New Things to Try to Give Your Life a Fresh New Look

Spice Up Your (Out-)Look


Like updating your look, you’ve got to try new things every once in a while to keep from going stale and getting out of touch.

All it takes are small updates here and there to spice things up. Keep the momentum, build up the courage to make a few bold moves, and you’ll look back at yourself a couple of years from now and think, “Whoa! What a transformation!”

The following new things to try have had that type of Extreme Makeover effect on Kim and my life. They’re not all guaranteed to work for you, but if a couple stick, that’s a great start.

Try on new hats every once in a while. If you don’t like them, take them off.

“New Hat” Things to Try

These are the lowest-risk new things to try. If any work out for you, great! If they don’t work, no biggie. You can go back to what’s comfortable at the drop of a hat.

Talk About Something New


Try using conversation starters like, “If you could give everyone in the world one personality trait, what would it be?” next time you’re having dinner with others.

✓ Upside

More intimate and exciting conversations that strengthen existing bonds and form new ones faster.

✗ Downside

Your conversations may spark an argument, make someone uncomfortable, or go so deep it leads someone to embarrassingly over-share.

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Eat with your hands cover image of hand beside cutlery
Use the you-tensile on the right.

Eat With Your Hands More


Put that (not so) sterile silverware aside and delight in the extra sensation of digging into salads, rice dishes, and more with your five-tined finger fork.

✓ Upside

Extra precision, sensation, and bacteria. More mindful bites and less inclination to use your phone while your hand’s dirty, which may slow you down.

✗ Downside

Added risk if you or your finger-food-sharing friends don’t wash your hands well, or if you get caught doing it by someone who may judge you for it.

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Exhausted after completing the HIIT workout
Panting for breath after completing another Pantathlon, our favorite type of HIIT workout.

A Pant-athlon HIIT Workout


The Pantathlon is a type of HIIT workout in which you choose 5 different exercises, decide a target number of reps for each exercise, then race to complete them all in any order you choose in 2-minute-on, 1-minute-off intervals.

✓ Upside

More strategy, variety, competition, and basic arithmetic than normal HIIT workouts, and you can do it anywhere with any equipment.

✗ Downside

It’s freaking exhausting.

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Earth from far far away
One of the mind-opening exercises is to regain perspective. That little white dot? That’s Earth .

Mind-Opening Exercises


You’re not as open-minded as you think and you will only get more mentally inflexible with age unless you do some mental yoga every once in a while to keep it loose.

✓ Upside

The exercises make you a bit less stubborn and more creative and curious, at least for a short while.

✗ Downside

You find the exercises to be so stupid and pointless that it reinforces your close-mindedness.

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One hand with scrunched toilet paper, tho other with folded.
Which side are you on?

Women: A Different Way to Wipe


Maybe it’s time to reconsider the toilet paper wiping technique you’ve been using ever since your mommy potty trained you.

✓ Upside

Cleaner nether regions with less wasted toilet paper.

✗ Downside

You push your T.P. minimization a bit too far and get your hands a bit dirty.

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Men: Sit Down to Pee


Only try sitting down to pee at home where you know the toilet’s clean and you want to keep it that way. At public restrooms and in nature, fire away afoot.

✓ Upside

Less mess, more relaxing, no more fighting over whether to leave the toilet seat up or down.

✗ Downside

It’s extra work to pull your pants all the way down, turn, and sit.

Trying on ugly shorts and looking in the mirror
Nope!

“New Outfit” Things to Try

These new things to try are a bit more involved than just trying a new hat, but they still don’t cost much or involve much risk. Try them once and see how it goes.

Chris exhausted on the sand.
Recovering between intervals during a dune sprinting SHIIT workout.

A SHIIT Workout


You’ve probably heard of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) before. SHIIT is the super intense version of that. For example, sprint for a minute as if an ax murderer’s chasing you, gasp for breath for one minute, and repeat ten times.

✓ Upside

You feel great after and get the cardiovascular benefits of a long boring cardio workout in way less time.

✗ Downside

It takes mental strength and motivation to push yourself to work out as brutally hard as you should to get the benefits.

