How to inject new life into your life

3 Ways to Inject New Life Into Your Life or Blog

Last month I felt as if my writing was getting a bit stale. Of course, I was doing some solid writing, covering important topics and dishing out sound advice. But I felt as if the spark was missing.

I hadn’t written a strange personal update about my parenting experiences for months, or given readers a laugh at my expense. I think I was playing it too safe and frankly it was starting to bore me a little.

Playing it safe is not my style and it’s certainly not something I want to model to anyone else either.

But I think it’s a common phenomena. You get into a routine with your life, work or relationships. At first it’s easy and comfortable, things are ticking along nicely but then it starts to get boring. That’s when you need to shake up your life or inject new life into what you’re already doing. Here’s how:

1. Do something scary every day

I was recently interviewed by Jennifer Gresham at Everyday Bright to see if my claims that I do something scary every day are true. They are but it’s pretty easy to make a habit of it when just about everything scares you. Well, I exaggerate, I’m not agoraphobic or anything but I’m quite shy, so speaking to new people can be hard and I’m far too self conscious about what other people will think about what I say or do.

Some days I feel gung ho and have a great ‘sod it’ attitude where I think if people don’t like my hair/opinion/behavior/jokes then that’s their problem. This is definitely much healthier and I wish I could have it 100% of the time.

Plus, I’ve heard the type of paranoid attitude where you worry about what other people think about you is delusional because no one else is even noticing what you’re up to ~ they’re too busy thinking about their own problems.

And that’s why you’re here isn’t it? You’ve got a problem and you’re seeking the solution.

Hopefully you’ve got a dream and you want help making it come true. Maybe you’re feeling flat and you need a pick up. You could be keen to do something new but paralyzed by the fear of the unknown. Well, don’t worry, I’m still going to help you out with all of that and more, but hopefully in a less formulaic way.

2. Don’t take things too seriously

I’ve been taking this whole blogging stuff too seriously. Reading up on it, studying blog success stories and striving to fit the mold. But I’m not going to fit in and you probably don’t want me to anyway. You want a happy, unique writer who dips from one topic to the other and keeps it interesting so expect more of a mixed bag around here.

In the future I might write about travel, Internet marketing, Australia or just life in general. But whatever it is I’m going to keep it interesting, upbeat and useful and relate it all back to living your dream and getting the life you really want.

Playing it safe with my blog by sticking to my topic and writing relevant, useful posts has been reasonably successful. But look at the titles of some of my last 10 posts and remember they represent 10 weeks since I only post once a week: How To Sleep, The Real Secret To Success in 4 Words and Here’s a Fast Way To Improve Your Relationships. See what I mean? I need to cut lose.

3. Mix things up

So stay tuned if you want to see change, if you want to mix things up a bit and if you’re ready to expect the unexpected.

I’m planning on a series of posts with information about some of the countries I’ve lived in to give you an idea what you might find if you visit, and I hope they’ll make you want to. I’ll cover France, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Laos and Zimbabwe to begin with.

I also plan to write more about blogging, website design and Internet marketing for small businesses. Thanks so much to everyone who commented on my blogging dilemma and agreed that it would be fun to combine this new topic into the self improvement articles.

Don’t worry, I’m not interested in boring you with techie news and tips. I just want to give the essential information you need to make sure your website or blog reflects well on you and gives your site visitors what they want.

There’s far too much information on internet marketing on the Internet and I think people are drowning in it. So I’m going to toss you a lifering and offer you the essential information you need to keep you afloat without any of the fluff.

I’m looking forward to hanging out with you, improving my writing and making my blog an invaluable resource for people who are going places.

3 Ways to Inject New Life Into Your Life or Blog

  1. Take risks. Start by doing something that scares you every day. It’s easy when you get started and I guarantee you’ll start to look forward to it.
  2. Have fun first. Stop playing it safe and slavishly following the rules.
  3. Mix things up and don’t get stuck in a rut.

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Guest Posts

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Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Randall April 6, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I for one am looking forward to the changes you will make.

Your blog is always informative, helpful, and interesting. I look forward to every post. The last one was great!

I really got excited when you said you were going to tell about some of your experiences in the past.

Whoo who!!! 1100 subscribers!! Way to go!

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Annabel Candy April 6, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Randall – Thanks for your enthusiasm! Yes, time to share some of my travelers tales… one of my other readers suggested it and I liked the idea. It should give people an idea what it’s like to move abroad and offer a taste of life in specific countries I know and love.

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Ching Teoh April 6, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Yes! I am waiting for the ‘unexpected’ and ‘mixing up’ in your blog. Just wanted to let you know that, all the topics that you are going to mix in your blog are my interests!

