Sometimes, life gets boring.
When that happens, we turn to blog posts to tell us what to do about it.
(That may not be what typically happens, but you’re here reading this now, so let’s just go with it!)
Here are nine things to do when you feel stuck in a rut.
1. Say yes instead of no.
There are more opportunities in life than you realize.
We get in the habit of instinctively saying no to stuff because it’s “not the kind of thing we do,” doesn’t interest us, or scares us.
That’s how we end up bored.
For a week, say yes to as many things as possible and see where it leads.
2. Say no instead of yes.
I bet you say yes to things you know are not good for you. We all do.
Don’t do that.
Stop saying yes to things that waste your time, or out of a false sense of obligation or guilt.
Look for opportunities to say no and discover what it empowers you to do instead.
3. Change how you start and end your day.
What you do when you first wake up and right before you go to sleep matters.
Change up those routines.
If your morning usually starts with eating breakfast on the couch while watching SportsCenter, swap it for a morning walk and breakfast at a cafe.
If your night typically ends with checking email in bed, spend 20 minutes listening to music in the dark instead.
Minor alterations to your morning and evening routines can spark major transformations in your life.
4. Ban your “regular” places.
I eat out at restaurants often. Once in a while, I’ll “ban” myself from going to any restaurant I’ve been to before and force myself to discover new places.
It’s a simple but powerful trick you can apply to any place you regularly go — your coffee shop, grocery store, dry cleaner, gym, clothing store, etc.
Switch up your “regular” spots to discover new ones.
5. Change your inputs.
The information and entertainment you consume — TV shows, movies, music, books, websites, etc. — influence your life more than you may realize.
So switch them up and see what happens.
Consume new info, follow new people on social media, and change up the information you feed your brain.
In doing so, look to expand the topics you consume as well.
It’s fine to swap out one sports columnist for another, but it’s even better to add in a science journalist or source of information about something you’ve never previously explored.
(Looking for new sources of interesting info? My For The Interested newsletter may be a good place to start.)
6. Change your outputs.
We all put things out into the world — social media posts, blog posts, art, our expertise, our time, etc.
After a while, we tend to put the same type of stuff out over and over again.
Here’s your chance to change that up.
Look for new things to contribute to the world or how you can contribute in new ways and give it a try.
7. Ask questions you’ve never asked.
Whether it’s of a friend, family member, colleague, or stranger, look for opportunities to ask people questions you’ve never asked before.
Not sure where to start? Here are some suggestions.
8. Do something you haven’t done in 10 years.
Not everything has to be “new” to help you reinvent your life.
It’s just as important to rediscover things you enjoyed that have faded out of your current life patterns.
Do something you haven’t done in a decade, but used to enjoy. Use this as an excuse to rediscover and reintroduce it to your life.
9. Pay attention.
Finally, the simplest way to snap out of your life funk is to pay attention to it.
Analyze your current patterns, what you do and why you do it.
Then, as you try out these various ideas, pay attention to what you get out of each experiment. Notice what feels different, what excites or bores you, encourages or terrifies you.
Not everything you try will be great — but some of it will.
Incorporate the great things into your life and enjoy your newly exciting life…until you get bored and decide to shake it up again.
One more thing…
Each week I share a collection of 5 ideas like this to help you learn, do, and become better at your work, art, and life.
You can check out recent issues here.
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