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Host a Dinner Party


Home dinner parties can be a blast if you spice them up with the right collection of guests and conversation topics. Delicious food doesn’t hurt, but you can have a memorable dinner party with PB&J sandwiches, too.

✓ Upside

Quality time with old friends, a chance to make new ones, develop your social skills, and earn reciprocal invites.

✗ Downside

Managing invites, last-minute cancellations, and cleaning up after everyone leaves can be a pain.

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Croissant blind taste test
If you can swallow it, you can blind taste test it. Here, we’re doing croissants.

Do a Blind Taste Test


Invite some friends over, assemble a bunch of different brands or types of coffee/ice cream/beer/sushi/aguardiente/wine/etcetera, and challenge your taste buds to reveal your true preferences.

✓ Upside

Discover new preferences and develop a more nuanced appreciation of flavor while having a fun time with friends.

✗ Downside

Your favorite in the taste test is revealed to be the most expensive brand, and your least favorite is the cheap brand you thought you loved.

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Deprive Yourself of Sight


Wear a blindfold for a whole day (or more). Enlist a seeing-eye person to guide you on walks, help you prepare food, locate items for you, and keep an eye on you while yours are covered.

✓ Upside

Enhance your other senses and gain a deeper appreciation of your sense of sight.

✗ Downside

Waste a day stubbing your toe and banging your knee a bunch of times.

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Take Psychedelics


Some of you might consider trying psychedelics to be too extreme of a “new outfit” thing to try, like a new purple outfit covered in sequins. But trying it once won’t kill you and won’t turn you into a hippy. It’s not even addictive. Take care to try it in the right mindset and setting and the risks are minimal.

✓ Upside

A life-changing experience that creates new connections in your brain and opens your mind to a broader perspective.

✗ Downside

If you’re not careful, a possibly nightmarish bad trip or trouble with the law.

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Chris smelling his stinky synthetic shirt.
The day I gave up on my experiment with never using deodorant.

“New Hygiene Routine” Things to Try

There’s minimal risk or cost involved in trying these new things, but you have to stick with them for a while to assess whether they work better for you or not.

Exchange Daily Gratefuls With Your Partner


Every day, tell your partner something different about them that you’re grateful for. Continue for as long as you’re together.

✓ Upside

Being forced to find and share positives in each other, even on bad days, gives you a greater appreciation for your partner and vice-versa.

✗ Downside

After a couple of years, it gets harder and harder to come up with fresh gratefuls you haven’t used before.

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Account for Your Time


Note down the quick details of how you’re spending your time and for how long on an electronic journal and keep it up all day, every day.

✓ Upside

Increased awareness of what you’re spending your time so you don’t fritter it away and an electronic memory bank so you won’t forget.

✗ Downside

It takes practice and mental energy to get into the habit. And it takes time.

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Kim doing a handstand in Vancouver
Go outside and play—and get fit doing so.

Get Into Natural Workouts


Spend less time moving metal around in some sweatbox gym and more time moving your own bodyweight (and others’!) in the great outdoors.

✓ Upside

The freeing feeling of fresh air and moving your body in fun natural ways (handstands, sprints, jumps, climbs, etc.). And it costs nothing.

✗ Downside

It takes creativity and knowhow to come up with different workouts and takes some willpower to do when the weather’s nasty.

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One Chris reading the news, the other relaxing
Try being the guy on the left, not the guy on the right.

Stop Following the News So Much


Unsubscribe from any daily news-related subscriptions, remove the news from your phone, and stop watching it on T.V.

✓ Upside

Fewer biases, less unnecessary worry, and more time and mental energy to focus on things that immediately affect your life.

✗ Downside

News-aholics may think you’re an ignorant tool when they find out you don’t know the name of every country’s president or prime minister.

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Do Mini Research Projects


Refocus the time and energy you spend on random podcasts, books, news reports, articles, and social media towards doing a deep-dive on a single topic. Find various sources of information on it, take notes, and discuss what you learned with friends or on the internet.

✓ Upside

Learn to love learning and develop skills and knowledge that stick with you and improve your life.

✗ Downside

By focusing on one topic, you may miss out on broadening your perspective by learning new things on other topics.

