We call it a lot of things: the grind, the rat race, monotony, something like groundhog’s day, same shit different day. Work routines and responsibilities can weigh on us and set into place the belief that there’s little we can do to break free of the system and shake things up. It's easy to get bored.
I dare you to reconsider.
There are many ways to add more excitement to your life. You are not at the mercy of your schedule. You are not a drone. You are meant for adventure, experiences and exploration. Start living up to it.
Take on a personal challenge
Embrace a challenge for a day, a week, or even the month. Nothing is off limits. Commit to 100 push ups over the course of the day. Cut out soda. Spend one less hour per day in a chair. Give 3 compliments per hour. Buy a stranger coffee twice a week. Ride your bike to work for a change. Turn off your cell phone at 6pm.
The list goes on and on. The what is not nearly as important as the why.
As you tackle personal challenges, you commit your mental and physical energy to something new. You focus on a different goal that adds a layer of new experience to your otherwise repetitive day. You shift your inner dialogue from things you have to do to things you get to try.
Personal challenge Ideas
Need more inspiration? Consider:
Planning a microadventure
Eliminating complaints for 48 hours
Eating nothing but home-cooked meals for two weeks
Taking cold showers on the weekend
Exploring new routes to work
Schedule moments of play
No really, put them on your calendar. Invite a coworker or a neighbor. Throw a football or jump rope for 3 minutes after lunch. Take a walk through nearby streets. Draw. Write. Create. Get a kendama. Pack your skateboard or bike in the car and take a lap.
Don’t slouch behind a desk the entire day.
Nuke your routine
There’s nothing quite like salvaging time you counted as lost. Whether it’s waking up to catch a sunrise or staying up late to count shooting stars or spot space junk (satellites), there’s a freedom in turning sleeping moments into times of action and reflection. The friction of a brief disruption pales in comparison to the breath of fresh air that comes with living a little more.
Find a vantage point
Take a drive, take the stairs, take a hike or hop in the elevator. Whatever you do, mix up your perspective. Take in a panorama instead of a linear checklist. Look at the world beyond its walls. Remind yourself that problems and roles are relative rather than absolute. It’s okay to play a small part in the big world. And it’s equally okay to cast a big vision over a small corner of the map.
Craft your internal dialogue
Take a hard look at the story you tell yourself. Is it one of excuses or defense mechanisms? Is it victimizing or self-pitying? Are you shackled to pain, heartache or fear?
Choose a line or a handful of lines that you remind yourself daily. When you wake up and look in the mirror, tell yourself the story you want to live. When you drive to work, repeat your mantra. In moments of victory and defeat throughout your daily walk, usher those words until they shift from belief into action.
Chip at a goal
It's been said you eat an elephant one bite at a time. I don't know much about elephants, but there's truth in the saying. Many monumental tasks seem insurmountable until you break apart their pieces. If there's a goal in your life, put down your phone in the extra filler minutes between tasks. Salvage four minutes of creation instead of four minutes of scrolling. Devote yourself to the cause and you'll shift wasted time into valuable progress.
As you begin to reclaim the steering wheel of your life, days become more exciting, routines gain latitude and menial challenges morph into habits that reinforce purpose. Fight back the belief that you’re drowning in a story you don’t write. Win back behaviors that make you feel alive and embrace the adventure of shaking things up.