Most of us live with a certain amount of routine. It helps give our lives rhythm.

Children need set bedtimes, our bosses expect us to be at our desks at the same time each day and so on.

But, every now and then, you probably need for that routine to be broken, to give you energy and to stop you feeling like a hamster turning its wheel in an endless cycle of home, work and bed…

Of course, there are weekends, holidays, Christmases and other special occasions throughout the year. But, hugely enjoyable though these events are, they are often highly planned and structured, and, well, just a tiny bit predictable.

Next time you feel like a break from the norm, how about introducing an element of the unknown and a surprise? It doesn’t have to be massive. Here are just a few bite-sized ideas to give you fresh zest and stamina.
  • Take the children to a film, out for pizza, bowling or skating as a weeknight treat without telling them first. Take them straight from school and enjoy the delight on their faces! You’ll love it as much as they do. Alternatively, just let them run through the garden sprinkler or get out finger paints and get really messy.

  • Cook a meal for your partner with just one rule – it has to be something you’ve not cooked for them before. You could even try blindfolding them and feeding them the first mouthful, asking them to guess what they are eating. Or meet them spontaneously after work and say you’re taking them to a restaurant neither of you has been to before.

  • Without telling your partner, surprise them (and yourself!) with a colour you wouldn’t normally wear, a different route somewhere or a new hairstyle.

  • Try a secret cinema event – as the name suggests, you won’t know what film will be shown, or even where. You just have to meet up somewhere, and promise not to tell anyone afterwards what movie you have seen.

  • Suggest a day out with friends with a twist – one person can organise the outing, but for the others it must be a surprise. If you’re the organiser, why not have invite a ‘mystery guest’? If you’re a gang of old school or college friends, you could track down and invite someone none of you has seen for years, without telling the others first. (But you can tease them and keep them guessing …)
  • Try a mystery hotel break. You’ll know the city and your dates but not exactly where you are staying. This can be a great way of spicing up an otherwise standard break, or experiencing a town you have already visited in a fresh way. Superbreak has a number of mystery hotel breaks across the UK.


You no doubt love your family, partner and job, but breaking the routine up now and then makes you enjoy your daily life even more. So add an element of intrigue and mystery next time you plan a treat!