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By Lisa Cypers Kamen.

Candles By Chidorian FlickrWe all have our daily routines that provide structure and comfort to our everyday life. It is soothing to know what to expect each day. We are, after all, inherently creatures of habit. Whether it’s taking a cycling class at the gym that gets your workday started, or lazy Sunday mornings spent with a cup of coffee solving the Sunday crossword puzzle, we can all find enjoyment in our rituals.

But have you ever noticed the thrill you experience when you try something new or take an unexpected detour from your regular routine? It could be as simple as taking a cardio dance class instead of your regular cycling class or going to the Sunday morning farmer’s market and picking fresh produce for dinner. Taking that step outside of your routine opens that curious child within us and can bring out our playful side. After all, repeating the same experiences over and over again can lose its excitement, not to mention limit our opportunities for growth.

So the next time you are at work, instead of eating lunch at your desk, take your lunch outdoors and people watch while enjoying the fresh air. You never know, you might even make a new friend or meet a potential love interest. The next time you are at your favorite restaurant, order something you have never tried before. Better still? Why not order dessert for dinner. In these moments when you take a trip off the beaten path, acknowledge how it feels, physically, mentally, and spiritually, to try something new. When we shake up our routines, we can discover new ways to infuse our lives with delight and happiness because we are more present in each moment instead of living on autopilot.

Happiness Strategy: Think about the most routine part of your day. Do you always eat the same thing for dinner? Do you always grab that coffee from Starbucks on your way to work? When you run, is it always along an identical route? Pinpoint one activity in your daily life from which you never vary. Now, think about a new activity or variation you could implement to break your established routine. Make that change today.

Take this exercise a step further by making a little change to your routine every few days. Take notice of how your mind feels when you try something different. Through these little changes, you should begin to notice an increase in your energy and enthusiasm for daily life.

Happiness is an inside job®.

Photo Credit: Ishikawa Ken

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Lisa Cypers Kamen is a filmmaker, positive psychology coach, author, host of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio, professor and lecturer specializing in the field of sustainable happiness. She is widely recognized as an expert on the subject. Lisa’s acclaimed documentary film co-produced with her now fifteen year-old daughter, Kayla, “H-Factor…Where is your heart?” explores how people in varied circumstances find, generate and share happiness. In addition to her film on happiness, Lisa has also published a number of articles and books entitled, Got Happiness Now?, Are We Happy Yet?, Leadership: Helping Others to Succeed and Reintegration Strategies, about combat trauma and using positive psychology principles to create wellness in a post-war new normal. Lisa’s written work is featured on blogs for the Huffington Post, and and she is a TEDx community event speaker. In addition, she is the Happiness Expert for the Florida Department of Citrus/ Florida Orange Juice in its Take on the Day campaign.

Harvesting Happiness for Heroes™ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that delivers stigma-free integrated combat trauma recovery services to warriors and their loved ones. Modalities include scientifically proven strengths based Positive Psychology coaching and interdisciplinary tools such as film, yoga, meditation, art and creative writing designed to mindfully empower the client to achieve increased self-mastery, self-esteem and reclaim her/his life. HH4Heroes focuses on the balance of mind, body and emotion resulting in greater overall wellbeing and the transformation of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) into Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). HH4Heroes offers retreat workshops, one-on-one coaching, Battle Buddy programs, as well as our new R.E.B.O.O.T Online virtual community coaching classrooms designed to reach underserved areas. In addition, HH4Heroes deploys Return to Duty™ civilian and corporate training to help welcome a warrior home and into the community and workplace.

Lisa is committed to teaching Happiness is an inside job™ and helping others end their needless suffering through intentionally cultivating greater joy.

For more information, please visit, and

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Great post, Lisa. I completely agree about the power of shaking up life. As an example, my wife and I recently switched to a vegetarian plus seafood diet, and I wondered if it would limit our options. Instead, it increased them, because I’ve tried, and enjoyed, new foods. This dietary twist also makes me more mindful of what I do eat. Plus, I feel better than ever. Thanks for your post!

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