I’m excited!

yeah!

~ching

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Annabel Candy April 6, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Ching – Excellent, except I can see I’ve put the pressure on myself now! But I like that and will be doing my best to deliver on those promises:)

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Walter April 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Over the past few months of my blogging, I have been very serious which then culminates in boredom. Thanks for sharing something to think about with regard to blogging. Perhaps I need to think of new ways to spice up my blog. :-)

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Anne Lawrence April 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Yes, I too am looking forward to whatever comes next… especially some of your travellng tales!

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Annabel Candy April 6, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Walter – I think it happens in everything, you just have to beware of it and make sure you keep things interesting:)

Anne – I want to include some classic photos of my jaunts too.

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Brenda April 6, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Sounds like a plan to me……..looking forward what your future blog holds. It all sounds good.

Oh and the doing something scary thing is good advise for me. I need to get out of my comfort zone even more. I also worry to much about what people will think.

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Isao April 6, 2010 at 8:45 pm

It has been three months since I have started to blog proactively, and yes I am approaching the dangerous “boring” state. I think I will try the “don’t play it safe” advice. The problem is, I tend to lean on NSFW topics when I do so, which actually is SFB (Safe For Blogging). Need to grow up..

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Kim April 6, 2010 at 10:41 pm

I’m in the same boat! I just commented on my last entry that I tend to be a bit too serious and philosophical in many of my posts. It’s ok sometimes bc I’m just in a very reflective place right now, and my blog is a way for me to vent feelings and thoughts, but that’s not all I am! I’m always fun and goofy and enjoy slightly frivolous things like fashion and food, and I’d like to start featuring more such content. This has inspired me further to do this, so thanks! Oh and I can’t wait to see your trip accounts – I love to travel as well so any tips about where to go and how are always welcome!

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Srinivas Rao April 6, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Hey Annabel,

I think the best thing you’ve written here is not to take it too seriously. There’s nothing I love more than writing posts that have absolutely nothing to do with my topic that I think are funny. For example, I wrote a post called “You shouldn’t trust people who don’t like chocolate.” When you don’t take anything too seriously you have not attachment to it and you have a ton of fun doing it.

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Harsh Athalye April 7, 2010 at 12:21 am

I am all ears for those “traveler’s tales”. Make sure you include the details about food and restaurent. I don’t know for others, but I definitely like them to read about. Secondly, they “literally” spice up your contents, too ;)

“Don’t take things too seriously” I second that. I heard a proverb “Don’t take life too seriously, you may never come out alive”. Same applies to blog, have serious funny writing your blog.

Cheers!

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Webwordslinger April 7, 2010 at 12:23 am

Hey, Annabel,

Good advice. Think I’ll take it.

Best,
Paul

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Krista April 7, 2010 at 2:13 am

I’m so excited about the new things you’ll be sharing. :-) Your words were just what I needed to hear today. :-)

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Bryan April 7, 2010 at 3:23 am

I like your ideas that you presented. I have been working on writing about some of these, scary and humorous coinsurances from my years on the police dept.
Thanks

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Gip @ So Much More April 7, 2010 at 3:42 am

Annabel —

I think you’re on the right track. The most successful bloggers I read all stumbled upon their perfect formulas by accident, then wrote posts and books claiming their system is the best way. But it isn’t. You might be successful copying someone else’s formula, but you could also stumble upon a way that works just fine for you. Continue having the courage to stumble!

I like reading those famous bloggers who write about blogging, but I sometimes think I should be writing my own posts instead of reading theirs.

Gip

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John Bulmer April 7, 2010 at 4:36 am

Great points.

Take risks, have fun and mix it up – key ingredients for a great recipe for life.

So why do we not do this every day? Maybe we are all the same, but like you I have days when I feel deep inside that I can do absolutely anything. And other days, its avoiding anyone and everything cause I feel powerless.

Am aiming first for the 75 powerful – 25 not-so powerful ratio first and then target the 90 – 10 ratio. I don’t believe in perfection, so don’t expect to hit 100 % powerful everyday.

Keep up the good posts Annabel.

jb

jsbulmercreations

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Ryan April 7, 2010 at 5:33 am

Excellent advice Annabel :)

I hold my vision to keep my blog interesting. By seeing my goal clearly on an hourly basis I tend to act inspired. As you know inspired action causes positive attraction.

Here’s the quickest way to get over the self-consciousness thing; be yourself and people like you will find you. You’ll feel most comfortable and attract the most like-minded people, which makes your life enjoyable. Sure you’ll rub some people the wrong way but if you fear rubbing people the wrong way you’ll never treat yourself the right way.

