Safe. A nice reassuring word that hides all manner of sins. We have an abundance of “safe” in our world today. In many places it’s important. Workplace safety. Road safety. Those are the kinds of safe we can keep. But when we take a look around we’ll see a different (and more ominous) brand of safe. The multiplexes are full of blockbusters made by committee. The radio plays songs so precision engineered to be pleasant but forgettable that they might just have been developed by an algorithm. Even the world of live theatre is jumping on the safety waggon playing the same old musicals interspersed with shows based on mid-budget films you enjoyed in the ‘90s.
At the start of a new year, be bold, be daring and make a conscious effort to give the safe, bland and boring a wide berth. Promise yourself that you’ll take more risks (the fun kind, not the potentially fatal kind) in 2020…
Put something new on your plate
There’s comfort in the familiar, especially when it comes to a sensory experience as pure and simple as dining. But if you’re still ordering the same burger from the same pub or restaurant every time you and your significant other head out, maybe it’s time for a change.
Try a vegetable that you can’t pronounce. Give Veganuary a shot. Promise yourself that you’ll eat more ethically or eat more wholefoods and less processed snacks. Swap out your lager for read wine or a real ale.
You might just taste something that you fall in love with.
Meet someone new… or someone special
It’s getting easier and easier to lead an insular life in this day and age where we all seem so tethered to our smartphones and loathe to step into the world outside our windows.
And in so doing, we risk losing our human connections… no matter how many people we interact with on Twitter. Try meeting someone new in 2020. That doesn’t necessarily mean getting into the online dating game (although record numbers of people are doing just that this January). There are also apps that help you to meet like minded people, make new friends and discuss common interests and hobbies.
At a loose end on a rainy Saturday? Don’t go shopping!
One habit we all need to get out of is trudging to the nearest retail park or shopping centre on a wet Saturday. Shopping is not a leisure activity folks! You deserve better than spending your sparse free time meandering round shops, eating in a chain restaurant and maybe stopping by for a blockbuster on the way home. Try something new. Learn a new sport. Take some friends urban axe throwing. Remember what they day about life beginning at the end of your comfort zone. Speaking of which…
Get out of your cultural comfort zone
Finally, make 2020 the year when you expand your cultural horizons a little. Watch some ballet or a contemporary dance show. Or make an effort to watch more old movies. Or more films from overseas. As celebrated Korean director Bong Joon Ho said recently “”Once you overcome the one inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films”.