We’re creatures of habit.
This is mostly a good thing: we’re comfortable and content with our routines and it’s easy to fill our time with things we reliably enjoy.
But sometimes, we just need a change. This is especially true lately, when a lot of us have spent a lot of unexpected time in the confines of our homes.
So if you’re feeling like you want to mix things up and break your routine today, this is the article for you.
Here’s 19 new things to try that can add a breath of fresh air to your day. We kept it home-friendly in case you’re not quite in full adventure mode.
Let’s get into it.
- 19 New Things to Mix Up Your Routine
- 1. Go to your podcast player, type any word, and listen to the first result.
- 2. Put together a time capsule.
- 3. Find a box, fill it with stuff you don’t need, and donate it.
- 4. Learn how to count to 10 in a new language.
- 5. Sneak away and dance to your favorite song.
- 6. Sneak away and sing your favorite song.
- 7. Try a new recipe you’ve had your eye on.
- 8. Make a loaf of bread from scratch.
- 9. Write a poem, essay, or short story.
- 10. Organize a swap party with your pals.
- 11. Print out some digital photos and make an album.
- 12. Pick up trash that isn’t yours.
- 13. Call someone you love and tell them why you love them.
- 14. Create an origami masterpiece.
- 15. Get nerdy and make an alter ego for yourself.
- 16. Go on a date with yourself.
- 17. Invent your own cocktail or mocktail.
- 18. Sign up for a free online course and finish the first lesson.
- 19. Write up a bucket list if you don’t already have one.
- What Are You Going to Do Today?
- Want to Learn More?
19 New Things to Mix Up Your Routine
1. Go to your podcast player, type any word, and listen to the first result.
Is there a subject that’s always interested you, but you never got around to learning more about it? Or maybe there’s a public figure who you think is admirable, interesting, or completely baffling.
Learning new things everyday might not be realistic, but here’s an opportunity to do it today.
And if you learn something cool, share it with us in the comments below. Show and tell can be another one of today’s activities.
2. Put together a time capsule.
I think I speak for everyone when I say that things have reached peak weirdness these days. Why not turn it into something interesting?
Look around your home for things that capture what life has been like for you lately. If you have any newspapers or magazines with current events, those would be a nice addition too.
Put everything into a shoe box or bag, label it with the date, and tuck it deep into your storage. Forget about it as long as you can and have a nice surprise to revisit in 10 years.
3. Find a box, fill it with stuff you don’t need, and donate it.
Everyone’s got extra stuff. Some of us have so much it gets a little embarrassing.
Why not put that stuff to good use by giving it to people who really do need it?
There are lots of personal benefits to new activities like this, like how giving improves our mental health. Plus, you’ll likely feel an extra sense of relief from decluttering your space.
4. Learn how to count to 10 in a new language.
Learning a new language can be intimidating. And it’s one of those new things that’s easy to say you’ll do, but then you quit after two days of practicing.
That’s why we’re starting small. Just count to 10 and see if you’re interested in learning more later. Plus, it’s easy to do this in a day.
Set out a half hour to focus hard on memorizing, then remind yourself to practice every hour or two the rest of the day so you don’t forget.
There are thousands of languages out there. Here are a few YouTube tutorials of common languages to spark your curiosity:
5. Sneak away and dance to your favorite song.
The “sneak away” part is for you if you’re not much of a dancer.
If you are a dancer, grab your loved ones and have a mini dance party. Dancing can be incredibly cathartic and a great way to help release some emotions you might have bottled up, positive or negative.
Think about it: when’s the last time you saw an unhappy person dancing?
6. Sneak away and sing your favorite song.
On the flip side of the musical expression coin, belt out a song.
Maybe this is an opportunity for karaoke night with your friends and family, or maybe it’s one of those secret songs that you only sing by yourself.
I know a thing or two about this… I have a playlist called “Songs to Sing Alone in the Car.” It’s got Adele, Lauryn Hill, Queen, and other beautiful voices I definitely don’t sound like.
7. Try a new recipe you’ve had your eye on.
Think about the last time you saw something mouth-watering on TV, or the last thing you wanted to order online but decided against getting another food delivery.
What was it? Your next step is to look up a recipe with a beautiful photo of that dish, then go for the gold.
Bonus points for courage and audacity if you’re a terrible cook.
8. Make a loaf of bread from scratch.
Baking bread is so hot right now.
It makes perfect sense: it’s a new thing that most people never bothered to do before, it broke the monotony of quarantine, and it’s adventurous without needing to leave your home.
I jumped on the sourdough bandwagon myself and never looked back.
Baking bread from scratch is a great idea when you want to try something new because it’s so damn rewarding to eat your own masterpiece.
And if it’s a disaster, that’s still okay – because it’s your disaster.
9. Write a poem, essay, or short story.
Sometimes, to do something new, you need to do something you think you’re bad at. This idea goes out to everyone who calls themself a bad writer.
Challenge yourself to write something. It doesn’t need to be deep, meaningful, or inspiring. It just needs to be something.
You’ll often find that once you get going, you build momentum. You might think of things that come out of nowhere. All it takes it sitting down and giving it a shot.
Here are some ideas for your piece if nothing comes to mind:
- What your pet would be like if they were a person.
- Tell your favorite food how much you love it, Shakespeare style.
