The Guide to Getting a Life

Girl Drinking In Sunlight by Viktor Hanacek

Photo by Viktor Hanacek

When your mother asks what’s going on in your life, you might want to talk about something other than the 20 pounds you’ve put on and your Netflix queue. Now’s the time to switch up your old routine! I used an exclamation point, so it’s bound to be exciting. Try some of the suggestions below:

1. Activities – Search your city for things to do. Jump start your exploration by getting on LivingSocial or Groupon. Scroll through all the things that you and a friend can do on a discount. Or just do it by yourself for yourself. Why not?

  • Hiking, jogging, paddleboarding, kayaking, surfing, biking, skydiving, bungee jumping, white water rafting, paintballing

2. Classes – This may be a sub-category of activities. Follow an interest or a specific fitness workout.

  • Dance, circus, cross fit, ceramics, art, pole dancing, printmaking, letter pressing, cooking

3. Group Events – Invite out new and/or old friends. Even acquaintances.

  • Movies in the park, pizza night, a potluck, bar outing, game night, clubbing, beach day, sports games (viewing or playing)

4. Eating – You don’t have to have a big budget to make some good finds. If you fall in love with something expensive, save up. Restaurants, coffee shops, bars, food trucks, and more are out there for you to explore.

  • Use Thrillist, Yelp, Google, word of mouth, restaurant week in your city, Groupon, Living Social

5. Reading – Books gear up the imagination. Online articles offer insights. The news creates social focal points and redirects our attention to where it tells us to look.

  • Fiction novels, non-fiction books, the news, the “news”, GQ articles, Vice, Buzzfeed, Reddit, Smithsonian magazine, Cracked.com, etc…

6. Music – Find good music, not your best buddy clutching a beer and whispering sweet nothings into the karaoke mic. Try a bar with live bands, a club with a special guest DJ, or a fun store like Amoeba Records. You can go to the big concert venues near you or try a intimate jazz club. Even borrow a friend’s playlist.

7. Comedy – Whether it’s stand up comedy, sketch comedy, a improv troupe, or a funny friend, comedy is worth it for the laugh.

  • Comedy clubs, comedy bars, Netflix specials, Youtube clips, podcasts, audio recordings

8. Finding new circles of friends – Join Meetup.com, volunteer, connect into your alumni network, go to career networking events, or ask an acquaintance to hang out. Join a league: dodgeball, kickball, softball, football, etc…

9. Hobbies – What’s a hobby? I don’t know because it’s be so long since I had time for one. False. No one ever has time for anything. You make time. Boom! Say what? Okay, I’ll stop. Find an activity you enjoy and do it on the regular.

  • Join an improv group, become an amateur photographer, take long walks every morning, do DIY projects, paint trains… I don’t know. You figure it out. I don’t know you. You could be into some really weird stuff.

10. Try a new neighborhood – See what your city has to offer, go to a part of town that you haven’t been before – try not to pick a part of town where you’re likely to get shot.

  • Farmer’s markets, thrift shops, record stores, dining, museums, exhibits, festivals, movies in the park, etc…

11. Travel – Big or small trips, sometimes it’s just nice to get out of where you are, even if it’s an hour away. I, preferably, would like to go 12 hours away, by plane, to the other side of the world. I’m also really into time travel as a side hobby, but I’m still working on it.

  • Couchsurfing, hostels, hotels, Airbnb, bus, train, airplane… My brother could write an article on how to use credit card points to fund your travel adventures- flying and staying places for free. But he hates you and doesn’t have a blog and so it’s really up to me to share his knowledge. Maybe that’s an interview for another day.
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