- Travel somewhere new – Many people tend to vacation in places that they have already been. It makes sense. You know you like the place. You know what to expect. You might even know some of the staff. This is an ideal situation for someone looking to disconnect from the world and recharge. Relaxing is a big part a vacationing, but so is experience-building. If you are traveling out of the country, learn about the culture and history of where you are going. Visit some historic sites. Better yet, get to know some of the locals. Talk to the staff to learn about where you are. Take notice of how life differs here compared to home. Nothing broadens your horizons more than experiencing culture that is different than your own. This applies to domestic travelers as well. Live in Texas? Go visit the West Coast and experience the beauty of the mountains and forests. Live in NYC? Go visit West Texas and experience what it is like to have wide open spaces and to not encounter another human for hours or miles.
- Eat somewhere different – We are creatures of habit. We tend to stick with what we know and like. Sometimes though, it’s a good idea to be adventurous. Try a competitor to your favorite place or better yet, try a whole new cuisine. I’m sure most have had Mexican or Asian food. Go try a Greek place or maybe some Indian food. You might be surprised at what you find.
- Learn something new – Knowledge is power. Learn about something you didn’t already know. Watch a few hours of the Science Channel or dive into NetFlix and find a documentary on a subject you are interested in. There is a lot to discover out there. Become knowledgeable about something other than your career and hobbies.
- Do a good deed – Go out of your way to help someone, not because you have to but because you want to. Good deeds always come around somehow. Not only does this set a good example to your family, friends and neighbors, it can be fulfilling knowing that you made a difference. Spend a few hours helping an elderly neighbor; maybe help tend to their yard or maybe offer to help them run their errands. Spend time getting to know them better.
- Get in touch with nature – Go camping. Go on a hike. Ride your bike in the park. Go fishing. Do things that get you in and around nature. Appreciate the things around you and make sure they will be around for a long time. It’s easy to take nature for granted. Just get out in it and be amazed by its wonder. Have you ever been somewhere so dark that the sky takes on new meaning? It’s times like this that you realize that you are just a speck in a town that is a speck on the Earth that is just a speck in the galaxy that is just a speck in the universe!
If everyone could do these 5 things a few times in 2012, then the world would be a different place in 2013. What these 5 things have in common is that they will allow you to grow as a person. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the better your decisions will be. Be aware of how your actions might affect others. Re-evaluate what is truly important in your life. Take note of other people around the world and how they live. What brings them happiness? It’s not enough to be aware of different cultures. Step outside of your circle and be aware of what is around you.
Happy New Year! We hope it’s a great one!