Week Eight: Walk In A New Area
Part of my #20NewThings project / challenge was to try and get me to go different places and try different things. As humans, we get stuck in our habits very easily … in fact, there is a great article by Mona D. Fishbane, PhD titled “Why Change Is So Hard: The Power Of Habit In The Human Brain” that is worth the read on this subject.
Without knowing it … this whole #20NewThings project of mine is actually a great way to encourage and accept change in my life. It’s apparently science people … and it’s called Neuroplasticity.
So while you read up on those articles … you may find like I did that this little 20 new things is a great idea. It’s also not that hard to do … although writing blog posts about them IS hard to do. Perhaps that’s part of this whole change thing too …?
I decided to try something simple in Week 8 … just make a simple change like walking in a new park, which is exactly what I did. Near my home is a walking trail around a lake. It’s located in a completely different neighborhood with completely different housing designs. The neighborhood is tightly put together but has a center area of stores, restaurants and businesses. It’s sort of a community meeting place in essence for all those to easily get the items they need without having to travel much distance.
This new park is very open, the trails are wide and the lake is a pleasant view while walking. I walked the full distance of the trail around the lake which was about 2.5 miles. Something interesting happened: because everything was new, I observed more. I took in nature more – the trees, the birds by the lake, the people walking the same trail. Without realizing it, my walk felt like it went by faster for me than my normal 1.5 mile walk at my favorite (dare I say habit forming location) park.
After my walk and drive home, I felt happier … I felt refreshed. I even realized I had a smile on my face! How interesting that something so simple can have such a positive affect on you. I finished my work day in a better mood and had a bit more energy.
Looking back at this day – I also felt a bit of accomplishment too. I had driven by this park many times and just didn’t want to take the extra time it took to drive me there to walk. With the commitment of this project, it was just the push I needed to drive there and complete the extra mile walk.
I’m glad I did it! This change made me realize that I needed to push myself to try different things regardless of extra time or the unknown. (I really didn’t know how far that trail was or what would be in my path) The fear of the unknown mixed with the ending accomplishment, is what I believe put the smile on my face that day!
On to new things …..