Breaking out of your comfort zone comes with great personal reward

You know the feeling: butterflies in your stomach, heart beating a little faster, your stress level rising. These may be signs that you’re stepping out of your comfort zone. Staying in your comfort zone is familiar and safe. But it’s time to embrace the growth and transformation that comes with changing your routine. Expanded social circles and new experiences and challenges have the potential to add much personal meaning to your life. It’s worth the risk!

As you age and move through some of life’s biggest transitions – maybe retirement or a move from your longtime home – you’re already being forced into new territory. By going one step further and trying new activities, meeting new people and making bold choices about how to spend time, you may just tap into a side of yourself that you didn’t know existed.

Maybe you’re missing your work colleagues or your neighborhood friends, but just think: Someone you meet at the pool this summer may be a member of your card club next winter. Soon you could be surrounded with like-minded people who encourage each other to step out and take on new adventures together.

I created Vibrante Living hoping four independent women would create a retirement community that encourages a healthy, active lifestyle. You can do the same with a friend or take the first step on your own. It might lead to new friendships. It will certainly lead to personal growth.

So, it’s time. Step out of your comfort zone. One of these activities might be the perfect place to start. If you’re not a Minnesotan, don’t worry! Use this list as a jumping-off point to find similar activities in your community.

For the outdoor enthusiast: AARP is hosting an educational, group bike ride this month along the Mississippi guided by National Park Service Rangers. You’ll meet new people while taking in new parts of our beautiful city! If hiking or paddling is more up your alley, check its calendar of events for other upcoming fun. Another option: Once a week, try a beach or pool you’ve never visited.

For the music lover: Outdoor summer concerts are a great way to explore new parks while surrounding yourself with other music lovers. You can find entertainment every day of the week thanks to Minneapolis’ Music and Movies in the Parks series. 

For the history buff: The Minnesota Historical Society offers unique walking tours around Minneapolis and St. Paul. These are a great way to learn something new or rekindle memories of days past.

For the art lover: Grab a friend and head to a festival. The Stone Arch Bridge Festival and Uptown Art Fair, both in Minneapolis, are great options. You can find others every weekend throughout the summer. Volunteering at a festival is a great way to meet art lovers. Or, once a week, explore a new museum.

For the person who’s just not sure: Maybe you don’t know what to try, but you’re ready to take the leap and do something new. Your local senior center is a great resource. Here’s one with everything from card games, crafting and shopping to discussion groups and fitness classes. Look up your local senior center and choose something that stretches you.    

Just remember, you may be missing out on quite a lot by sticking to your routine. There’s a rich, wonderful world for you to explore. If you’d like someone to help you take the leap, give me a call! Or, ask to join my new Facebook group, Vibrante Voyagers. We’d love to welcome you for a brisk walk around the lake or simply a cup of coffee. If you crave some friendly moral support as you break in some brand-new habits, I guarantee we’ll provide it! And if you think living among like-minded women is the push you need, I expect openings at Vibrante in June 2020.