Nutrition-wise blog

Get into the habit of trying new things

By Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. June 26, 2014

Everyone gets into ruts of doing the same thing over and over. This month, as part of our 12 Habits of Highly Healthy People series, I encourage you to try something new. There are many ways to mix things up, change your routine and challenge yourself. Examples are taking a cooking class, signing up for a new exercise class or joining a new social organization. Here are tips to build your confidence:

  • Overcome fear. Any new adventure or activity involves some risk and uncertainty — but don't give up because of feeling embarrassed or being less than an expert, or for fear of holding back others or failing. Instead, approach it as an experiment. Let go of preconceived judgments of how something will turn out. Take away the ideas of failure, and take this time to learn what works and what doesn't work.
  • Build on past successes. Think about your past experiences and how you successfully made them work. Consider what you had in place to support you and what you did ahead of time to help make the experience successful.
  • Build on strengths. Spend time reflecting on areas you do naturally well in your life. Tap into your strengths as you try something new.
  • Approach with curiosity. Instead of approaching new things with caution, try approaching unfamiliar things with curiosity.
  • Find the fun. Focus on the enjoyment that can come from trying new things. Do you ever wonder what the best stress management technique may be for you? It's likely a technique you enjoy. When people find enjoyment in their habits, they are more likely to stick with them over the long term. If you're not having fun yet, now is the time to get started!
  • Experience the benefits. Trying new things leads to increased confidence and self-esteem. It reduces boredom and loneliness, and it's a major driver in personal growth. Education may be the most important variable to improve health and prolong longevity, especially as we age.

Sometimes you feel most alive when you test the limits of your comfort zone. Here are some opportunities to explore:

  • Learn a new skill.
  • Challenge your mind. Learn a new language or take a free online course on a topic that interests you but is completely new.
  • Engage socially. What groups are active in your community? Join in.
  • Start a bucket list. Make a to-do list and start doing the activities on it.
  • Break your routine. Change an aspect of your daily routine — the food you choose, your exercise or how you spend your leisure time. Try something new!

Lifelong learning and social activity are important to mental wellbeing and happiness. What is your something new? What has been your experience with changing your routine or exploring new opportunities? Please share it here.

June 26, 2014