Winter Thrills:
Trying New Things On Shorter Days

Submitted by Shelby Wood

Being new to the area, the length of the winter here was a shock last year. In preparing for short days, and long, cold nights I’m challenging myself to do some things differently. This year I’ve picked two new things to commit to, to: hold me accountable to be active; do something outside of my comfort zone; meet new social groups. I’m sharing with you all, my new accountability buddies, the activities I have selected: swim lessons and polo lessons. While I will not be playing polo against Nacho, nor swimming in Paris 2024 I picked these two activities because I thought they would be fun and challenging. The reason why I’m sharing this with all of you is because there are some interesting articles in support of health benefits related simply to trying new things.

In a Forbes article by Kristi Hedges she makes note of four reasons to try new things, which include: “Get clear about what makes you fulfilled”; “Be intentional about trying new things” ;”Lose the Need to be Perfect” ;”Variety is the spice of (longer) life” (Hedges, 2014). Within these headings Hedges references the following:

Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, who coined the term, says that happiness is found in these moments of profound engagement: “The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times…The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. (Hedges, 2014)

Essentially what Hedges explores within this article is the idea that trying new things offers us opportunity. The opportunity to find a new hobby, exercise, class, social group etc. that bring us a sense of joy and fulfilment. The opportunity to better understand the things that bring us a sense of fulfilment in our lives. The opportunity to try something and fail, then try it again anyway. It also offers the opportunity to fight against boredom, which can be tricky over the winter. With shorter days and inclement weather it can be easy to fall into a rut and lose motivation to be active and social.

Instead of another Wednesday night Netflix binge session this winter, why not try an art class or take that salsa lesson you’ve always wanted to? Challenge your friend to join you in signing up for that yoga class you’d been talking about or meet new friends at the Library’s book club!

What new activity are you committed to trying this winter? We’d love to hear from you! Have something you’ve always wanted to try but don’t know where to start? We’d love to hear from you too! We might have some ideas to help you take those first steps!

Work Cited: 

Hedges, Kristi. “Stop. Reflect. Try New Things.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 14 Oct. 2014,

Other Works of Interest: 

Lickerman, Alex. “Trying New Things.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 1 Apr. 2010,

Mazzo, Lauren. “The Many Health Benefits of Trying New Things: A Better Version of Yourself Starts at the Edge of Your Comfort Zone.” Shape, 1 Sept. 2017,

“The Science behind Trying New Things.” Elite Sports Clubs, 12 Sept. 2018,

Shelby Wood
Shelby WoodManager of Program Development, CommunityCare of Lyme

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Shelby Wood
Manager of Program Development
CommunityCare of Lyme