Not only does being scared get your endorphins running but the feeling after the fear is pure empowerment. Accomplishing something that fear made you once think was impossible, suddenly makes EVERYTHING feel possible. Whether it's climbing a mountain, going somewhere alone, or putting yourself back in the dating scene, take a chance and go for it. No matter what the outcome, you're bigger than your fears.
Yes, I realize jet-setting to Paris or taking a cruise to Alaska may seem a bit outside the budget for 2015. Make those your BIG bucket list dreams. But lack of funds is no excuse to not go exploring. Take a road trip to who-knows-where. Jump in the car and pick a direction, it's that simple. You might find an adorable little café in the next town over, or the best ribs money can buy two hours north of your hometown, the possibilities are endless! I have been saving my random airline miles for some big trip or family vacation but who says I need to save up when I could use a few of them to head to Portland or Denver just to see what's there. The word "travel" makes people think of hopping oceans or month long vacations but why not take a day trip and see what you can find?
7. PAY IT FORWARD
There are so many ways to tap into your adventurous side through volunteering. You can even combine all of these resolutions and find ways to travel for good causes, give locally, or donate to wildlife organizations. Get creative and discover new ways to do good in the world and accomplish your own goals at the same time. And what a double whammy of happy emotions! The warm fuzzies of doing good, and the empowerment of accomplishing your dreams. I found I was always thinking when I have the time to volunteer or someday when I have the money to donate, but then I discovered Team World Vision where I could get water to kids in Africa by running a marathon! (Something that has always been on my bucket list) Now I have extra motivation to accomplish my own goals while helping the kids who need it. Win/win! In the words of Maya Angelou "When you learn, teach, when you get, give."
Living an adventurous life is not about how close you can get to the edge, or what kinds of risks you can endure; it's about pushing yourself out of a comfort zone and growing in the process. Adventure and discovery come in all sorts of ways; meeting new people, experiencing new things, knocking down walls, and giving more than you thought you had. I challenge you to make your resolutions your bucket list and see what 2015 can bring. Happy adventures!