Daily Routine Boredom
Fallen in to not such a healthy lifestyle? How long has it been since you cooked a new dish, listened to a new band, or explored a new bike route?
It’s easy to fall into a rut with a daily routine, and before you know it, you feel bored and uninspired with tasks that didn’t feel so burdensome three months ago. Time slips away faster and faster, but you feel like you’re stuck in the mud with no real change to point to in your life.
The brain uses challenges and “new things” like fuel to keep it healthy and sharp. Neuroscientists are finding that providing the brain with new information actually helps with time perception. Because new info takes longer to process, it can help with the sensation that the days and months are flying out from beneath you.
Keeping your daily routine fresh and fun provides more motivation for a healthy lifestyle, and can be achieved as easily as making it a goal to try one new thing every week. Whether that’s cooking a new recipe, trying a new workout, experimenting with a new way to apply makeup, or downloading a fresh running playlist, this jolt of newness injects inspiration into the formerly mundane.
So how can you get out of that rut and ensure that trying new things becomes a habit? Here are a couple of ways to turn those ideas into action.
One activity to help with motivation as you pursue a healthy lifestyle is to make an inspiration board. There is uncanny power in the visual representation of goals. It is proven to boost success in a variety of fields and careers, from the football field to the board room. Visualizing the life you want to have, and then walking it out can help lift you out of your rut, clarify the next steps to take, and build confidence. Your inspiration board can be on paper, a white board, or even a special board on Pinterest. Collect pictures, quotes, recipes, anything that represents the goals you are aiming for. Place it somewhere where you will see it often and let it spur you on whenever you find yourself straying toward old habits or lacking self-confidence to tackle the day ahead.
Track the New
In trying new things, it can also be fun to track them over the weeks and months, either on paper or on a note on your phone. As you head into a new year, it can provide further inspiration to remember all the new things you tried and remind you of other things you have yet to try. Whether it’s as small as listening to songs you’ve never heard or trying new foods or as crazy as traveling to a new country, throw your brain a new curveball. And then write it down.
It Takes Effort
Even with the best intentions, it’s easy to fall right back in that rut, isn’t it? The rut is easy because it is smooth and worn and familiar. A new path is hard and untried and you’re not sure where all the dips and turns are just yet. So be prepared for a new path to stretch you in ways that the rut didn’t. Like exercising a new set of muscles, you have to make a conscious effort to reach for a different outfit instead of the same pants and shirts you always wear, to study a new language, or to take a new route to work. Your “brain muscles” will be sore for a while as you work to get out of the rut, but then you’ll look back over the last month, three months, even six months and realize you have changed and grown as a person. And that realization is worth any amount of temporary discomfort.
What new thing will you try today?