Buck the System and Do Something Different

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do something different

When was the last time you made a conscious decision to “do something different” – something out of the norm from your usual routine? For instance, when was the last time you ordered fish instead of your usual steak at your favorite restaurant? Or chose a completely different destination for your annual winter vacation?

I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to get stuck in a routine, get comfortable and let that comfort keep me from trying new things or even thinking differently about the things I do every day. Before long, I’m not only comfortable, I’m stuck and possibly blind to better, more efficient or even fulfilling habits and activities.

Do Something Different – and Grow!


Changing up your routine can sound scary, but doing new or different things does amazing things to change and improve your life!

Build Your Confidence

Doing something different from your normal routine of life has a special way of helping to build your confidence. Somehow, when we go outside of the box and do something we’ve previously been afraid to try or simply unwilling to do, we learn that we’re much braver, smarter, and inventive than we might have thought we were.

When John changed up the theme here at Frugal Rules, that was a big step in doing something different. The old theme was awesome, and more importantly, it was successful. Things were going along wonderfully for the old Frugal Rules: Numbers were great, feedback was great, and reader interaction was high.

But as a staff writer I knew John had a bigger vision for Frugal Rules: A vision that required he do something different. It can be scary to take something so successful and “mess with it” and there is some truth to the old adage, “If it aint’ broke, don’t fix it.” However, often times in order to truly grow and prosper, in whatever area of life, we need to change and evolve.

John chose to do something different with Frugal Rules in order to help it evolve into an even better and more helpful site than it was before, and it’s worked! However, the process to get there was daunting and involved John being willing to do the work to create the new look with his design team and to actually hit the “publish” button on D-day, so to speak. As scary as it was, John chose to buck the system and do something different with Frugal Rules. And the change has been highly successful. However, even if it wouldn’t have been successful, he would’ve had the gift of knowing that he has the willingness to do something different.

Open Up New Opportunities

Being willing to do something different can often create opportunities that you might not have previously had. For instance, being willing to take on a new or different type of project at work can not only grant you new skills, but it can enhance your resume’ for potential future career opportunities.

Sometimes, just being willing to try new and different things regarding the foods you eat can give you the knowledge and experience you need to think about starting a food business or blog.

There are so many ways to expand and grow your knowledge and your life opportunities if you’re willing to simply do something new or differently than how you usually do it. Take the plunge today and try something new.


What was the last thing you’ve done differently, or what would you like to do differently? What type of food have you always been unwilling to try? What’s holding you back? After reading this post, are you willing to give it a shot?



Photo courtesy of: Hellolapomme


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Laurie is a wife, mother to 4, and homesteader who blogs about personal finance, self-sufficiency and life in general over at The Frugal Farmer. Part witty, part introspective and part silly, her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom, and to a simpler, more peaceful life.


  • Great post! I always say, if you aren’t trying new things and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you aren’t growing as a person. In other words, you are just content with your life. Not too many people would agree that they are content with their lives, yet they won’t take a chance to better themselves.

    I think it is because of fear of failing, but failing is good – you get to learn from your mistakes and still grow.

  • Great post! I am someone who gets stuck in my ways, so this is something I always need to keep in the back of my head.

  • I love eating out, and I almost always go to the same places, but I live in one of the best places IN THE WORLD for food and food options. So I’ve been challenging myself to try new restaurants and cuisines based on where I can find coupons and deals. It’s been awesome! Last night was Lebanese, a new one for me!

    • Laurie says:

      Stefanie, that’s so great that you’ve been changing things up regarding the restaurants you go to!! What a fun way to step outside the box and do something different. 🙂

  • Lauren says:

    I feel like traveling really helps people to open up and try new things. I know that it definitely made me more willing to eat strange foods! But yeah, in everyday life, it’s great to change up your routine every once in awhile. Keeps things fresh.

