When's The Last Time You Stepped Outside Of Your Comfort Zone?
Whenever I set a goal or resolution, I like to get started on it right away even before my start date because I want it to be a habit by the time I'm set to begin. I've decided that 2017 will be the year of stepping out of my comfort zone in business, sex (yep, we'll talk), ambition, travel, love and money. I'm inviting you to do the same thing. So, what does stepping outside of my comfort zone mean to me? Well, I explain below:
Next-level challenging myself.
The easiest part about goals is setting them, especially those lofty goals - the ones that seem damn near impossible but we know they're realistic because we've seen others do them time again. My formula for making sure the goals I set are challenging is to first check if I'm a little anxious about them. There's a fine line between setting an unrealistic, impossible goal and a challenging one. I think a gut check helps you decipher which journey you're embarking on. If your gut is mostly like "Ok, we can do this but HOW in the world are we going to do it?" then I think you're on the right path but if your brain is mostly the one talking like "Oh, this sounds fun and I think I'll like to daydream about it when I'm bored" then you might be on an impossible path (i.e. making a million dollars in your first year of business). My lofty goals will mostly be in business and money for 2017.
Switching up my routine.
Routines make us comfortable because we know what to expect for the most part. Now, I'm not saying that routines are bad and you should throw yours out. I do love a good routine but that doesn't mean a good routine doesn't need some tweaking. One major thing I'd like to add to my routine in 2017 is getting up an extra hour earlier. If you read the advice or memoirs of some of the most successful people, you'll almost always find that they get up while everyone else still sleeps. They use quiet time to reflect, plan their day, exercise, meditate, journal, or whatever is necessary to ensure they reach their goals. I've noticed that when I have been able to get up at 5am, I've had much more productive days.
Sometimes routines require the removal of something. I love a hard-won "lazy day" but lately I've been falling into the trap of binge-watching Netflix series all day on Saturdays so that's got to go this year. I'm not getting rid of binge-watching altogether but I am going to cut down on it. Instead of 8 hours of watching tv on Saturdays, I'm going to cut it in half to 4 or less. We'll see how that goes.
Doing things beyond my current capabilities.
So I'll start with an example first of what I mean by doing things beyond your current capabilities. I began doing a fashion related series on SociaLife Chicago, a digital lifestyle publication, towards the end of 2016. While discussing ideas with the owner, Bolaji, I made a comment of not really being a style-guru. The reason is because I've never been one to take fashion risks. I admire the designs I view in my monthly Vogue and Glamour subscriptions but my style consists of mostly basic colors and simple, form-fitting silhouettes. She made it a point to gently cut me off and say "you're whatever God says you are." Basically, she meant that if an idea is calling you to it, it does not necessarily matter your experience as much as it does your passion and will to get it done. The experience will come and therefore the skills will be developed with a little due diligence. The same thing counts for whatever you want to pursue in life.
Speaking up for myself.
I've never been described as timid or quiet but the reality is I haven't always spoken up for myself especially in the matters of love and business. I was listening to Myleik Teele's podcast one morning and she spoke about a relationship she had where she had everything she wanted (an ambitious, successful, loyal man) but she didn't have everything she needed in this relationship (i.e. support, romance, etc.). Naturally, I thought it was cheesy of her to demand romance but I soon realized that it was something I needed to. I just wasn't courageous enough to say so. Along with romance, ambition and loyalty, I also need romance, over-communication and very consistent sex. Trust me, in my next relationship, I won't be afraid to say so.
Doing things outside of your comfort zone allows you to experience activities with more adventure and excitement and with the way 2016 was set up, don't you think you're long overdue for some adventure and excitement?
Share, in the comments, how you plan on stepping outside of your comfort zone this year.