Sometimes you just feel beige. Do you know what I mean? You've hit a rut and are looking for ways to get out of a slump, but you're so deep in it the whole worlds gone beige. The restaurants you love all start tasting the same, you're the only one not laughing while out with friends, your goals seem meh, and your job feels like something out of the opening scenes of Fight Club, where you just can't take it anymore. That's when it hits you: You need to shake things up. You have to get moving, get learning and thinking, in order to change this trajectory your life is currently on. But while you can barely summon the will to cook off the covers in the morning, reinventing your whole life can feel like a tall order. But shaking yourself out of a life slump doesn't need to be this huge undertaking. Rather, it's just a matter of taking a series of baby steps that will eventually lead you to your "aha" moment. You don't have to take intimidating leaps and bounds — small, every day moves are allowed, too. So if you're one of the many that feel like they've hit a life slump, here are seven tips for you.
1. Take All The "Fluff" Out Of Your Calendar
When you feel like you're in a slump and the whole world is just crap, don't over-burden yourself with an unnecesarily full calendar. Forcing yourself to go out to happy hours, networking events, and book clubs will only force you to continue to fake-smile through the whole thing and wish you were home, where there's no people.
Instead, bow out of all the "fluff" RSVPs in your calendar and take the alone time to figure out what triggered your slump in the first place. Only then can you build a game plan to change it.
According to Melissa Pierce, life coach and Forbes contributor, "The first thing I do when I’m in a slump is remove the unnecessary from my calendar. I postpone coffee dates and errands until I can get some perspective on what I’m waiting for exactly. Contrary to what you might be thinking, this is not idleness or avoidance—it’s reassessment..." You officially have permission to turn yourself into a shut-in. No start pinpointing the beginning of this rut.
2. Take It One Goal At A Time
While some might think that a slump is the outcome of having no direction in life, it could also come about because you're firing on way too many cylinders. Going at a 110 percent all the time can cause some serious burnout, and burnout can slide you headfirst into a rut. So to counteract that mistake, promise yourself that you'll just take it one goal at a time. Give yourself some breathing room.
Lifestyle writer Brian Lee at Lifehack explained, "You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely." Plus side: By allowing yourself to focus on just one major goal at a time, you'll let yourself enjoy the process of meeting it, too.
3. Change Just One Part Of Your Routine Per Day
If your slump has more to do with being stuck in an endless cycle of sameness day after day, year after year, then mix things up. Vow to change one part of your routine, every day. Buy tulips on the way back from work, try a barre class, go to the restaurant across the street from your usual haunt, call up that one friend you see once every six months. Whatever it is, with this change-up let yourself sample all the different sides of life. You might just find something that clicks with you and helps you snap out of it.
Entrepreneur writer Richard Feloni at Business Insider elaborates, "Just make it one easy thing each day. Wake up an hour early to read a novel. Get lunch with a coworker you don't know well. Go for a jog after work." After all, little things can lead to big changes.
4. Consume All The Inspiration And Motivation You Can Get Your Hands On
When feeling stuck, make sure you surround yourself with inspiring, motivational things to help you get excited about life and everything you can achieve. Leave the realness and darkness of the world at the door — your main goal here is to learn and see all the amazing, beautiful things people achieved and created in the subjects you're interested in and are apart of.
Business writer Chris Winfield at entrepreneur site Inc, recommended, "Read, watch, and listen to things that are going to uplift you, not depress you." Consume things that will trigger your creativity, ambitions, and competitiveness.
5. Surround Yourself With Your Goal
Remember in Tip #2 when we talked about taking it one goal at a time? Well to motivate yourself, make that goal become all-consuming. Lee shared, "When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me." Get your hands on pieces that will make you want to dive right into your ambitions — read articles about your industry, follow people who've achieved your dreams and talk about their journeys, borrow books crammed with tips on how to make that particular goal a reality. Surround yourself with your goal, and take serious strides in achieving it.
6. Do Something Radically Different
Try to shock yourself out of your slump by trying to do something radically different from your regular routine once a week. Start learning a language and go to meetup groups that practice in coffee shops, take up Shakespeare, start learning the guitar, wallpaper a room in your house, start a new class — just get out of your same old same old.
Winfield suggested, "What are you going to do right now? Start really small. The whole point is to just do something. Something that will make you feel better. Start right now." No more waiting!
7. Be Grateful For The Slump
While it might feel annoying while you're in it, you should actually feel grateful for the slump. It alerted you that something is missing in your life and that you've been coasting for too long.
Winfield pointed out, "What can be learned from this slump? What is it telling you? How is it helping you to change?...Be thankful for the lessons it is teaching you." So rather than cursing it, be glad it shook you out of a too-comfortable routine.
Who knows on what kind of cool journey it will lead you down?