I have been struggling kind of a lot lately. There have been such HUGE life changes in the past two-three years. I know that sounds like a long time for things to still be affecting me, but when you lose a loved one or get married, those are things that will probably affect you for the rest of your life. The thing is that you can choose how it affects you. You can have a positive or negative outlook. You can grow from it or you could not. The worst thing we can do to ourselves is to stop growing or stop trying.

I know we get stuck in ruts and life happens. We get into routines and that gets comfortable, but in my opinion, that is how a lot of us stop growing. Routines are wonderful things! Having a morning routine or a nighttime routine is great and it can actually be really good for your health. Start changing other things up. Switch up the meals you eat, change where you and your significant other go on dates or vacations. Go to new places, I can guarantee that there is some place, some park you haven’t been to in your local or neighboring town.
Hamilton and I have a rule when we go out to eat, especially if we are traveling. Only new restaurants. We can’t eat at any places we’ve been to before. We also try not to go to the same place twice. There are a few places we’ve absolutely fallen in love with and I’m sure we will go visit them again. BUT there are so many beautiful state parks and amazing places so close to us that we haven’t been to yet!
I also try really hard to come up with new and interesting date nights. For example, we got into a rut where we would just order pizza and watch a movie, or we wouldn’t have a date night at all! And trust me, I have nothing against getting pizza and a movie! Pizza is my favorite haha. I love spending any time with my hubs, but I wanted to get outside and do new and interesting things. So I started to brainstorm some new ideas. One night we went to the beach and had a picnic during the sunset and it was absolutely beautiful! Plus neither of us had cell service so it was pretty awesome to just spend time being quite and actually talking to each other.

I know this post probably seems a little all over the place, but for me, all these things really go together. I am not a person who can do the same things over and over again. So for me to continue growing I really have to continually change things up. That isn’t to say that I don’t have certain things that I do every single day.
For example, I (try to) always read my scriptures and pray. I always check and write new things in my planner. I always try to journal or write something on my blog (I have TONS of posts that I have written that I just haven’t shared yet). There is absolutely nothing wrong with having set routines and set plans for yourself every day! These are all simply my opinions and what works for me.

So here are a few of my tips to keeping things new and fresh.

1. Go to your local farmers market instead of your regular grocery store.

2. Read a book that is outside of what you usually read. Especially if you usually only read fiction! Try to read something that is nonfiction too!

3. Watch a documentary instead of the same show or movie on Netflix. I have been doing this lately and I love it! I feel so much better afterward because I actually learned a thing or two. And I know a lot of the times they can be biased, so then I can do some research and see what the whole scoop is.

4. Branch out and listen to some new music!

5. Instead of going for a walk or run down the same street, drive to your local park! It may be out of the way, but trust me, you’ll enjoy it so much more. I’ve been trying a lot lately to do this and it is so much more fun! I’m not looking at the same stuff all the time!

6. Go camping instead of staying in a hotel.

7. Don’t just read those inspirational quotes on Pinterest, instead pick one each week and try to live it.

This is the one I’m working on this week.

8. Make one new recipe every week. Some people make new recipes all the time, but I am someone who just makes the same things all the time. I don’t know why because I love to cook!

9. Try to eat breakfast every day. I struggle with this. I mean I didn’t even eat breakfast this morning! But I do know it makes a HUGE difference in my attitude when I do.

10. Challenge yourself to do something you’re afraid of. This is something I really try to do, but never can. There isn’t a whole lot I’m afraid of, but the things I am afraid of…I am REALLY afraid of…I will say that I am afraid of putting myself out there and I have done a really good job at opening up to people when I usually wouldn’t.

I could really go on forever. Maybe I’ll do a part two soon. These are just some of the things that really have helped me continue to grow and develop as a person. I feel like the past two years I have truly learned and grown so much more than I ever have. I have made a conscious effort to do the best I can and to not get stuck in a continuous cycle of the same things over and over again.

xoxo, Jacquelyn

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