If you’re tired of going through the motions day after day, here are 5 super simple & actionable tips for escaping a monotonous life without changing careers.
Whether you’re running a business that drains you or you’re stuck in a corporate job that you hate, having every day feel the same and dreading what that day consists of is no way to live your life.
All of us get into a “funk” at some point. I know I’ve experienced that funk back in my corporate days as well as in my entrepreneurship journey. “The funk” is the point in time when you’re no longer excited about what your day consists of, the goals you’re working toward, and the things you have to do.
At that point, most people begin to question all of their life choices… it’s easy to think “If I’m not experiencing pure happiness right now, I must be in the wrong job.”
And although I believe fulfillment depends greatly on the work that you do, sometimes it isn’t actually your career that needs to change, but your approach toward life.
In this article you’ll learn simple shifts you can make to shake up a monotonous life and experience more joy day to day so that you can create not just financial success, but Fulfilling Success™.
Why does life get monotonous?
Between all of the responsibilities that come with adulting, plus our brains’ natural tendency to avoid discomfort, it’s easy to find yourself in a bit of a rut. The same routine, day after day, filled with work and chores and parenting, can start to feel purposeless. If your job doesn’t fulfill you or your business is in a bit of a rut, it can feel extra challenging to be happy and excited on a day to day basis.
Let’s normalize this. Despite what social media might have you believe, most people aren’t 100% happy 100% of the time. In fact, many of my entrepreneur coaching clients have come to me at a time when they’d lost touch with their ‘why’ and needed support to get back into their goals.
Is it bad if your life feels monotonous?
Whether you’re in a corporate job or you’re your own boss, a monotonous life affects everything. When you’re not excited about the life you’re living, it affects your energy, your mood, and thereby your relationship with family and friends; it affects your creativity and motivation and therefore your performance at work/business; and it affects your mental and physical health too.
And plus, aiming to just get through the day is not the way you probably want to live this one life you’ve got. If you’re anything like the clients I work with, you want to live a big life, make a big impact, and leave a big legacy.
Why is it important to avoid a monotonous life as an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, it’s especially important to avoid staying stuck in a monotonous life, because the success of your business depends on YOU.
Related post: How Mindset is Keeping Your Business Stuck
As much as we think we need the perfect strategy or the best idea, the foundation of your business success truly comes down to YOU (especially in the early stages). You must have the energy to show up every day and make the right decisions; to come up with creative new ideas, to write compelling marketing, to connect with potential clients; to see a bigger vision for the future and lead your team toward it, to solve unexpected challenges, etc.
How consistently are you able to create the energy you need to execute your goals?
If you feel like you’re stuck in a hamster wheel, living a monotonous life, you’re not going to be operating at your full potential and showing up with the energy and mindset you need to succeed.
That’s why I want to share 5 tips for how to create more joy in your day and escape a monotonous life (these have nothing to do with your business!) so that you can start to find your spark again in the small pockets of your day. Because I once felt the exact same dreariness around my not so perfect life, and I found a way to get back to a place of excitement by making a few small changes.
When I was still in corporate, everything seemed great: I had the cushy job, the house in the suburbs, two kids, a husband, a dog… everything was rosy.
Except I hated that corporate job.
I hated sitting in that cubicle, feeling like I was making zero impact, trying to climb some silly ladder in a company that did not align with my values, while someone else raised my kids at daycare.
I made a change and started working for a company that was making an impact in my community, and allowed for more flexibility and autonomy.
It was the best decision I’d made, and I expected to be happy forever.
Funnily enough, over the course of the next 6 months, I felt almost the same way I had in my previous job. I mean, I wasn’t crying in the bathroom every morning, but I no longer woke up invigorated on Mondays.
I still enjoyed my new job and was proud of my choice to switch gears. But the honeymoon stage wore off quickly.
When Monday morning rolled around I wasn’t looking forward to waking up and going through the motions. It felt as if every minute of every day was scripted, repetitive, and monotonous. I woke up with a heavy sigh, and a ‘let’s just get this over with’ attitude.
I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I want to live my life.
I don’t want to be waiting for tomorrow, or for the weekend, or for retirement.
I want to enjoy the here and the now. I want to make the most of this one life.
And so, I set out on a mission to bring joy and meaning back into my days.
I didn’t quit my job. I didn’t make a big lifestyle change. Infusing joy into my week didn’t require massive changes to the foundations of my life.
I only made small tweaks to my day and they had a big impact.
Here are 5 things I did to create joy and escape a monotonous life that still remain part of my routine even now as a multiple six figure entrepreneur.
// 1 // Meditate
I didn’t use to think I had time to sit around and do nothing, but the truth is I couldn’t afford not to.
Now that I’ve been practicing meditation on and off for the last 7 years it’s a non negotiable for me. I can feel the difference in my mental state when I’ve taken the time to breathe versus when I haven’t.
