How to explore more, no matter how much time you have.

This is the time of the year when everyone is setting theirgoals and intentions for the new year, but we often fail to make a real planfor keeping them. It doesn’t take long for excuses to stack up and theresolutions to be forgotten.

This new year I am setting the intention of exploration. I don’t mean hopping on a plane every weekend or planning some round the world trip. I am a working mom after all, but I do hope to open my eyes to things and people around and of course pack a bag and head out every once and while.

As a working mom of two kids, time is hard to come by forany task let alone something as undefined as exploring just for the sake of it.That is why I am planning ahead. So regardless of how little time you have youcan meet the intention of seeing the world from a new perspective, learningsomething new, and meeting the interesting people that make up this planet wecall home.

So, the next time you find yourself making the excuse “Ijust don’t have time” remember this list:

5 Minutes – Put the phone down and look around

This one seems so simple, but for years we have been gluedto our phones and 2018 seemed to be worse than most. With the constant newsstream and bickering it was almost too much to block out.

But all it takes is five minutes to pull your eyes away fromthat little screen and look out the window. See something you haven’t noticedbefore. Let something remind you of someone or someplace you’ve been on yourtrips around the sun.

15 Minutes – Pick up something to read

Reading can take you to a far-off land, but it doesn’t have to. Pick up a local magazine and discover something or someone you didn’t know about in your own neighborhood. Then next time you have more time you have more time you will have a list of ideas.

Of course, if you dream of lands across the globe pick up abook about a new destination or culture and soak it in. Check out a cookbookfeaturing an unfamiliar cuisine and put a new dish on the weekly menu.

30 Minutes – Take a walk

We live in a multicultural world. Even in the tiniestcorners of the world you can find people who can introduce you to a taste of adifferent place. Take a walk around the block and I’m sure you will find plentyof things you never noticed before.

Take time to notice a restaurant or shop you have bypassed athousand times. Keep your eyes peeled for signs noting local historic sites.Really look at the buildings around you and take note of the flags, décor, andmarks of cultures and countries that your fellow residents hail from.

1 Hour – Grab a bite
Italian bakery

Do you find yourself eating the same thing most days? Even when you eat out do you tend to hit up the same spots? Eating out is a great way to try a new cuisine, meet new people, and even check out a new neighborhood.

Yelp is a great place to search for a new-to-you restaurant nearby. Or have a food loving friend you trust? Ask for a recommendation.

2 Hours – Take a class

The opportunity to learn new things is almost limitless now. If you have a little more time to explore consider taking a course in a new culture, skill, or language. Check out local cultural centers, your local library, or online learning sites such as Speaky, Craftsy, or even Youtube.

And of course, if you get the chance to head out for a whole day, weekend, or week . . . go for it! Try a new place near or far and open yourself up to the people you meet and the experiences that come your way.

Here’s to a year filled with adventure, learning, and community