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In a Rut? Change Your Routine and Change Your Life

In a Rut? Change Your Routine and Change Your Life

It happens to the best of us. We put our heads down, push through each day, let ourselves settle into a certain kind of rut, and before we know it we’re restless and weary and can’t figure out how we got there. It’s important to keep in mind that being uncomfortable with the status quo is okay and is often a good thing.

If you’re feeling this way, making some key routine changes could offer the variety you didn’t even know you were looking for in your life.

Remove Negative Words From Your Vocabulary

    As cheesy as it may seem, make a conscious effort to remove negativity from your life. Start with your own vocabulary by not allowing yourself to say words and phrases such as “I wish I could…”, “can’t,” “won’t,” “never,” and “shouldn’t.” Instead, find ways to make yourself say what you’re looking to say with different words. For instance, instead of saying, “I wish I got paid more,” say, “I’m going to work hard to earn a raise.” And then work hard to earn a raise.

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    This type of positive thinking can train your subconscious to change the way you view things.

    Focus on One Goal Each Month

      It has been said for a long time that it takes 21 days to form a habit. That exact time frame has been debunked, but it’s still a good amount of time to devote to developing a new habit and become accustomed to embracing it as a part of your everyday life. There are no rules saying you can’t work on more than one goal at a time. The idea is to not commit to more than what is realistic for you.

      Feel free to change it up and add in more positive changes as you see fit. Just don’t overdo it – that would undermine the mental wellness and well-being that we’re trying to achieve.

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      Get up Earlier

        In addition to getting a slower, more peaceful start for the day, waking up early has notable health benefits. First, you’ll be more likely to eat a balanced breakfast, which jump starts your metabolism and promotes a healthy weight. It also helps you focus throughout the day. But more importantly, waking up early promotes a healthy mental well-being and a positive outlook.

        Give it a try for a month and see how you feel.

        Set Fitness Goals

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          Everyone knows that exercise is good for your health. Most of us have attempted to improve our exercise habits. Some are admittedly more successful than others. So take this opportunity to actually do it. Incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine and see what it does to your body, your attitude, and your general outlook on life.

          In no time you’ll be reducing your stress level, boosting your metabolism, and increasing brain function among a host of other positive health perks. It may be helpful to find a place to live that’s conducive to these new goals you’ve set for yourself. Look for something with areas to ride a bike or jog nearby, or an apartment complex that includes an onsite gym or a gym membership. You’re bound to find the right fit once you start looking for apartments for rent by metro areas.

          Change Responsibilities at Work

            Our careers are such an important aspect of our lives that if you’re in a rut, making some changes at work could really make a difference. Perhaps you’re bored because you’re not stimulated enough through your work. Look for new opportunities to change things up. Maybe a position in a different department is opening up, or you’re up for a promotion.

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            On the other hand, maybe it’s time to make some major changes. Keep your ear to the ground for any changes you can make to switch it up a bit and stay fresh.

            Drink More Water

              We don’t have to tell you that drinking water is good for you – it just is. It promotes cell growth and mental alertness, detoxifies your body, aides in digestion, and just plain tastes good. Make a pact to drink water to promote a healthy state of being and to help make the rest of your goals more achievable.

              The rut you’re feeling is real, and there are very simple things you can do to pull yourself out of it. Give some of these ideas a try, and let us know in the comments how it’s changed things for you.

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              Last Updated on September 20, 2018

              8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

              8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

              You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

              Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

              When you train your brain, you will:

              • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
              • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
              • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

              So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

              1. Work your memory

              Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

              When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

              If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

              The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

              Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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              Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

              What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

              For example, say you just met someone new:

              “Hi, my name is George”

              Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

              Got it? Good.

              2. Do something different repeatedly

              By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

              Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

              It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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              And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

              But how does this apply to your life right now?

              Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

              Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

              Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

              So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

              You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

              That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

              3. Learn something new

              It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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              For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

              Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

              You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

              4. Follow a brain training program

              The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

              5. Work your body

              You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

              Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

              Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

              Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

              6. Spend time with your loved ones

              If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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              If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

              I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

              7. Avoid crossword puzzles

              Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

              Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

              Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

              8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

              Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

              When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

              So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

              The bottom line

              Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

              Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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