Okay, so if anyone close to me knew I was writing an article about being spontaneous, they'd laugh. Hard. Spontaneity is one of those healthy habits I totally suck at, which is the very reason I'm writing about it - it's something I'd like to improve on, and I'm sure you feel the same way.
It's not that I schedule every second of every day. I know the importance of carving out "me" time and all that jazz, but I'm one of those women who can't seem to find a happy medium: I'm either obsessively making sure my schedule stays in tact to the point of turning into a Stepford Wife (or rather, a Stepford Spinster), or I go with the flow to the point of accomplishing nothing - like, at all. Then I have to morph back into Stepford Spinster to catch up, and the cycle starts all over again.
I need a nap just thinking about it.
But I'm very dedicated to adding spontaneity to my healthy habits hit list. It's not just an important way to destress, but to become more accepting of - and invite - the unexpected.
1. Create your own definition of spontaneity
Just because you don't want to randomly go skydiving or buy last-minute plane tickets to a foreign land doesn't mean you're being spontaneous wrong. Your idea of spontaneous might be hitting up a new restaurant instead of making your usual Tuesday night special, or calling an old friend you haven't spoken to in ages. (Remember? It's that thing where you use your voice.) You don't have to be a certain height to take the ride - you just have to think outside the box.
2. Stop making plans
Not altogether obvi, but stop creating a schedule that has to be followed to the letter or your world falls apart. This isn't just so you can carve out time to be spontaneous, but so you have time to decompress from the stress - and you know, be human. Just because you don't have plans this weekend doesn't mean you have to make them, and we've forgotten this somewhere along the way. (Plus, it's pretty much impossible to be spontaneous when you're dragging your tuchus.)
3. Save for a rainy day
Create a savings account specifically for moments of spontaneity. There's nothing worse than having the time to do something spontaneous, only to find you don't have the coin to do it. I mean, what's the point of working so hard if you're not taking the time to reward yourself?
4. Shake things up
When you carve out plan-free time, make a promise to yourself beforehand that you'll use that time to do something different - only, don't decide on what that thing is until you're in the moment. Let your instincts be your guide.
5. Follow your every whim
We spend most days following our to-do list and going against the grain of what we'd rather be doing - after all, we have bills to pay. During your spontaneous time, follow your heart, not your head. If you find yourself on the road to doing one thing but suddenly feel like doing another, go for it! Emotions aren't logical, but that's the beauty of them.
6. Don't set any expectations
We've all been disappointed when we want our day to go one way and it goes another - so don't set anything in stone. Guarantee yourself the opportunity to enjoy your moment of spontaneity, no matter the outcome. Trust me: It's a useful habit on and off the books.
7. Don't feel guilty
Like, even a little. That's an order, from one Stepford-bot to another.
Is spontaneity on your healthy habits hit list?
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