- A day in the life of a celebrity you don’t like.
- Your favorite vacation you took as a kid.
- A secret you’ve managed to keep all this time.
- A zombie love story.
- The worst Thanksgiving dinner ever.
- What you would do if you won a million dollars.
10. Organize a swap party with your pals.
If you’re not feeling up for donating, you can do something new by hosting a clothing swap. Make a group chat with the people you want to include and set a date for everyone to meet up.
On the day of the event, everyone brings a handful of items that they don’t need or want anymore. Mix-and-match so that each person walks away with something cool.
Not only are you trying something different, you’re also doing your friends and the environment a favor by not tossing things out.
11. Print out some digital photos and make an album.
We all have a million photos on our phone. But why not go old school and make a photo album?
This is one of those simple new things to try, but it will be something you can enjoy forever after it’s done.
You’ll feel wonderful while you do it, because you’ll be transported back in time to the memories you made. You’ll also get to use your creative side as you design and build your layout, captions, doodles, and whatever else you decide to do.
12. Pick up trash that isn’t yours.
This is one of those “feel good” new things to try. Consider it an act of community service – in addition to getting some fresh air and moving your body, you’re also helping to keep your neighborhood clean.
And speaking to the point earlier about giving, you’ll also get an extra mental health boost knowing that you’ve raised the bar and made a positive contribution to the world.
When you’re done, give yourself a pat on the back. Maybe eat a victory cookie too.
13. Call someone you love and tell them why you love them.
There are exactly zero people who wouldn’t appreciate you telling them how awesome they are.
This can be anyone – a close friend, your mom who insists you don’t call her enough anyway, a colleague you worked with six years ago, or that guy you bought your couch from on Craigslist.
I know what you’re thinking: this feels a little bit vulnerable and awkward. That’s the point! Get outside your comfort zone when you’re looking for something new to do.
14. Create an origami masterpiece.
If you wanted things to do today that don’t require any special items – or even a whole lot of effort – this is right up your alley.
Find a piece of paper and get folding. When you’re done, you’ll have a nice decoration to remind yourself of today’s activities.
Here are a few YouTube tutorials you can try, ranging from level 1 beginner to intermediate:
- Easy dog
- Ninja star
- Classic crane
- Tulip flower
- Laughing emoji (yes, you read that right)
15. Get nerdy and make an alter ego for yourself.
Did you ever want to be a superhero growing up? (No judgments if you still do.)
What about a spy, kung-fu master, alligator wrestler, or multi-billionaire? Who are your favorite movies, TV shows, and book characters? Which traits make them so cool?
Think about what intrigues you, then sit down with a pen and paper and bring your alter ego to life.
This is one of those exciting things that can take you to a whole other world without ever leaving your favorite chair.
16. Go on a date with yourself.
You’ve shown appreciation for all the people who matter in your life, but have you stopped to show yourself a little appreciation?
Have a date night with you.
This can be one of those fancy dates where you get dressed up and go to a nice restaurant. It can also be in the form of you wearing your nicest pair of pajamas and treating yourself to a fancy glass of wine while you watch Netflix.
Maybe you cook yourself a three-course dinner or order pizza. It doesn’t really matter how date night looks – just as long as you’re setting special time aside and treating yourself to things that make you happy.
17. Invent your own cocktail or mocktail.
This might just be another way to say “mix a bunch of drinks together and see what happens.”
The only difference is that you get to name this masterpiece when you’re done, then tell your friends about how delicious or disgusting it was.
You can try making your cocktail or mocktail with things you have in your home now, or treat yourself to a little shopping trip to grab some exotic flavors.
Transport yourself to a tropical beach or an upscale lounge tonight, and share your treat with someone if you nail it.
18. Sign up for a free online course and finish the first lesson.
The philosophy of this one is similar to the previous item on our list of things to do today.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen so many interesting free online courses that I just never signed up for because it seemed like too much to handle.
That’s why we’re starting small with an action item to finish today. Aim to finish only the first lesson. When it’s over, you might be feeling motivated to keep going.
If you don’t already know what you want to take, here are a few free courses to spark your interest:
- Becoming an Entrepreneur by MIT
- The Science of Happiness by University of California, Berkeley
- Introduction to Computer Science by Harvard University
- Wonders of Ancient Egypt by University of Pennsylvania
- Teaching Critical Thinking Through Art with the National Gallery of Art by the Smithsonian Institution
19. Write up a bucket list if you don’t already have one.
Everyone’s heard of the proverbial bucket list, but do you actually have one? If you don’t, pull out a good ol’ fashioned pen and paper and start writing.
This is one of those new things that seems like it’ll be easy, but sometimes it’s tough to remember all the items that you’ve thought about at different points of your life.
If you’re lacking in inspiration, do a Google search for “bucket list items” and browse the pages, videos, and photos that pop up. You might even discover new things that you didn’t know you wanted to do!
What Are You Going to Do Today?
Hopefully, this list has inspired you to try something different.
Whether you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a rut, feeling up for a new and interesting adventure, or trying to do something new everyday, there are loads of opportunities waiting for you.
You’ll find that you don’t need to go on a vacation across the world or spend a bunch of money to have experience enriching new activities.
Sometimes, everything you needed was right in front of you all along.
Have any cool ideas to add to this list? Let us know in the comments.