23 (Big and Small) Action Steps for Creating New Neural Pathways In Your Brain

Why should we do new things? It keeps our brains fit. It keeps Alzehimer’s, dementia and other mental conditions at bay. Most importantly, it opens our minds to new possibilities and new doorways that we may have never considered before. In other ways, constantly doing new things rather than always doing the same thing over and over again is just more, you know, fun. Duh.

Doing something new doesn’t have to be drastic. Sometimes it is the very minute change that can create the big positive transformation in your life. So try brushing your teeth tomorrow morning with your non-dominant hand and see what new life adventures start coming along your way.

Because really, one should never underestimate the butterfly effect.

1. The next time you’re at a bookstore, instead of perusing the usual suspects in the magazine section, pick up a new magazine title. Bonus points if it’s a completely new genre you’ve never looked into before.

2. Take a detour down a road you’ve never been down before when you have to go places.

3. Go to a restaurant of a cuisine you’ve never tried before.

4. Volunteer at an event–especially if you don’t know anybody there.

5. Try a new shampoo brand.

6. Change your hairstyle: dye it, cut it, grow it out–so long as it’s different from what you always have been doing.

7. For a whole week, don’t check the blogs you always look at. Delete them from your bookmarks if you must to avoid the temptation. Whether it’s for news or for personal entertainment, look at completely new online sources. The same goes for podcasts. Bonus points if the websites are your ideological opposites.

8. Take a class in a new skill at a local community college.

9. Treat yourself to new clothes if you haven’t bought clothes for yourself in ages. Whatever you buy, explore outside the usual color palette you are known for.

10. Listen to music in other languages.

11. Take a road trip to a city you’ve never visited. Better yet, if money and time is no problem, fly to a country you’ve never visited.

12. Make a friend with someone outside of your usual social circles.

13. Eat a different brand of cereal.

14. Buy a new music album.

15. Learn a new recipe.

16. Wear different-colored make-up.

17. Get a new houseplant.

18. Do a new form of exercise that you normally don’t do.

19. Sleep with your head pointing in the opposite direction on your bed. 

20. Donate to a charity you’ve never heard of.

21. Daydream a completely different career possibility.

22. Sit in a different chair at home when you eat.

23. Change your desktop image on your computer.

Got other suggestions for newness? Share them in the comments below.


  1. I like this! The only concerns I have are #19 (I believe we should always point our heads North when we sleep) and #20 (check out the charity and make certain it is legit first).


    "There are no accidents, coincidences or mistakes."

  2. Dearest Yumi, it's pleasure for me to write this comment, because I have not done this for at least a couple of months, and because I fully agree with what you propose (including #7, which is also about the intent). #21 already sits in my primary intent. #23 I have just completed, by putting as a wallpaper a pic made by an intent friend – a wonderful landscape with a pond and the image of my friends shadow. I'll think of newness suggestions when I'll be back to intent.

    Thanks for the post.