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Put Some Pizzazz Back in Your Life


I envy people who are naturally up for anything. They seem to have been born with an innate ability to switch gears at the drop of a hat.

I may have had a touch of that at one point. Back in college my boyfriend (now husband) asked me once what I felt like doing, and I said driving to Vegas. So we did…just like that.

As the years went by, I lost touch with my spontaneous side. I started going to the same restaurants, hanging out with the same crowd, taking the same exercise class, and wearing the same outfits. Nice people called me a creature of habit. Honest people called me boring—and nobody wants to be that! So I came up with a few easy ways to inject a fun element of surprise into my life. If you feel like you're in a rut, give these a try and see if they don't shake things up for you too!

1. Make a 'do something' drawer. Tell me if this has ever happened to you: You long for some free time to do whatever you want, but then when some finally opens up, you can't think of anything to do. That used to happen to me quite often until I realized that it's possible to plan spontaneity. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it's true!

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Just ask your friends and family to write down fun activities and outings. Fold up the papers (no peeking!), then tuck them away in a drawer for a day when you're stumped for inspiration. Pull one out randomly and do whatever it says.

2. Play with your food. I used to order the same meal whenever I dined out. Now I mix things up by leaving my meal up to chance. Sometimes I close my eyes and put my finger down on the menu, then order whatever I'm pointing to. And sometimes, when I'm with my kids, I let them order for me (within reason). It's a fun way to bond and also encourages them to try new foods themselves. Give it a try. You may not love every dish, but at least you won't be bored!

3. Pick a place on the map. Have you seen that movie Yes Man starring Jim Carrey? There's a scene where he's at the airport with his girlfriend and they just spontaneously pick a place to go, and go…it was somewhere random if I recall, but they had a great time. I haven't been daring enough to try that yet, but I have employed the "close your eyes and point" method I use to choose meals in restaurants to decide where to go for a day. I pull up a map of L.A. on my laptop and point. It's a great way to explore your own hometown. I've had day trips to Hollywood, Santa Monica, Chinatown, and Ventura.

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4. Make over your look. According to Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, British style experts and the original What Not to Wear ladies, women wear 20 percent of their wardrobe 80 percent of the time. That was definitely true for me. So I took that 20 percent and pushed it to the back of my closet. Forcing myself to choose only from my lesser-worn pieces has me taking more style risks. I'm mixing prints, adding pops of color, giving my old look some much needed pizzazz. Bonus: When you try on items you haven't worn in ages you can sort out what no longer fits. You get a more organized closet, and the good feeling that comes with donating clothes to a worthy cause. To schedule a Salvation Army pickup, go to


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