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Cate April 7, 2010 at 6:15 am

Go for it Annabel – I’m really looking forward to all the different things you’ll have to tell us about. They say that variety is the spice of life – and we’re all guilty of getting stuck into our nice safe routines once in a while (sometimes more than others :-) ) – so go ahead, mix it up for us. A bit of extra sparkle goes a long way.

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Annabel Candy April 7, 2010 at 6:48 am

Thanks everyone. The biggest problem for me living in Australia is that when I wake up in the morning I discover lots of amazing comments on my blog that came in while I was sleeping:)

John – I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I do expect 100% every day and feel guilty when I don’t hit it but it’s just not realistic. Maybe I should just accept that one or two days a week firing on all systems is good enough.

Isao – NSFW?

It looks as if I’m not the only one who needs a reminder to get out of my comfort zone every now and then:)

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Kate April 7, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Thanks, Annabel! Love the candor. I’m definitely scared of being scared. It’s sort of a hopeless cycle :) I just started a blog, and I’m afraid to stray too much off topic. There might be snakes out there… Or less readers.

I look forward to reading more from you!

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Ener Hax April 7, 2010 at 11:10 pm

good tips! i don’t know your sense of humour and perhaps i am being too critical, but funny that your second point is don’t take it too seriously but your first paragraph has you posting that you are doing solid writing on important topics and offering sound advice! =D

*note to self – slow down on run on sentences!*

i look forward to reading you more and learning from your sound advice (it actually struck a chord with me, thank you, and bah on my musical pun – unintended) =)

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Annabel Candy April 7, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Kate – The problem is that you never know until you try it:) Lovely to see you here and thanks for sharing that with us.

Ener – Thanks for joining us. I think all that sound advice and serious writing was what made me feel the need to lighten things up and resulted in a general lack of humour:) The big problem with writing is that it is hard to get your sense of humour over and you have to pop in loads of !!s and :))s to let people know when you’re joking so then the post reads badly and looks irrelevant and trivial so people don’t want to read it anyway!:) Hopefully I’ll sort this problem out in time too!

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Connie April 8, 2010 at 12:00 am

This may be one of my favorite posts of yours ever. Your attitude is inspiring and energizing.

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Alistair April 8, 2010 at 2:58 am

really inspiring…thanks for sharing :)

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Girl Startup April 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I find the blogging world rather daunting, so many poignant blogs and post and I feel like I’m just a little spec in the scheme of things. I find I waste so much time online, and I don’t know if it’s really productive. I almost feel like shutting off all social networks, and just blog for myself. I’m not very good at all these “rules and regulations” for making it with blogging. I mean I have this feeling, if you “got it, you got it”.

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Mark April 10, 2010 at 6:07 am

Great advice. Thanks for sharing your blog wisdom!

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Will April 10, 2010 at 9:48 am

Not sure if this is a significant traffic generator, but expect some visitors from Facebook, because I find this article so helpful, I’ve just shared it on my profile! On my way to read the ‘101 Ways To Feel Happier’ right now…

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Annabel Candy April 10, 2010 at 10:09 am

Girlstartup – Thanks for joining us. I think if you can get away without doing it life would be great and blogging so much more productive. In theory we all have to write our best stuff ever but then we also have to network, tweet, learn how to use Stumble, Digg, comment on other blogs, add our blog to directories. It’s all so time-consuming and distracting. I’d prefer to just write but I think someone has to take care of the marketing/PR side and I’m a one woman band so it’s got to be me:)

Will – So glad you found this useful and many thanks for sharing it on your Facebook profile. It makes a huge difference to me because I know from personal experience that the best way to grow a business is through word of mouth referals. It’s just the best recommendation I could hope for of my blog and writing.

I want to focus on writing the best articles I can so I can help my readers more effectively and it really helps if readers take care of the marketing side for me by recommending any articles they like on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Stumble, Delicious or emailing them to friends, colleague or relatives.

Thanks so much for spreading the word! I really appreciate your support.

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Chartreuse April 10, 2010 at 11:29 am

Like Girl Startup, I too become daunted if I focus too much on the technicalities of blogging. I could easily spend too much time thinking or blogging about blogging, and not enough time writing and polishing good readable posts about subjects that are important to me.

I’m not referring here to your posts about blogging, Annabel. They are very helpful and always interesting. But writing posts about blogging probably contributes to the achievement of your goals – central of which is to be able to earn a living (or a part-living) from writing in general and blogging in particular. At my stage and circumstances in life (enforced early retirement due to need to care for an elderly partner and so being confined to home a bit more than I’d like), my purposes in setting up the blog and what I hope to get from blogging are quite different.

