Wake up, drink some coffee, (some people begrudgingly) go to work , come home, watch TV, go to bed, repeat.
People spend most of their lives doing the same crap over and over again – and quite frankly I find this incredibly frustrating.
Take it from someone who conducts countless job interviews each day, there is an over abundance of average people in the world. Average people who didn’t do anything spectacular, never did what they actually wanted, put up with a crappy boss and spend half a job interview complaining about it. They feel stuck or like they’re just another cog in the wheel. They feel like their lives flew past them while they were hunched over a desk only to get laid off because of budget cuts or the recession.
The truth is I’m petrified of turning into most of the people I interview. But the fact of the matter remains that most of us have to work – money doesn’t grow on trees and nothing is free. It’s also a fact that work isn’t a bad thing – what’s bad is getting stuck in a mundane routine.
So this year I challenge you to take advantage of the time you have when you’re not in the office. Use your lunch hour to go on a walk. Use your nights to take up a dance class you’ve always wanted to take, do some physical activity or start a side business. Wake up early in the morning to meditate, write or go for a run. Use your weekends to try something you’ve never done before.
Do whatever is is that you’ve always wanted to do, but felt like you never had the time because of work.
There is life outside of the office – embrace it! Below you’ll find some tips to do just that.
1. Make a list of your passions, hobbies and/or interests. Then put them in order of importance.
Some people have so many things they want to do they don’t even know where to start. Making a list will help you visualize what you want to do. It will also help you organize them into a system you can later use follow, that way you aren’t unfocused and sporadic. Consider it a like a short term bucket list.
2. Research how to make it happen.
Saying you’re going to do something is the easy part. Unfortunately when it comes to actually doing them we more often than not fall off the horse. After making a list take a look at it and see what needs some research.
For instance, maybe you want to take a crafting class at your local community college. In this case your next step would be to check the roster and see what’s available and what it will cost. If you want to do yoga, Google local studios and take a look at their schedule. If you want to start a side business research what you need to get started.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to do and how and where to do it you have to actually make an effort to act on it. Put a reminder on your phone, put a big red circle on your calendar, put it on the fridge, whatever. I personally use my Erin Condren Life Planner for just about everything.
If showing up somewhere after work for the first time is really that difficult for you figure out some sort of accountability system, like giving yourself a treat for actually having shown up. You can also try making a list of benefits that will result from partaking in new activities as a form of motivation (I.E. If I go to the gym I will get healthier).
I understand that after work we’re tired and probably lazy (believe me, I’ve been there many a time). As a result it’s difficult to actually act on the things we want to do. However, the benefits (clearer head, breaking from a routine, break from work, experiencing new things, better mood) far outweigh the tiny inconveniences you may experience at first. Remember, the hardest part is showing up the first time – it’s smooth sailing after that!
4. Create a savings plan if money is an issue.
Sometimes money gets in the way of we want to do. The key is to prioritize and learn how to budget for the things you want to try.
For instance, I have an entire savings account dedicated to yoga. With each paycheck I put away a small amount that will later be used for classes, workshops and maybe even props and downloads.
For help on creating a savings plan check out a guest post I wrote for The Real Post Grad.
5. Go with a friend.
If one of your friends will be joining I bet you’ll feel more inclined to start trying new things. Your friends can also hold you accountable so that you don’t get back into a boring routine. By the same token you can also hold them accountable
As human beings we can’t always be stuck in the same boring routine. Our minds and bodies crave a break every once in a while. Your perspective could also use some beneficial changes to your routine – it really makes a difference to know that you are actively learning new things, going after things you’ve always wanted to do and that you have a life outside of the office.
Image via tibchris