Tranquility by Tuesday Challenge, Rule #6: One big adventure, one little adventure

Do you ever feel like the days blend into each other? A week passes and it’s hard to say what distinguished that week from any other week.

Much of adult life is like that. We stick to our routines — which is often wise, because routines make good choices automatic! — but when too much sameness stacks up, years disappear into memory sinkholes, measured only in the changing heights of children.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t say “where did the time go?” when we remember where the time went.

That brings us to Tranquility by Tuesday Rule #6: One big adventure, one little adventure.

Each week, aim to do two things that are memorable, and a little out of the ordinary.

  • A “big adventure” could take 3-4 hours (think half a weekend day).
  • A “little adventure” could take an hour or so (doable on a lunch break or a weekday evening).

I find that two adventures a week is a good rhythm. It’s not enough to exhaust or bankrupt anyone, but it is enough to change the experience of time. As you look back on a week, you see that it wasn’t a week just like any other. It was the week you went to the orchid show, or went ice skating, or tubing, or tried that new ramen restaurant or… you get the picture.

So, as you are doing your Friday planning this week (see Rule #2: Plan on Friday) think about what big adventure and what little adventure you can plan into your week. Over the next 7-day Monday to Sunday week (Feb 27 to March 5) I’ll be going to see the Sleeping Beauty ballet and hopefully the Philadelphia Flower Show. I may also be speaking to middle school students, which would definitely be an adventure. What’s on the docket for you?

In other news: I am hosting Zoom office hours on Monday the 27th at 1:30 p.m. eastern for people doing the TBT Challenge. Check today’s email for the link!

You can also check out how one busy woman made space for more adventures in her life. Check out this “TBT In Real Life video” here.

I am personally not feeling adventurous this morning as my 3-year-old was up for a while in the middle of the night. Fortunately, this hasn’t happened for a while. It reminded me how grateful I am to be moving into the stage of life when I can go to sleep at a set time and wake up to an alarm…

14 thoughts on “Tranquility by Tuesday Challenge, Rule #6: One big adventure, one little adventure

  1. Hi Laura,
    I love his idea. I do have a question though. I live in a small rural town so it seems that there are not many opportunities for adventures. Any ideas for thinking outside the box on this one?

    1. @Karen – good question! You might think about all the things within a 1-2 hour radius of you – those wouldn’t be little adventures, but could be weekend big ones. If it’s a rustic area, there might be more natural adventures – hiking, biking on trails, boating and such. And honestly, adventure is more a state of mind than anything else — looking to do interesting things. Have a picnic breakfast. Climb a tree. Try an elaborate recipe. Have some friends over and do your own karaoke. One of the people in the TBT project drew a game of Chutes and Ladders in chalk on her driveway!

  2. This is my favorite rule! I think that my “adventures” may not be that adventurous for most people, but they do make the week more fun. My big adventure this week is attending a local author’s fair at our local bookstore (as one of the authors). My little adventure involves working at a coffee shop by myself for a couple of hours on Saturday morning. I’m looking forward to the peace (and tasty chai latte).

    1. @Sarah – these are both great examples! Working in a coffee shop (if you don’t usually) can definitely be an adventure, and it’s one that many people might try — just working somewhere different in general (library, with a friend where you both agree to be quiet but keep each other accountable, coffee shop, co-working space, etc.)

  3. This is the rule I struggled with most when I read TBT. I am a teacher so my schedule is not at all flexible during work hours. I don’t really have time to do much during my lunch break, except take a walk occasionally and after school I am with my kids, so I have a difficult time planning little adventures for the weekdays. I guess I could try to have some little adventures with the kids but I just find it difficult during the week. I’m pretty good about planning stuff for the weekends. Do you have any advice for me?

    1. @CZ – you and your kids could have adventures together after school. We’re really just talking once a week doing something a little different. Go to a different playground. Another week maybe a kid-friendly museum has evening hours one day. You could try a new ice cream place, or go watch a sport you don’t usually or…lots of options. The upside of this rule is that if your goal is one little adventure a week you start looking for adventures, and so when you see something that could be a weekday evening adventure, you take note of it.

      1. Thanks! Those are all good ideas, I will try to think of something along those lines for next week. I’m sure my kids would love to get ice cream one day after school 🙂

  4. I find this rule really helpful. This week, I went to a friend’s for takeaway Thai and a chat and then on Sunday, we are meeting cousins halfway for a swim, lunch, and walk. It seems like an absurdly long drive to go to the local indoor pool, but we really enjoy seeing each other and it’s something completely different from our normal routine.

    Next week is TBC, my work schedule is full on but I have less teaching so I’m not so fixed in terms of location. So maybe I’ll go and work in the nice museum cafe for a few hours and see one of the free exhibits.

  5. This is one of my favorite rules from TBT. But like CZ above, I struggle with coming up with little adventures each week and tend to default to takeout from a new place or a coffee shop, etc. If you have it and are willing to share, I’d love to see a blog post with a long list of “little adventures” taken by the participants in your TBT study. I know there are a bunch listed in the book, but would be great to see more. Not necessarily to duplicate them, but just to get my creative juices going. Thanks !

    1. @Katie – Will share! (and sorry this comment took a while to get approved – the problem wasn’t on your end…). Little adventures like take-out and coffee shops can be great but there can be different ones too. Like walking/biking in a different place (exploring a new neighborhood), even meeting someone new…

  6. I love this rule because it brings intentionality and mindfulness, which will definitely increase enjoyment and create some lasting memories. Even something a bit mundane could become an adventure. Need groceries? Try a totally new store in a different part of town. Is there a local shop you’ve always been curious about? Schedule time to go browsing the next time you’re in that neighbourhood for errands. I like the challenge of taking something you need to do and finding a new adventurous way of doing it!

    The key thing for me is putting it in the schedule – so I’m committed and it doesn’t just get lost or forgotten. So this is a good reinforcement for the Plan on Friday rule.

    I also like how this rule can be combined with Move by 3pm and 3 Times a Week is a Habit. For example, I will bolster my budding running habit by finding a new place to run. And on another day I will drive to a different part of town for a different place to walk.

    And finally, I think it’s probably really helpful to build a personal inventory of these adventures (maybe some from the 100 Dreams List?) so that you get your creative juices flowing and come up with a wide variety of things. Now that I’m retired I want to flex my adventure and creativity muscles!

    1. @Cynthia – thanks for your comment! Turning errands into an adventure is like the ultimate win – you’ve taken something that could be tedious and totally upgraded the experience.

  7. I think so much of this comes down to semantics. Just about ANYTHING can become an adventure/special if we call it such.

    For example, most weekends my husband and I have an at-home date night. We get into comfy clothes, put the kids to bed early (they usually watch a movie together in one of their bedrooms on my laptop), and make a simple but yummy supper. We could just call this a regular Saturday night (we do it almost every week), but we always, always, always call it Date Night. Naming it makes it infinitely more special and it is one of my most cherished relational traditions. We watch a movie and usually wind up going to be early (a true treat as a parent), and I love it!

    I just arrived home from a week in Rome, so I have recently enjoyed big and little adventures galore!

    I should blog about little adventures sometime soon. I never really think about this rule as much as the bedtime, 3x a week is a habit…but it’s one of my favourites!

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