We’ve all been there. It’s Monday morning, anxious thoughts begin to flood your mind. I don’t want to go to work. Piles of endless paperwork, meaningless small talk with co-workers, pressure to perform from your boss and no end in sight. Same $%#! different day. It all seems so meaningless. Is this what my life has amounted to? Spending 8-10 hours a day working to accomplish something that I don’t even care about? Something inside you says, “that’s why it’s called work.” You do what you have to do to pay the bills right?
It very well may be time for you to pursue another career. It might be that moment when you start creating the life you’ve always wanted. What if that’s impossible right now, what do you do? Here are a few ideas.
1. Be Silent
When is the last time you just sat there in silence? It’s easy to hop out of bed, turn on the news, make coffee, check Facebook, check your email, run through your to-do list for the day, jump in the shower and run to your car with an english muffin hanging out of your mouth spilling coffee while you fight to make it to work on time. Sound familiar? Starting your day in a frantic rush can stress you out before you even get to work.
Try this: Get up 15 minutes earlier. Don’t look at your phone, open your computer or turn on the news. Grab your coffee, find a quiet place to sit and just think. Reflect on how far you’ve come, think about all the things you are thankful for and think about the people you love and appreciate. Breath deeply and slowly. Let your body relax. Listen to the sounds of the birds. I like to take this time to pray. For you it may be meditation or just simply silence. If you don’t want to sit, you can do this same thing while walking or running. I’ve found that my perspective on the day completely changes. I’m happier, more productive and more myself.
2. Quit Something
I know, it’s not the advice your grandma gave you. Quitters never win right? Wrong. Quitting something can open up space in your life for another thing that could make your life dramatically better. What is it in your life that you are doing only because that’s what you’ve always done? What can you get rid of? Is it a destructive relationship? Smoking or drinking? A club that takes up all your time but has little value? A TV show that you’re addicted to? Life is too short to hold on to time wasting activities that don’t improve your life or the lives of others. Give it up, go ahead, I give you permission. If that thing you want to quit is your job, make sure you have something to go to. Here is a great resource on how to quit your job and move toward something you love.
3. Go Outside
Instead of the daily post work routine of flopping down on the couch, having a snack and turning on the TV; grab a friend and go on a hike. There is something healing and invigorating about being outside in nature. Find a trail in the woods, a path by a lake or a wide open field. Take in the sounds and smells of the great outdoors. Skip rocks on a pond, catch a frog, pick some wild flowers or make a walking stick out of a tree branch. Watch the sun go down. Don’t make the excuse that the weather isn’t nice. They make clothes for every occasion. Have you ever walked down a city street during a torrential downpour or made snow angels in the middle of a park under the night sky? Be a kid, play outside.
4. Pick One Thing
What do you want to get better at? What do you want to change? If you’re like me, your list is long. Don’t overwhelm yourself. When I think of all the things I want to change about myself, I get stressed out, I lose focus and I end up making little or no progress. So just pick one. For 30 days, do one thing every day that contributes to that goal. It doesn’t have to be major. Just pick one thing a day and keep it manageable.
Example: If you want to improve your relationship with a friend or loved one you could; tell them how much you appreciate them one day, send them a card on another day, take them out for lunch another day, invite them on a hike? You get the idea.
Example: You want to be healthier? Day 1: take a walk. Day 2: eat a salad. Day 3: don’t go for seconds Day 4: bike to work. Day 5: have one beer instead of two. Day 6: one sugar in your coffee instead of two… and so on. You will get in the habit of making decisions that contribute to your health rather than what you want in the moment.
5. Say Yes to Something
You know those moments in life when you say in your head, ” I should …” Usually it’s a crazy idea that may not work or could potentially lead to an awkward moment or several awkward moments. What if you said yes to that voice in your head instead of no. I had that happen to me Saturday. Every Saturday in the city I live in, we have a farmer’s market that is packed with local people shopping, enjoying coffee and conversation and enjoying the freedom of the weekend. In my head a voice said, “I should tape a sign to my chest that says [free encouragement] and walk down to the market.” I decided to say yes. Much to my wife’s embarrassment, I made the sign and off we went. Most people who saw the sign either laughed or awkwardly looked away. A few folks stopped me and took me up on my offer. We had a blast! Finally, one gentleman stopped me and informed me that encouragement was spelled wrong. Ha ha! I was going around offering free encourement. Not even close! Apparently, I wasn’t quite awake when I made the sign. He told me that I should fix the sign and keep on going. “We need more people like you,” he said. The conversations I had we’re priceless. Some meaningful and some trite but the experience was great.
What good things are the voices in your head telling you to do that you are resisting? You don’t have to have it all figured out, you just have to start. Bob Goff has been a huge inspiration to me. He wrote a book about the crazy and fulfilling adventures that he’s experienced in life because he said yes to them. It’s one of my all-time favorites. Learn more his movement here: Love Does
What are some ideas that you have about breaking the monotony? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments. Have a great day!