As a kid, I always loved going to a friend’s house and helping them do their chores. Somehow, cleaning a bathroom or doing dishes was fun in a new surrounding. At home? Not so much…
Today, the same holds true for the routine tasks and responsibilities that cross my path. I can find time – and the desire! – for long walks and exercise I would otherwise make excuses not to do when I am on the road or at the lake house. Cooking is more fun when it is in an unfamiliar kitchen; same for drudgery tasks like yard work and ironing. Change the routine and the unpleasant becomes almost fun!
We all need to mix it up every now and then. Find new ways to do old tasks we fail to find pleasure and self-fulfillment in. Countless articles have been written on the topic when it comes to exercise. Similarly, the same rules often apply to all facets of our life: work, studying, dating, chores, etc.
In all avenues, mixing it up has big benefits:
1. You meet new people and get exposed to new ideas. A new gym, coffee hangout to study or new play group for your kids… The new environment and the people you meet will reenergize your everyday responsibilities.
2. You prevent overuse. Tennis elbow earned the label by the repetitively working the same joint to a fault, causing injury. Overuse happens in other areas, too: your family dinner menu, your vocabulary, your TV remote, etc. Trying something new can totally transform your family’s appreciation for your hard work, how you engage with others and how you spend precious hours.
3. You develop new muscles. Have you ever noticed how many distance runners have underdeveloped upper bodies? Miles of pavement build lean muscle mass, but it takes upper-body exercises to balance the whole body. Mixing up what you read, the conversations you participate in and the approach take to challenges can expand your brain and give you new insights and strength!
4. You overcome boredom. Let’s face it, we quit doing things well once we get bored; once the task becomes mundane, so does our commitment to it. Relationships end everyday because one partner – bored with the union – became disinterested and sought excitement elsewhere. Churches ignore the need to connect with the diversity of their community, leaving many who want to be led, fed and celebrate in a variety of ways starved for fellowship. Remixing the approach to romance, praise and worship or how we tackle the laundry can bring a renewed passion!
5. You achieve new levels of performance and satisfaction. Tackling the same jobs the same way is definitely efficient, but it doesn’t open the door to new learning and higher levels of achievement. When you mix it up, you expand your abilities and discover greater results. Changing up your standing Tuesday night Taco dinner to a new recipe expands your cooking skills and confidence in the kitchen. Trying a new way to deliver the Monday morning sales report uncovers missed opportunities and gets your team excited about the business. Mix it. Change it. Have the courage to try something new.
Whether you are an athlete looking to build stamina and endurance, or a worn-out single Dad in search of the same with your kids, make a commitment to trying new ways to master the facets of your life. Your reward is renewed passion and energy to fuel you though each day. What an outrageous gift to give yourself!