For sure, I’d like to have more followers (and will take your suggestion soon and write a blog on that subject). But the only reason I would like more followers is so that I could engage with others a bit more in useful to-ing and fro-ing of ideas, subjects and even moods. I wouldn’t be able to ‘service’ 1000 followers, though – to do so as well as you do would take too much of my time, which is already in short supply. And if I knew for a fact that I didn’t have a single reader, I would still blog. And it’s not because writing, for me, is therapy – well, it is good therapy in the sense that doing anything you love is good therapy. But I don’t blog just as therapy. I blog because blogging, like all good writing, helps me to work out what I think, feel and believe.

Some of my posts are just diary-type entries (like my Easter post on riding the Valley Rattler ). But whenever I need to ‘process’ something difficult and get my head around it, I do that best by writing about it – for example, dealing with a traumatic episode such as my husband’s long and difficult hospitalisation last year, or just working out how I feel about being a full-time caregiver. So my Doonan diddly-squat probably contains too many topics to be a classic example of a cohesive blog.

I could put all of this into a diary or try to polish it up sufficiently for submission as an article somewhere. But I really haven’t the energy – or a strong enough desire, I guess – to seek out publication. And my own attempts at diary-writing have always deteriorated into navel-gazing. But I’m a very product-focused person, so putting up a blog gives me the discipline I need to stay on message. Blogging seems to lie somewhere in the middle of those two extremes: it offers the chance to use writing to keep myself sane (as in diary writing), while also helping me to connect with the occasional like-minded reader (as in publication) – and maybe even help out another caregiver who is just heading down this long lonely road.

Not all bloggers will be able to ‘grow’ their blogs into an economically rewarding outlet or a publishing contract. And though there are a lot easier ways of earning a living, if that’s your goal then you do have to work very assiduously to achieve it. Me, I’m just too lazy, I guess. I do think there’s a niche out there for good writing about the ups and downs – the tears and the laughs – that caregivers and their loved ones experience. But even though I’m always hopeful that I’ll find a few more readers who are interested enough in my topics to call in now and then, I’m happy to keep blogging for my own selfish reasons. And I don’t think bloggers like me, who write because they must, should become too obsessed with building their audiences.

We should all be obsessed, however, with saving backup copies of what we write. Have you done any posts about that, Annabel? I’d like to learn more about that.

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Annabel Candy April 10, 2010 at 11:50 am

Chartreuse – Great to hear from you again, thanks for your comment and for keeping in touch!

I totally agree that blogging is a great way of dealing with your daily life and a brilliant way to keep a journal, connect with like-minded people and help out people who are going through the same stuff as you. Writing a journal is an excellent tool for all kinds of things. I’ve been doing it since childhood and recommend it to anyone.

Yes, I am ambitious for my blog at the moment but I don’t think a blog needs to have heaps of readers or make money to be a valid creative outlet. Maybe quite the opposite is true. If I look at my adult life the first decade (20s) was spent traveling, the second parenting (30s) and now the third (40s) I am focusing on my writing though obviously my kids and travel will always be a huge focus. That’s why I have big plans for my blog as it offers the opportunity for me to make a career out of writing.

Please keep up your great blogging. I’d love to think I can help you in anyway. I hope to do a blogging workshop later this year and if I do I’d love to see you there or meet you any time.

You are so right about the backups. Do it weekly. Yes, I did write about it but thanks for the timely reminder: http://www.getinthehotspot.com/remember-to-backup-your-work/

For blogspot you back up as follows: Settings, Basic, Blog Tools, Export blog. I recommend you do that weekly. No idea how you restore it but hopefully it will never happen:)

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Tanya April 11, 2010 at 1:52 am

Hi, Annabel – I just wanted to stop by and leave a comment letting you know that I really appreciated your terrific post over at Problogger! Thanks for being so transparent about your experience and thus being a big encouragement to the rest of us! I’ve been looking around your blog and you have some great stuff to offer – keep up the good work! I look forward to hearing more from you!

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J.D. Meier April 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Don’t take things too seriously says it so well.

One of my mentors is quick to ask, “will it matter in 100 years?” I’ve never been able to actually say yes :)

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Teresa Long April 13, 2010 at 4:36 am

I am so glad you have found your sparkle again…..This blog could not have come at a better time for me…even when things are going well its still easy to focus on the things that seem to be a it of a struggle. Thanks again for reminding me to have fun and not take it all so seriously!

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Terri April 24, 2010 at 10:43 pm

What a breath of fresh air! I stumbled onto your blog via copyblogging and found it to be very refreshing and enjoyable. I will be a definte new reader! Thank you for sharing and giving of yourself so freely.

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Arlene July 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm

This aricle was like a breath of fresh air. Thanks for this different perspective on blogging.

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