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  • If you can’t think of a topic or find friends to discuss with, consider joining us to consider a new, different topic every week in our newsletter, Consider This.
Sometimes a new hairstyle doesn’t go as planned.

“New Hair Style” Things to Try

These new things to try require a bit more risk can take some time getting used to. When they work our well, you’ll be glad for it and look back at your past self and wonder what took so long.

Try Prolonged Fasting


Fasting is probably the most impactful new thing to try in this list, so please slow your scrolling and consider it.

By prolonged fasting, I mean going a couple days to a week without food. Many friends, family members, readers, and I have given fasting a fair shot and never looked back.

✓ Upside

Of all the potential benefits of prolonged fasting, the biggest one to me is that it kicks your addiction to having to eat at regular intervals throughout the day.

✗ Downside

It’s hard to break free from a daily routine that starts with sugary, processed cereals for breakfast and ends with ice cream for dessert.

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Sleeping on the floor
“You are what you eat,” and… you are what you sleep on?

Sleep On the Floor


I don’t mean sleep on unpadded hardwood. Sleep on a thin mattress on the floor, Japanese (or camping-at-home) style.

✓ Upside

Toughen your body up and potentially strengthen your spine, save money on mattresses, and save space in your home where your bed used to be.

✗ Downside

Like removing your shoes to go barefoot outside, there will be an uncomfortable adjustment period.

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Chris in his new go-to button-up shirt
My merino-linen blend shirt kept me cool in Valencia, Spain‘s sweltering summer.

Wear Merino Wool Clothing


Merino is anti-odor, wrinkle-resistant, and insulative. While it’s most popular as a technical fabric for outdoor enthusiasts, it’s becoming increasingly popular as everyday wear.

✓ Upside

It keeps you comfortable in hot and cold and because it doesn’t get stinky, wrinkly, or dirty, you need way fewer articles of clothing.

✗ Downside

Way less variety in styles, way more expensive, and not as soft as silk or high-quality cotton.

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You can’t turn back from nose jobs and they hurt, but they’re worth it if they allow you to breathe again.

“Nose Job” New Things to Try

There’s no turning back from these ones, so you’ll want to carefully think about them and plan them out before taking the plunge.

Pretire


Rather than dedicate your working life to something not entirely fulfilling so you can do whatever you want when you retire, “pretire.” Work for a few years to accumulate professional skills and a financial cushion, then seek out a fulfilling career you’ll never want to retire from.

✓ Upside

Have various (ad-)ventures, develop new skills, and potentially stumble into a fulfilling career that you never want to retire from.

✗ Downside

You fail at everything you try and burn through all your savings so you have to beg to get your old job back.

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Chris and Kim living the high life at a Cape Town winery
Kim and I celebrating having ditched Canada’s cold winters and expensive wine for the opposite in Cape Town.

Move to a New Country


Move somewhere new for at least six months so you can make local friends, learn some of the language, get intimate with the culture, and start to feel at home.

✓ Upside

A more well-rounded perspective on life, new skills and friends, and more memories than you’d make if you stayed put.

✗ Downside

You may miss out on funerals, weddings, and other significant events back home and/or get infected with permanent wanderlust, which isn’t entirely healthy.

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More New Things to Try

You Tell Us


Help us and fellow readers come up with more new things to try. Leave a comment with your ideas.

✓ Upside

Some people read your suggestion, try it, and it improves their lives in some way.

✗ Downside

Nobody tries the idea you spend a minute or two sharing. Boo hoo.

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Every week, we try to persuade our subscribers to try, explore, or think about something different in our newsletter, Consider This.

✓ Upside

A regular dose of inspiration to stay curious and uncomplacent and try new things in life.

✗ Downside

If an idea from a particular Consider This doesn’t win you over, you’ll have wasted a minute of your life skimming through it.

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Chris and Kim

Kim and Chris started The Unconventional Route in 2018 to share their adventures fighting complacency to win at life. Today, over 150,000 people a month visit the site and thousands more explore a dose of uncomplacent ideas with them every 10 days in their free newsletter, Consider This.

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