Are you feeling down in the dumps? A bit blue? Has life become a boring drag – each day, each week a repeat of the same routine? At this time of year, it’s certainly good to pause and reflect on where we’re going with our lives. Take a few minutes to sit down and be alone with your thoughts. Have things become too routine? Has life lost its spark? Now’s the time to do yourself a favour.
Don’t be the proverbial mouse in a wheel, running, spinning and turning on end without actually going anywhere. You too, can spice things up and make a change for the better. I can’t promise that by this time next week, you’ll be kayaking in Iceland or searching for abalone on a Hawaiian island reef, but I can promise that you’ll have the tips and tools to shake things up a bit. Put the zing back into your week – here are 5 easy ways to change your life from boring to awesome.
- Get out of bed earlier
When we’re feeling tired, bored and generally down, getting out of bed is usually one of the hardest things to do. Particularly when the working week is over, there’s always the inevitable Saturday (and Sunday) morning sleep-in. If you’re always tired on the weekend, most likely your weekly routine is boring you to bits. Try this – get up earlier. Alright, I admit, no one’s paying you to get up, but it’s your loss if you don’t make the most of your free time. You don’t have to force yourself to be a morning person, but getting up earlier gives you more time to plan a hike, cook a gourmet breakfast, or simply read the newspaper at a leisurely pace. Tap into that treasure of free time that you already have. By waking up just one hour earlier on the weekend, you can make the most of your down time.
- Find what inspires you…and flow with it
Motivation is for weaklings. Seminars and book series which promote “motivation” as being the skeleton key that magically unlocks success are a great way of making fools part with their money. (You saw the movie, Yes Man, too, didn’t you? ‘Nuff said.) Find what inspires you. Sit down and think (in your extra free time, of course) and start writing a list of the things you enjoy. One of them is going to be something that keeps you going, day in and day out. Is it your religion? Music from your favourite band? Spending time in the company of others? Figure out what it is that recharges you and make time to incorporate it into your schedule. Having something to look forward to is a great tool for keeping you optimistic and upbeat.
- Live in the moment
Or in other words, put down your tablet, smartphone, etc etc. Disconnect in order to reconnect. Stop the incessant multitasking, it takes away from quality of life. When was the last time you sat down with your kids at lunchtime, and talked with them, instead of simultaneously correcting homework, researching recipes for an Italian-inspired Christmas dinner, and bought towels from Ebay? If you need to multitask, do it when necessary – but the golden rule is not all the time. Living in such a technologically advanced age, we often forget what its like to do things at a slower pace. Slow down, notice the little things, the smiles, the giggles, the way your partner holds your hand (not while you’re texting). For sure it’ll spark up your day.
- Do what recharges you
Here’s where that list you made comes in handy. Look back at your list of things you enjoy. How many of them do you do on a daily or weekly basis? Is there something there that you would like to be doing more often? Try to find, on a weekly basis, time for doing the things that recharge and energize you. Carve out a slot in your schedule and make it a priority. Find a time, once a week, and do it properly. Go for quality not quantity. If you like watching movies, get the popcorn and soda and make for yourself a true theatre-worthy experience with a good movie on Netflix. Extroverted? Arrange for a weekly catch-up with buddies at a local cafe, or even the park for some fresh air with several friends. Maximise the experience and make it worthwhile.
- Make a new goal
My last piece of advice is simple: follow your dreams. Think back, way back. What did you want to be when you grew up? (I wanted to be a rainbow…long story.) Do you want to travel overseas, get a puppy or learn to abseil? Do you want to learn a new language, find a partner, or beat your nerdy cousin at chess? Make a goal and work out a plan as to how to achieve it. By chasing after your dreams, you’ll have another reason to get out of bed with a smile on your face. Now turn that frown upside down and get going – the world is waiting for you!