Do Something Different

A delightful Thursday to you!

How do you like this week’s graphic? Achim wasn’t sure but I’m into it. But then, I also happen to be wearing aztec-print leggings with a red on pink striped skirt, a blue and white striped scarf and a t-shirt in a marvellously clashing shade of pink. I credit years of relating to Claudia Kishi as a kid. That girl had mad style!

I made the graphic with this sweet resource called Do Something Different in mind. Have you heard of it? It’s a series of gorgeously designed behaviour change programs based on the idea that in order to get something different – e.g., change how you feel, your habits, and really your life – you’ve gotta do something different.
I did one of the programs, Do Happiness, exactly a year ago. I’d signed up while pregnant, with wonky hormones throwing me for a loop, and managed to get a free spot a month or so later after I’d miscarried. Starting then ended up being super lucky. I found it so fresh and playful and nurturing and inspired and it really did help me get out of my comfort (or discomfort) zone and feel better.

It’s the brainchild of UK psychology Professors Karen Pine and Ben Fletcher, partners in passion – business and marriage! Man, these two are so cool. Here’s how Karen Pine (btw, totally my latest role model. I wanna be just. like. her.) describes the program:

“We change people one ‘Do’ at a time! A ‘Do’ is a small positive action that comes by text or email and shifts you out of your comfort zone into doing something that’s different and better for you. There’s a lot of psychology behind it. We profile people first so we know what their habits are and our system then generates ‘Dos’ that are appropriate for them and that are going to be the most psychologically powerful. It’s all about doing rather than thinking.” 1

Besides the ‘Dos’ there is this ‘Do Zone’ where you can track your progress and interact with other people doing the program, share experiences, put up pics, whatever. To be honest, I didn’t do a lot of that. But I really, really loved my ‘Dos’ every day. I actually copied them all into a document to go back to, which I would love to share but I think there are some breaches of intellectual property there! Plus, they are customized so they wouldn’t be for everyone. Here are a few examples, though:

New Route Day.
Today change your regular route and go a different way.
Notice ten things you wouldn’t see on your regular journey.

Let it Go Day.
Give away something you don’t need right now, or as soon as you get a chance today.

Approach everything today with child-like enthusiasm and curiosity.
Share three things you’re feeling excited about with others.

Connect Day.
Today make sure you have at least one meaningful conversation.
Start with “Tell me about…” or just “What’s on your mind…?”.


Nice little messages to receive each day, right? Each ‘Do’ is based on an evidence-based strategy for the kind of change you’re looking for. Usually when I undertake something like this I bail pretty fast, I’m afraid I’m not all that accommodating of life change. But this was honestly really manageable, and I still use a lot of the strategies.

At the moment, they are revamping the Do Happiness program (it’ll be back up at the end of April), but they’ve got a whole bunch of others – e.g., Do Stress Less, Healthy Habits, etc. Do Wear Something Different wasn’t there last year and sounds cool – on shaking up your wardrobe to help you to look at life from a new perspective. Interesting, no? The programs cost £25, but each also has a “Can’t afford to pay?” button, where you can sign up for a free spot when it becomes available.

Anyway. Believe it or not, I was in no way compensated for this post! Lol. I think I’d pee my pants if Karen Pine actually corresponded with me! I just think it’s a badass resource if your looking for a way to shake things up and make some changes.

“If you want to get something different, you have to do something different” is one of my mantras now. I think it’s such powerful stuff! Do the programs – or the idea – appeal to you? As always, I’d love, love, love to hear your thoughts.


p.s. If you dig the graphic too, please feel free to spread the love! Share away. 🙂

  1. Karen Pine in interview on

3 thoughts on “Do Something Different

  1. Karen Pine

    Hi Elena!
    What a wonderful blog post. You said you’d pee your pants if I corresponded with you so I hope you’ve got your legs crossed!
    I love the gorgeous graphic you’ve created, it really captures the essence of Do Something Different. It would have been great to see a picture too of you in your aztec leggings, clashing t-shirt and stripy skirt, I’m really into people creating combinations of clothes that express their personality. Yours must be pretty zany, go girl!
    And I loved reading about your experiences on the Do Happiness programme. It’s so rewarding when you’ve created something to hear that people get such a lot from it, particularly if it moves them to a better place in their lives. Well done for really embracing the whole philosophy of doing something different and keeping it fun, creative and experimental. Your words will, I hope, inspire many others to try doing something different. Who knows where it might take them? Thank you again, Karen x

    1. Elena

      OH MY GOSH!!! Karen!! Oh, luckily – I didn’t pee – but my heart is dancing! And I did scamper across the apartment at top speed, cradling my laptop, wearing a four mile euphoric grin, to show my husband! (because sometimes emailing a link is just NOT FAST ENOUGH!). Thank you so much for your kind, encouraging words, they mean so much to me! Treasured. Right here, beneath my oversized overalls. Thanks for being yourself and doing the exciting, creative, affirming work you do!! This sounds so cliche, but for real – I am so dazzlingly inspired by you. Thank you.

      Sweet friends – are you seeing this? Karen Pine! She’s the best!


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