Are you in a funk? Stuck in rut? Same shit, different day? Newsflash: We don’t have to do things the way we always do them. We can do things differently.
This is a a very easy method I sometimes use to help myself think outside of the box and get unstuck. Here is article by Steve Pavlina that inspired me to do something similar.
Click below for what I do.
Sometimes we need to change things up, and -forgive me for throwing this overused business term into the mix- think outside the box.
Most of the time we like to think inside the box. We know the box. Things make sense inside the box.
But guys! There is so much outside the box! We don’t HAVE to be in the box!
(Okay, stop saying box)
A great way to kickstart change, new habits and new ideas, to with the ’15-Ways To’ Writing Exercise. It’s easy like your mom*: You take your blank notebook page and start writing down 15+ strategies to accomplish a certain thing, to do something, to get something, or to reach a certain goal.
You can start out blank, or with a topic or a specific goal in mind. Whatever you like!
What is so interesting about dong this is that after the first 5 or so, which are usually pretty standard and easy enough to think of, you might have to take a bit longer to come up with more. That’s when you become more inventive.
You start thinking of more farfetched and weird strategies. Some of them will be shit, but others might be worth a try: They might work!
By challenging yourself to go beyond your usual go-to’s, by going above and beyond what your habits and standard tricks are, you start doing things differently, and get results faster!
Here’s a couple of examples.
- Start chasing random strangers down the street
- Ask random strangers to chase YOU down the street
- PANIC. (Tense muscles and high heart rate is good, right?)
- Glue googly eyes on your favorite chocolate bars so they look too funny to eat (True story)
- Create dystopia and then compete in the imminent Hunger Games
- Make tons of Facebook statuses about fitness. That must make you go exercise, right?
- Make a list of your favourite healthy foods and eat ALL of them. AT THE SAME TIME.
- Juice all day and then faint on your way up a flight of stairs
- Promise yourself overpriced sporting goods for when you worked out X amount of times
- Give up meat. Again. For a while. Until you remember bacon is a thing.
- Drink lemon water. Not because it is healthy, or refreshing, or hydrating, or a great non-boring way to drink enough water: Just because it is nice to know that you’re doing one of the many things that makes Jelmer de Boer write ‘you’re an idiot’-articles. Ahhhh.
- Ask your favourite fit friends to blackmail you into going to work out with them
- Read old and depressing philosophy books so you will slowly lose the will to live, i.e. eat.
- Work out early in the morning to
get it over withstart your day right
- Get one of those food gurus with ridiculously glowing skin to coach you for a while (Anyone?)
- Immediately and forever cease human contact – stop talking to people altogethe.
- Write in public transit. Even if that sometimes just means writing I SEE YOU’RE LOOKING over and over so the person next to you gets super scared
- Pretend you’re taking notes during a meeting while you’re actually writing your screen play. When people ask you for your notes pretend your phone is ringing.
- In same meeting, make character profiles that are completely based on fiction except not really. Get sued later on in life.
- Make Saturday morning your Sacred Writing Time.
- Make your grocery lists in Haiku form: “Eggs Cheese Bread Milk, And That Thing I Like So Much, Of Course I Mean Wine”
- Become the Gossip Girl of Blog World. Get exposed to be a curly-haired broody dude after four seasons of sounding like Kristen Bell.
- Start doing Slam Poetry.
- Lock yourself in a dungeon that only unlocks after you’ve finished your article.
- Put a notebook on the pillow next to you in bed. You’re not lonely at all.
- Have writing-dates with your blogger/writer friends. (Or the regular ones but they will be like ‘why the fuck do I hang out with you’)
- Laminate a notebook and write on it with a marker while you’re in the bath tub.
- Make a writer’s pact with someone to hit a certain word count. Don’t use blood please. Ink will do.
- Exchange poetry or short stories with another writer every month for fun.
- Maybe stop going to bed at 8:00 PM, you freaking grandma.
- Oh, you’re serious? Well, fuck.
- Um, okay.
- Do it for the dramatic no-caffeinne month chapter in your autobiography?
- Hide your coffeemaker?
- Every time you cave and get a cup of coffee at work you have to talk to your most annoying coworker for 5 minutes?
- Buy super expensive Kusmi tea instead?
- Start reading all the raw food terror blogs on how bad caffeine is for you?
- Take naps instead of drink cups of coffee (NSFW)?
- Think of all coffee as that one coffee that is actually made from pooped out coffee beans?
- Make it a 30-Day Challenge.
- Give away your Nespresso cups? Even though you will regret that a lot later.
- Make a bet with someone. If you can do it, you win a prize.
- Go on a juice cleanse? As you’ve obviously lost your mind anyway.
- Crap, I really am all out. I don’t know. Maybe die?
You can also do it on the topics above.
Other examples include 15 Ways To: Save money – generate more income – be nicer – be happier – be a better friend – sleep better – be tidier – be more awesome – relax more – think more positive – be more fashionable – look better.
I actually really love doing this, and have done it on multiple occasions, about myself, about work, about my blog, and I find it really makes you creative and innovative. Let me know when you give it a try and how you like it, okay?
*SORRY SORRY SORRY, I bet your mom is lovely.