Value of Trying 5 New Things a Month

In 2013, I finally visited Vermont which was 1 of only 3 states I hadn’t been to in the US. During that visit I had a number of additional first time experiences! I headed home from that trip excited about all the new things I had tried, and amazed how I was in my mid-thirties and realizing how many so called ordinary things I hadn’t ever experienced. That year I journaled all my new experiences and at the end of it I had a huge list. Every year since I have set a goal to try 5 new things a month! Now I challenge you do the do the same.

Reasons You Can’t

Whenever I share with others I do this I am met with great enthusiasm and questions. “What are some examples?” “What was your favorite?” “Do you actually do 5 new things every month?” (The answer to this one is yes.) Then I hear “I don’t have the time for that.” “I couldn’t do that.” And I hear, what I assume to be them thinking out loud, “what would I try?”

It is easy to think this is too time consuming, but let me say it doesn’t have to be! And the thought “what if I fail?” keeps many of us type A’s from trying. What this really takes is a change of mindset and a focus to look for opportunities to change your status quo and try something a bit different. Soon you will find you are looking at more situations automatically while thinking “how could I approach this in a new manner?” And remember...

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” - Henry Ford

This is said a lot because of how true it is!

Reasons You Should

Set aside the fun things, like trying a new restaurant or game with your kids, and think about how this will really impact you.

  1. Forces you to develop and grow. We need times to step out of our comfort zone. The way we all interact with clients, colleagues, family, technology is changing, so we have to leave our comfort zones to stay effective, relevant and connected. Some things we attempt we will hate, but others we may find ourselves asking “Why did I wait so long?” (This is me with getting an Apple Watch!)
  2. May find a new opportunity. I think of a practitioner I met Derek Davis, CPA. He was taking an Uber ride home and by taking the opportunity to engage with his driver he discovered an entire service and business model he could build for the shared economy.
  3. Keeps you engaged. We all know we can get caught going through the motions at times in life. This state of mind doesn’t serve you, your clients, or your firm well. Our environment is changing too fast to not stay engaged! Avoid SALY and always question how things can be done better; not only does this eliminate boredom (you can be busy and still bored) and improves your working environment.

So what will be your 5 new things to try this month? Really what we are working on is creating a habit to help us grow, improve and stay future ready, and hopefully have some fun along the way. Embrace the fun, reject the fear, and look for what you can learn. Maybe trying 5 a month is not the right number for you, but make sure you set a number and make sure you do it!

What was a success or failure of something new you tried?

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