We wake up, go about our daily tasks at work, squeeze in a few minutes with family and then crash back into bed before waking up and starting the routine all over again. Days become weeks, weeks become months and months become years, and, before we know it, many of us have fallen into a routine that leaves us feeling tired and jaded.
One of the best ways to pull out of that slump-or avoid falling into it in the first place-is to challenge ourselves. There's no need to live life on the edge, but if you consciously realize that life is leaving you less than a little fulfilled, trade in that exhaustion for excitement when you push yourself a bit further than you have before. Here's how:
Make an effort to try new things. This doesn't mean you have to go bungee jumping today, sky diving tomorrow and get your scuba certification next weekend, but even small changes in your daily routine can help keep things fresh and interesting. Instead of grabbing a frozen pizza to throw in the oven, open up a recipe book and make something new. Avoid the drive you do every morning and take a different route to work. Listen to a different kind of music, take up a new hobby or turn off the television and take a walk in the evening instead.
Take a vacation. And when you book that vacation, plan on going somewhere you haven't been before and do a couple of activities that excite or scare you. Traveling is a great way to rejuvenate and refresh. It helps puts the "real world" in perspective, and, after a satisfying stint of travel, you might find that you're much more efficient at work, spend more time with your family and find new ways to occupy your time, such as signing up for some volunteer work.
Redecorate. Nothing says "new beginnings" like an inspiring atmosphere. If it's been awhile since you've done a thorough cleaning of your house, make the time to do so. We often feel weighed down by stuff, and getting rid of that extra burden can help us feel reenergized again. It may also help to do a bit of redecorating, which often spurs the creative juices and helps people refocus in other areas of their lives.
Do what you love. A growing percentage of people hate their jobs, and yet they spend an astounding amount of their lives slugging through the work week just to bring home a pay check. Studies have shown that people who love their jobs are happier overall, even if they don't make as much money. If you're in a work slump, start making plans now to leave your current position for a job you love more. At the very least, think creatively about how you can spend more time pursuing your passion through volunteer work.
Don't let someone tell you that you can't. Just as you should escape the job you despise, it's okay to pursue other passions or try new things that you've otherwise held back from because someone has convinced you that you can't do them. Would you like to write a book, learn how to ride a motorcycle, speak French or design clothes? Do it! Don't let someone else be the naysayer of your dreams. Venture into new territory, regardless of what others might say.
Make time for yourself. Our lives are often swept away as we devote every waking moment to others. Make a commitment to take time for yourself and focus on what you want and need. By doing so, you place value on yourself, which immediately empowers you to do bigger and better things with your life. That empowerment gives you permission to challenge yourself as you strive to live every day to its fullest.