Are you shaking things up?

“If you could pick one rule to experience amazing things, I suggest: If it feels uncomfortable then you’re doing something right. When you’re uncomfortable, you’re growing.” Scott Dinsmore

Are you living a comfortable life?

A life that’s within your comfort zone? A life without much variety or challenge?

Is life becoming boring, monotonous and preventing you from growing further.

Why shake up your life?

I wrote my last post on why to shake up your life on purpose and encouraged you to get out of your comfort zone and take more risks. To take on more challenges and try more uncomfortable things.

One reason I suggested to purposefully shake up your life is to help you embrace the impermanent nature of things and changes that life brings your way.

In addition to embracing change, shaking up your life can inspire further self-development and growth. As my friend Adrienne says, having an adventure allows us to discover more about the world, each other, and ourselves.

As Live Off Your Passion author, Scott Dinsmore, says, “It takes courage to try new things. It takes courage to blaze your own trail.The crowd lives in comfort. An extraordinary life thrives in testing the limit.”

Shaking up your life and getting out of your comfort zone can also be fun, exciting and challenging all at the same time.

5 ways to live a life shaken, not stirred. How to take action and challenge yourself.

1. Determine why you want to shake up your life.

You can shake up your life due to simple boredom and blandness.

You can also do it to challenge yourself, overcome a fear, take on new challenges and grow as a person.

For example, you may be terrified of traveling alone and being uncomfortable outside of the city you live in and the language you know. So travel to overcome your fear.

You may be a terrible dancer because yo were never taught. Take lessons to show yourself you can improve and master a skill.

You hate writing because it requires you to express yourself. Start blogging so you can overcome your reservations.

Don’t have a midlife crisis or go jumping out of airplanes for no reason. Know why you’re shaking things up in your life.

2. Choose activities outside your comfort zone.

The idea here is to challenge yourself and grow as a person.

If you do activities that you’re already doing, you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to grow and develop.

If you love meeting people, you’re not challenging yourself by ‘forcing’ yourself to the company party.

If you practice silence every day of your life because of monastery rules, being silent out in public is no big deal.

If you think about an activity and it makes you feel uncertain, anxious, fearful or uncomfortable, that’s the activity you should pursue.

As Ali Luke suggests, the question to ask yourself is, “what makes you nervous” in life? Those are the things to do in order to test your comfort level and challenge yourself.

3. Do your research.

I decided to leave a comfortable job, friends and a place I was becoming comfortable with. A year before I did so, I started doing research.

I found out how much it would take financially to take a work “sabbatical”. I calculated how much it would take to live in different parts of Central and South America. I researched the various countries I was going to travel to and prioritized them

With the power of the internet, you can research anything today. No matter what it is. From starting an online bookstore to selling tea online, to traveling the world or pursuing an acting dream. There are bloggers, writers, and experts in the field showing you how to do what you want to do. Find out how much things cost, and evaluate the pros and cons before you shake up your life.

4. Plan ahead.

Before you leave for an around the world journey or try to become enlightened or launch your music career, have a plan.

Just like doing your research, a plan is important for your journey to shake up your life. If you don’t have a general idea of where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, you’re not going to get very far.

Figure out how many months or years you’re going to pursue your project or passion. Figure out how you’re going to get around and what kind of transport you’ll use.

If you’re going to need the support of friends and family, know when and who to ask.

If you’re going to move to become a ninja, you have to figure out how to save up to get to Japan, find a dojo and master you skill.

If you’re going to start a web design freelance business by returning to the motherland, the Philippines of course, have a plan on how you’re going to deal with the challenges of moving back and working there.

For me, it took planning but that’s why I can now share these Nicaraguan pics with you:)

A view of the city of Granada

A fountain in a lovely garden.

Colorful streets of Granada, Nicaragua

5. Evaluate your progress.

Once you start your journey to shake up your life, evaluate your progress regularly. If you set out to overcome a fear or grow as a person, check in and see how you’re doing.

Are you getting more comfortable in your adventure or less?

If you’ve nailed it and successfully become the person you wanted to be or overcame the obstacle you were facing, maybe it’s time to shake up some of the other areas in your life.

Consciously monitor the progress of your new activities and see if it’s making an improvement in your life and helping you become the person you’d like to be.

If you are the new ‘you’, great! If you’re not and you’re spending a lot of time on it, it could be time to move on.

Here are a few folks I know who have shaken up their lives in different ways:

♦ Janet quit her job and move to the Philippines to start her own online freelance business.
Amy is a personal trainer who regularly challenges her clients to get out of their comfort zone with working out and life.
Wendy Irene strives to live a life of wellness and took on the Gunnar challenge, witth her husband, to lose weight.
Irving, or the wise Vizier, has embraced change in his life and blogs about the many lessons life’s taught him on his blog, Han of Harmony.
Penelope left the city, married a farmer and is raising two kids on a farm, while writing, blogging and helping young professionals manage their careers.
Milo, Therese and Izzy quit their jobs. Milo is now an international man  of copy and is trying to dominate the world . Therese helps you get unlost in life so you find your career path and Izzy is going to become a ninja.  (laugh at your own peril here)
Lori runs an engaging community blog and made a leap to publish her own e-book on kindle without going through traditional publishing channels.
Keith  started his own blog recently and is about to break some habits. (and takes us along for the ride)
Caroline, Meg, David & Maria are each shaking it up by traveling, taking on life and blogging about it.
Razwana has made a couple major job changes to London, then Paris and started a blog to help others find their ideal jobs.

Have you shaken up your life by doing something new, challenging or different? Please share your experiences in the comments below and what steps you took to shake things up.