No matter how exciting we try to make life there will probably be times when it seems mundane and boring. There will be things we don’t want to do and we’ll have to learn to make the most of them. Even things that were once exciting can lose their luster if we do them over and over again. People are attracted to novelty and variety and it’s easy to end up seeking more and looking for something new. That’s why I took the last week off from writing. I wanted to make more time for relaxation, recreation, and family. If what used to give you pleasure and enjoyment has become ordinary and dull it’s time to get your joy and enthusiasm back. Living joyfully takes being intentional about what you want to get from your experiences and making the most of every situation. Here are a few tips to make your daily routine more joyful and uplifting.
1. Unleash your creativity
Too often we get stuck in a pattern of linear thinking. We know what we need to do and have a routine worked out ahead of time. We cease to use our creativity and life starts to seem unoriginal. Practice divergent thinking by being more playful and expressive with your ideas. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope at work or when solving problems. Consider how you use items differently or apply ideas in a different way today?
2. Learn something new and look through curious eyes
When was the last time you were totally excited to learn about something? When we are interested in life it is more enjoyable and fulfilling. Learn about something you have always wanted to explore, or go deeper into an existing passion. Read a new book or magazine. Meet someone new and ask about their life experiences. Travel somewhere you have never been.
3. Take time to reflect and think deeply
When we live a busy life of hustling to get things done we forget to take time to just be present and quiet. Time for reflection helps the mind remain calm and relaxed. It can promote more open-minded and spacious thinking. Take a few minutes in the morning before getting your day started to just sit quietly and be present. This can be through meditation or contemplative prayer.
4. Don’t compare your life to others
A sure way to miss the joy in life is to focus on what we don’t have and how we wish we were different. Living from a state of competition with others leads to greed and envy. When you feel an urge to compare yourself to someone else focus on total acceptance of the person you are. Recognize the significance in the relationships you have, the work you do, and the experiences you have had. Embrace your uniqueness and be grateful that you are you.
5. Discover newness in old routines
We are creatures of habit and tend to develop unconscious routines. We brush our teeth, take a shower, and eat food in the exact same way. Select a few things to do differently today. Whether it’s the route you take to work, the way to spend your morning, or the way you interact with others, finds ways to mix things up. This will help keep your brain sharp and will break you out of autopilot to see things in a new way.
6. Let go of resentment
Many people are stuck in despair and discontentment because of past regrets and bitterness. We must first let go of negativity before we can start experiencing the joy and love in everyday life. Loosen the noose of your past and set your sights on a bright present and future. Make a list of all the positive qualities about yourself of someone else you are struggling to forgive.
7. Prioritize your time
When we’re constantly doing things we don’t want to do we lose track of what is most important. Make sure to dedicate time to your most important priorities. We all have to do things we don’t want to do sometimes, so make sure you are not too busy to dedicate time for the accomplishment of meaningful activities and spending time with meaningful people.
8. Seek inspiration
Inspiration comes during those moments when we see true human excellence. It’s an emotional experience that comes when we encounter extraordinary ability or competence in some activity, which motivates us to be better ourselves. Inspiration comes in many different forms and fashions. Seek inspiration through athletics, art, writing, the beauty in nature, or noticing general acts of kindness and strength. As you start your week be aware of how you can make it more enjoyable and fulfilling. Remember that even when “stuff” happens, you don’t have to let it ruin your day. The small things in life can either lead us to great joy, contentment, and peace of mind, or to frustration, disappointment, and discouragement. Do a daily review to make sure you are adding some zest to your routine and savoring the positivity that your experience. I would love to hear from you! How do you shake things up when life seems boring or ordinary? How do you add joy and excitement to your routine?