Thursday, 17 January 2013

Mixing it up

This week I decided to mix it up a bit.

After all, what is the use of coaching clients about managing transitions if one is not also prepared to embrace  change?  Let me just preface what follows by saying - I love routine. Love it. I love the tried and true methods that work well. I often tell people about how fantastic routine can be. I extol the virtues of boundaries.

Yet, I was not always such a person, was I? While never exactly intrepid, I was once a little adventurous, wasn't I?

Well, suffice to say, a breath of fresh air was long overdue so I conducted three experiments. By definition a cautious approach I dare say. But anyway...

First, I altered my fitness routine. I did the same circuit of exercises in the gym, but I changed the order in which I do them. I wanted to see how I would feel after and what impact the change would have on my workout. I expected to be muddled, do fewer exercises and barely break a sweat.

The surprising result was that I worked harder and finished sooner. I expended more energy in a more efficient way.

Secondly, I tried a different route on a walk I make every day. This change was forced upon me by an unforeseen hitch in the school run. But in the spirit of making the best of things and avoiding recriminations, I went with the challenge of taking a different route.The astonishing result was that the new route was quicker.

Thirdly, I enrolled in and began two new courses. One I had been considering for a while. The other was a crazy whim based on a long dormant, or perhaps suppressed, desire to stop "keeping my light under a bushel". At best, I thought I might gain ideas for my book, make a new contact or two and perhaps gather some new conversational gambits. In actual fact; I met new people, had loads of fresh ideas and most gratifyingly and satisfyingly, confirmed my long held suspicion that there is an Oscar in my future.

But perhaps best of all I unlocked a treasure trove of new creative energy.

Sorry? The Oscar? Oh, that old thing. We can discuss that some other time.

I want to focus on the other discoveries and benefits of making some small changes.

The fact is, after just four days, I feel quite transformed. While I've slept less than usual, I feel more energetic. I'm sleeping better and I've watched no tv. Well, perhaps I should say: I've watched very little tv.

Moreover, making some changes led to even more unexpected openness to change. Without a thought, I tried a different cafe for my morning coffee and ate a huge plate of waffles. Something I've not done in years. And no - I'm not getting in character for a role as a larger lady. I was mixing it up.

And today, while walking home I burst into song and managed to stay in tune through a wonderful rendition of "On My Own" from "Les Miserables" (until the Off-Spring shushed me most harshly - talk about repressive and rigid!).


I challenge you all to do something different tomorrow. Not something irrelevant like changing your toothpaste, though. Do something a little bit bold. Smile at a stranger. Eat lunch in a new place. Read a new book. Try a different newspaper. Take the stairs. Stop and chat instead of rushing past the acquaintance you usually avoid.

See what you notice.

Let me know what happens?

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