  • Kipp says:

    This is a very good post Laurie. I am really in the mode right now to try to do new things and see if they are better or not. I am sure I will find some things worth continuing where others not so much, but if you don’t try or question at the least, how do you know?
    Other large type expenses like exploring health care costs may not result in a change, but the process of going through the numbers, seeing how they apply after taxes, all of that fun stuff.

    • Laurie says:

      Kipp, that is exactly the point!! If you don’t try, you won’t know, and in that sense, even the “failed” new things are worth the effort.

  • Yes, you’re so right! My family and I always have the hardest time eating out. We’re afraid that if we order the wrong thing, we’ll have missed out on something better (so that’s why we like going to buffets)! I think it’s because we grew up so frugal we rarely ate out, so a wrong order felt like a catastrophe! Since then I’ve learned that I need to be content with whatever life’s risks bring me, and taking risks has become a lot easier.

    • Laurie says:

      OH yes, Deb, that is our family totally. We go out to eat so rarely that we don’t want to feel like we ruined a rare opportunity by getting food we don’t like. Good for you for focusing on contentness – that is huge!

  • I think change is such a constant in my life and much of the time I welcome it, even when it can be overwhelming at times. It helps us to grow as you said and expand our horizons on many levels. I love to learn and I’m pretty open to trying new things, at least once, so change is a welcome instance for me.

  • I think it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and feel the mundaneness of life. Something I did recently was take ukulele class. Because I was concentrating so hard, that 1.5 hour class was a nice break from all the other stuff going on in my life. I don’t know what is next though…trying to figure that out.

  • I love trying new things, especially foods. Some have been misses (major misses), but I’ve also discovered delicious foods from around the world. I now love Ethiopian food (all thanks to a groupon). We also try to go to different places every time we go on vacation. I don’t remember the last time I went to the same destination twice.

    • Laurie says:

      Aldo, you guys sound like you do a really great job of bucking the system. I love that you’re so willing to try new foods and different vacation spots. Very cool. 🙂

  • Great post, and reminder! Generally people fear change! If you ask people why they are afraid they typical reply “We’ve always done it that way.” Ugh..You’ve got to get over that fear and take a chance, if not you’ll be missing out.

  • It is always good to shake things up from time to time. It’s funny because I think we can either choose to do something different, or life just has a way of leading us that way anyway. I am a big believer in change = growth. The more we force ourselves to do something different, the more we grow and learn along the way.

  • Jason B says:

    Great post. I do different things all the time. It helps you get out of your comfort zone and grow.

  • weenie says:

    I read a lot, usually the same kinds of fiction.

    Recently, I read a book about investing and learnt a lot. It wasn’t always easy reading but now I know a little more of what I should be doing investments-wise!

  • Amy says:

    I’m definitely a creature of habit, so this post is a great reminder – thanks!

  • Kim says:

    I tried seaweed this week and it was nasty! I do like to stay in my comfort zone and it’s really good to venture out. I need to remind myself of this more often.

    • Laurie says:

      LOL, it sounds nasty!!! I think it’s super cool that you tried it, though. Our oldest, when we were out to eat this summer, tried calamari for the first time, and loved it!

  • Even Steven says:

    I love the layout of the site, so doing something different looks good to me!

  • Prudence Debtfree says:

    I am very drawn to my comfort zone. When I leave it, I get terribly anxious. Case in point: I’ve been planning to revamp my Blogger blog for months now. I’m getting mentoring and I’m getting help from a web designer, but all I can think about are the thousand and one questions for which I don’t have answers. I know that I’ll learn as I go, but I’d love to have all of the answers ahead of time. In another few months, I hope I’ll be able to say that I’ve grown more confident from this experience – but for now, my stomach is in a knot. (By the way, I really like the new FR format!)

  • Hi Laurie ~ I’ve actually been more comfortable with change for most of my life. I hate routine. I get so bored with it. For example, I left traditional finance positions because I got fed up with the usual month end routine. I hate the routine of housework but give me a deep cleaning job to do once and I’m in my element. Sometimes it’s a drag because it inhibits me from getting things done that I need to do. On the other hand, I do like to take on new challenges. 😀

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