Advertising
Advertising

10 Ways To Achieve Your Goals Even When You’re Bored

10 Ways To Achieve Your Goals Even When You’re Bored

Starting an activity for the first time is perhaps the most fun you can ever experience; it’s new, completely out of the ordinary, exciting to take part in, and is hardly ever boring. But there will ultimately come a time where that excitement begins to wear off and the shine is no longer what it used to be when you first started.

You’re now going through the motions. Perhaps reaching a competent level and no longer feeling a sense of challenge with what you’re doing. This is something I’ve experienced one too many times in my own personal journey when doing new activities.

You’ve reached a stage that Seth Godin calls “The Dip.” Things aren’t progressing, nor are they diminishing. It’s gruelling and ultimately frustrating. It’s at this stage where you’re at a crossroad, and deciding whether to push through or to give up.

So how do you overcome this?

Here are 10 techniques I’ve personally used to keep going when things were boring and frustrating.

1) Push yourself to work when the work isn’t easy or fun to do.

The most common reason I failed in the past was because I failed to “take the first step” when it came to doing what I set out to do. I underestimated the power of momentum and instead focused on the end goal, which made me realize how overwhelming it all was. Instead, focus on what you need to do in the present to get the ball rolling.

Advertising

If it’s to hit the gym and do your daily workouts, focus on simply packing your gym equipment and leaving your house, then entering your car and starting the engine. Before you know it, momentum will occur and you will have no other choice but to keep moving forward.

2) Focus on the process and not the end goal.

While goals are important, focusing purely on the final outcome will always leave you feeling stressed and frustrated. Yet we simply fail to realize that getting there doesn’t require us to make a giant leap, but to simply take things one step at a time.

Break down what you need to do for that day and start working at it. A year from now, you will look back at the work you did and realize how far you’ve gone.

3) Develop rituals and commit to them daily.

We are the sum of our daily habits‒this is something I never quite understood until recently. I never realized that habits could apply to your working activities and not just to bathroom etiquette, like brushing your teeth or washing your face.

In short, your success is defined simply by what you do on a daily basis and not just how you do it. Figure out what needs to be done daily in order to move you forward and make it a daily ritual. In time, this will turn into a habit that will simply be unable for you to stop doing.

4) Set something up to make you accountable.

If you find it quite hard to push yourself, set something up that will make it inevitable.

Advertising

If your goal is to wake up early, try something like parking your car in a “no parking zone,” which will force you to wake up at 6:30 in order to move it since you know that a parking attendant will give you a ticket if you fail to do so. Or try something simple, like paying a friend $100 for failing to reach your goal on a given week.

Accountability is very powerful and will help you develop motivation if you seem to be lacking it in the early stages.

5) Make a list of benefits that you will gain from doing it.

When doing our daily activities, we sometimes forget why we’re doing it in the first place, which is what drove us to develop the will and drive to pursue it.

Write down all of the benefits you will gain from doing what you’re doing and have it stuck on your wall where you see it in front of you on a daily basis.

6) Make a list of pains you will experience if you don’t do it.

If #5 doesn’t work, write a list of consequences you will face if you don’t do it. Will not doing it make you feel overweight and unhealthy? Will you still be stuck at your dead-end job for another 5-10 years? Will you still stay single and alone for a year?

Use the pain as strength to help you push through. Nothing worthwhile is easy to do, and sometimes, it can be extremely boring as well.

Advertising

7) Have a higher purpose that motivates you to keep going.

Besides having goals, you need to have a higher reason to doing what you’re doing that goes above and beyond anything financial or personal.

Perhaps it’s to leave a legacy behind so that others can follow in your footsteps, or to change common misconceptions and redefine norms for the better. Or maybe it’s to end world hunger by providing a beacon of hope for others to follow in order to make it happen.

Have a reason higher than yourself that makes you come alive. A purpose that’s in true alignment to you will provide you with a defined life goal that will make you feel obliged to follow.

8) Make your goals public.

There is nothing more motivating than to tell other people about what you’re going to do. The more people you announce it to, the more powerful it will be; it will force you to take action, since you’ll know that if you don’t do it, you will be branded as a failure or someone who doesn’t stay true to their word.

Set yourself a challenge to announce your goals on all of your social media accounts and put a target date to have it all achieved.

9) Set more challenging tasks in order to push yourself further.

If you’ve been doing something for long enough. There will come a point where you will reach comfort and familiarity with what you’re doing. It will seem monotonous and robotic to the point where you’re no no longer thinking about the motions.

Advertising

It’s at this crucial stage in your development where you know you need to set new challenges in order to push through and reach the next level. There is never a complete level of mastery in whatever it is you do and there is always another level.

Create a list of higher and more challenging goals for yourself that will make things more fun and interesting again. Perhaps you could try taking more advanced classes or setting higher target numbers in your sales job, for example.

10) Mix up how you do things to rekindle the fun factor.

Doing the same things over and over again is never fun and can lead to boredom and frustration. Try doing the same things in different ways in order to create variety and inspire creativity.

Mix up your training plans, work on your activities in a different way or perhaps change it up completely!

The more I’ve experienced boredom, the more I’ve realized how much of a gift it is. You have an opportunity now to try something different and to think outside the box, an opportunity to develop even bigger character and perseverance when things aren’t compelling, and a quality, which very few people have, that will serve you greatly moving forward.

More by this author

20 Ways To Wake Up With Motivation Those Who Fear Rejection Will Know How To Embrace It After Reading This 19 Steps To True Happiness That Everyone Is Looking For 20 Excuses Most People Make That Stop Them From Reaching Their Dreams 20 Things 20-Somethings Need To Stop Doing Now

Trending in Communication

1 How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward 2 What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships 3 How To Stop Negative Thoughts from Killing Your Confidence 4 This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need 5 What You Really Need to Feel Secure in a Relationship

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

Advertising

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Advertising

1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

Advertising

5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

Advertising

If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next