'Do New Things' goal - any better ideas?

For a long time now, on both Beeminder and Complice, I’ve had a ‘Do New Things’ goal of some variety.

This is inspired by all the advice out there which suggests doing new, random things, doing things other people wouldn’t expect of you, being the person that makes things happen etc etc.

I guess I’m having trouble crystallising all those metagoals into something concrete. ‘Do New Things’ just ends up being a weird jumble of new recipes I tried, or new places I went to eat out… all a bit lacklustre really.

Does anyone have any similar goals to this? How do you make them work for you?

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What’s your end goal in “doing new things”? Is it to generally be open to new experience, build skills that will help you effectively complete interesting projects, develop the endurance to get through the frustrating parts of newness, or something else? Perhaps you’re having trouble making this goal concrete because you haven’t enumerated why you want it in the first place.

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I guess I don’t really know. All of those things. Having a more adventurous life is part of it, taking more risks is part of it, being open to new things/serendipity is part of it. I don’t know how to capture them in one goal (or even in separate subgoals).


Well, if it’s supposed to be something new, then it’s no wonder really that you don’t know how to represent it as a goal (or goals), because you don’t know yet what “new” means. As far as I can see, there is no good way to get more concrete, since defining something more means also to limit the possibility space, which is exactly what you don’t want to do, if I understood you correctly.

So I would just have one beeminder goal “do new things” that is decidedly open and undefined, it’s basically just a goal in which I’d track “Did I do something new or worked on doing something new in the near future?”. And then I would have more concrete complice goals, which are related to actual more defined things that you want to do. E.g. going to the zoo: That should be a goal in complice, since there are some arbitrary tasks that have to be done and you want to track them in relation to the go to the zoo goal and not to an undefined do new things goal. At the same time you can ask yourself with the help of beeminder did I actually (work towards) do(ing) something new? If I actually went to the zoo, or hit a certain threshold that I feel is enough to count my work towards doing something new, I’d log a 1, otherwise a 0.

EDIT: Tried to clarify and also correct some mistakes. English is not my native language, for which I apologize.

I have a couple of goals on this topic - one that tracks trying new restaurants in my area and one that tracks trying stuff that is specific to my geographic area (this can be anything from a museum to weird indie play).

Ultimately, it’s pretty hard to track things you don’t know about, so I think the best you can probably do is try to support yourself in doing this.

You might try making a goal to reflect on missed opportunities to try new things once a day or once a week? Although it sounds like you might already be doing this with complice.

Or you could try a goal tracking how often you organize social occasions, or something else. Ultimately it’s up to you what exactly you want to do more of.

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If I were in your shoes, I’d go with a do-more, at a rate of 1 per day:

  • either grab an opportunity that you see to do something new (an add for something interesting, an acquaintance’s random suggestion, a meetup about some topic you know little about…)
  • or (if you lack opportunities) brainstorm how to find opportunities, and come up with 3-5 ideas you can put in practice the day after. (eg meeting some new crazy people ? going to places of your city you never went before ? asking younger/older people for ideas/advice ?)

IMO it’s all about spotting opportunities and saying yes to them, until you have the desired amount on your plate.
You know for yourself what counts as new and unexpected for you, and what are just variations on the same.

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