The general sense of anxiety and pressure I feel (around almost everything, hello high achievers!) dissipates when I take the time to breathe.
Meditating every afternoon creates a break in the monotony of go go go to rest and remember what really matters.
After I meditate there is a sense of calm that allows me to be so much more intentional with my time and energy.
I got into meditating by watching these guided meditations from Boho Beautiful on Youtube.
// 2 // Switch up the small things
No matter how much you love structure, when every day starts to feel the same, you’ll start to get restless. I love a plan, and a routine, but I have to feel like there is more to life than groundhog day.
Try to switch up the little things when you’re in a funk:
- Work from a different location — this can be something as simple as moving to the dining room table instead of your office desk. I also love to work from a picnic table at the lake, instead of from my home office.
- Listen to a new podcast episode in the shower or during your commute. Exposing your brain to new information can get you thinking and feeling new things.
- Eat something different. Food is a big part of our lives and when it’s all the same, it gets boring. One day I ditched my usual peanut butter banana protein smoothie and had eggs and toast instead. It wasn’t revolutionary or even difficult to do. But it was just enough of something different to feel special and worth looking forward to. Another day I bought a new salad dressing for my lunch (because eating a Greek salad every day for the past 6 months got a little boring).
- Dress up, even if you’re just sitting at home
- Do your hair differently
- Pick up a new book
- Catch up with old friends you haven’t connected with in a while
None of the changes you make have to be life changing – in fact the entire point is that you can feel differently just by focusing on the small things. If you commit to changing a few small things about your day, you’ll start to get your spark back.
// 3 // Practice gratitude every morning and evening
Journaling and taking time to self reflect has been pivotal in finding joy every day.
Related post: 7 Powerful Questions for Planning Your Week
As high achievers with big goals, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the doing of the things and forget to experience life as you go through it.
I can have the world’s most relaxing day, and if I don’t take the time to realize it was relaxing, I don’t fully appreciate my day.
Every morning I write down 3 things I am grateful for as part of my morning routine.
This helps me avoid the ‘hedonic treadmill’ – the concept of getting used to and forgetting to appreciate the things that were once a big deal – and stay grateful for all of the blessings in your life.
When I was in corporate, I dreamed of the days that I could sit in a cozy chair, light a candle, and read before starting my workday. As an entrepreneur, I’ve made that part of my daily routine. But after 2 years, it doesn’t feel like that big of a deal anymore.
Remembering all of the things you have now that you once worked hard to achieve is so important.
// 4 // Plan one thing to look forward to each day
Sometimes I just get so, so tired. Between two kids, a marriage, a multiple six figure business, and a giant Bernese Mountain Dog, some days it seems like there’s nothing left in me. So at the worst of times I just let the days slip by. And that puts you back in monotony pretty quickly.
I’ve gotten into the habit of planning one little thing to look forward to each day. It can be something like taking the kids swimming, or surprising someone, going for a walk in a new park, or even watching a new show while doing laundry.
When you fill your WEEK with things to look forward to, you don’t rely on your weekend to bring all your joy. And that’s the kind of life I really want: one where I’m not waiting around for the weekend.
Start with planning something fun for Mondays. Nothing cures the Monday blues better than having something awesome to look forward to after work!
// 5 // Read books that inspire joy
Books are so good at bringing things into perspective and helping you see things a different way. They can be empowering, motivating, and inspiring. They help you come up with new ideas or set new goals.
Here’s a list of 13 life changing books to get you started. (Don’t ask me to pick my favorite, they are ALL books I’ve read multiple times over the last few years because they continue to motivate and inspire me.)
//6// Set new goals
Humans feel fulfilled when they’re stretching themselves beyond their comfort zone, taking on a challenge, and achieving something that they haven’t done before. If you’re in a funk, take some time to set new goals that are challenging and rewarding.
Download my reflection & goal setting workbook for a robust 24 page guide to identifying your most important goals for the next 12 months.
It sucks to get stuck in a rut and feel like you’re living a monotonous life, but it’s your responsibility to bring the energy and excitement back into your day to day.
If you’re an entrepreneur, the success of your business depends on it. And if you’re not, when you prioritize fulfillment in your life, your relationships improve, your performance at work/in business improves, and your health improves.
But if you don’t make the effort to become the happiest version of yourself, you might find yourself feeling disappointed in a life that other people would die for, missing out on the very happiness you worked so hard to create.
It doesn’t take much to make Monday morning feel more exciting than it has in a while. Even if you can’t make a big change in your career or business right now, you can make small changes to your day to day life that will get you out of your funk and feeling inspired and motivated again in no time.
- Switch up your day to day routine a bit
- Start meditating for a few minutes each day
- Plan something fun to look forward to (especially on a Monday)
- Take time to truly be grateful for what you already have
- Read books and inspire yourself through the words of brilliant authors.
And if you do all that and you’re still feeling unmotivated, book a discovery call to explore how I can support you in building a really successful business that supports a really fulfilling life.
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