I’ve been stuck in a rut, going to bed around 9 and waking up at 5. After my cup of coffee, I jump in the car and head to the gym. There I ride the reclining bike followed by the same weight training routine I started 28 years ago. Even my dinners fall into a set routine: grilled chicken, turkey and fish, week after week.
My life has pretty much become one boring routine, and I don’t do boring well. That’s when I get the urge to take a trip abroad and experience a new culture; but like most people, I can’t afford that. So I have to change something in my daily life but what? Start hiking? Visit new places in my local area? Sign up for a yoga class?
I feel like I spend my life in a cubicle (kitchen) in front of my computer screen for eight hours a day, including weekends. I need to rediscover joy and passion and make daily life “Gutsy.”
Last weekend something changed within me. I almost canceled my trip to Portland, and that would have been a disaster. You see I was scared of being one of the few middle-aged people to attend the World Domination Summit. (No this has nothing to do with politics or religion.) I soon found out that we were 500 people of all ages and all professions who believe you should make your passion your life. It’s about taking risks and quitting your cubicle job, if you’re fed up with it, and doing something that’s important and meaningful to you.
I was surrounded by inspiring people who have taken risks to pursue their dreams. For example, Judi Ettenberg, decided to save her money and quit her attorney job in New York, to travel the world. She is now a writer and you can follow her journey on her blog Legal Nomads.
I made new friends.
So what is a life list?
A life list is not a bucket list. It must contain about 100 things and in addition to the awesome things you want to do, it must also contain some of the mundane.
- Take a gentle yoga class
- Take a ride in a hot air balloon
- Make your own ice-cream
- Learn how to paint
- Start a blog
- Start hiking.
- Start a gourmet dinner club with friends
I realized that I can make changes which may not seem big, but they make a difference in how I feel.
If you feel like your life has temporarily stalled, and you’d like to jump start it, here are ten more tips on how to get out of being stuck in a rut.
Do you like the idea of a life list? Please share some things you want to change in your daily life.
What a fantastic conference you attended! I love to hear about people just chucking the status quo and living their passion! Sounds like you also met some very interesting and courageous women!
I plan to start a list of changes that might direct me into the path of my passions.
Wonderful post! You are always so inspiring to me!
I just started Zumba classes.. I have always been afraid to dance because i am afraid of looking stupid in front of others. Guess what? Nobody in the class can dance and its a blast! So good bye boring, boring spinning classes,,, I love to Zumba! I am also learning about the music my kids listen too and its not so bad as I thought it was!
Yes. I shall draw up a life list. It's an excellent idea. I think we all tend to cling to routines too much. I was getting bogged down before moving to France where we've had to be much more flexible and adaptable. There are lots of things I could do – and should – motivate myself to do to make my life more interesting and fulfilled. Thank you for the inspiration.
I'm definitely stuck in a rut… the worst thing about that is that I often feel like cancelling 'fun' things in order to stay in my safety zone… This has pepped me to keep on stepping outside those boundaries. Thanks.
I tend to rebel when I try to make lists and set goals. I'm much better 'free form'.
I have a tiny suggestion that may help you feel better while you work on the computer. I only use a lap top and I place it on my kitchen table in front of the window. Being able to look up and see outside makes it feel less cubicle like.
When I'm at the shore I try to work sitting on the porch whenever I can, which is wonderful.
Did you meet Farnoosh in Portland?
Sonia, if you're middle-aged then I'm a dinosaur!
Tom is my cave dweller, who putters around the yard.
If he could, healthwise, he'd be swimming more and jogging, or hiking out west, which is where he wants to be.
If I had a list, I'd probably veer off from it.
I'd love to travel to places that interest me, but not by myself. Tom has 30 years of flying under his belt., so he's not too interested, with the regs in place and costs.
I love sharing the experiences that life has to offer.
I'm happy in my 'rut' for now, but you never know when the
scenery is going to change.
Starting my blog was definelty something to get me out of my rut and has been the start of a new passion, writing. I love the idea of writing a list of 100 things! Thanks for a great post and a great suggestion! Glad you had such a wonderful time at your confernce!
I am so happy you're taking the plunge and creating a list of your own. If you want to share your 5-10 most important desires, I shall have another post soon about that, and it would be great if you shared. I shall write mine too.
I've heard of Zumba. I's like to try that too. Where are you taking the class?
I wouldn't say stuck in a rut. There are a lot of routine things in my life, but they give me some focus and context.
As for life list, that's what I'm working on. Having changed from "working" to "retired," I need to re-focus. All part of the fun.
Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane says
As you know, I dumped my American rut and moved to Moldova, where I am now dying to have a rut 😉
My life list (for now anyway) includes
1) learning Romanian
2) getting used to walking 25 min. to the supermarket and getting a taxi back
3) enjoy a kitchen without utensil drawers
4) getting involved with the international cooking club
5) joining the book club
6) vacation in Turkey and Italy
I will get into a new routine again, which will be a relief after the hassles of getting settled in. Eventually I'll get bored again I suspect…
Still, a change like this keeps your brain working!
I know a way to make life more interesting: you and I should swap locations for a month. I would need to be trained on how to take care of your farm animals though.
Thanks for admitting your "safety zone" and stepping outside it. I think most of us have that.
Yes, my cubicle does have a window into an atrium. I like to get out of the house to the Newport Beach library to write. Yes, I did meet Farnoosh. She is sweet, dynamic and full of energy.
Bob Lowry says
Going to bed at 9 PM and up at 5AM…I gather you are not a night person!
I like the life list, though I'm not sure I could come up with 100 legitimate possibilities. At the moment I'm working on 2 e-books, thinking of starting another blog, and helping my wife begin to market her photographs. That keeps me pretty busy.
After reading this post it is obvious my list needs to include more things that take me away from a computer!
Going abroad or just for weekends more often 🙂
not too cook every day and start eaing out again in different places
Penelope J. says
Sonia, The more I read about this first World Domination Summit, the more I realize what a great experience it must have been for you and everyone there. Hope I can go next year. Thanks for the tips to get out of a rut.
I'm definitely in a mental rut at present and I do need a shove on the ass or something to get going again. Week after next, I'll go stay with Laurie in her house in San Marcos (where we met), and spend a week writing and working on my other book. That always seems to get my spirits up and I need it after the recent changes in my life robbed me of energy. Just have to get back on that phone and not hang up this time.
Yeah, so believe it or not, I live in Portland and I missed the World Domination Summit, because I put off registering for it and then it sold out. Next year, I'll know better.
I've actually been way outside my comfort zone lately, stepping up to a new level in my business, doing a ton of networking, offering a teleclass. Slightly terrifying half the time, but exhilarating all the time! I think I'll start a life list to go along with it.
In a future post, it would be interesting for people to share what they are working on. I started writing my own list too.
Now that's what I call a complete change of daily routine. Funny how we can also miss a familiar routine when our life changes completely.
Yes, I'm not a night person anymore, unless I'm in Europe where everyone has a different lifestyle.
I was thinking the same thing, Sonia, that it would be interesting if we shared our lists with each other. I'm starting to gather ideas; I'll share them anon.
Robert the Skeptic says
So in my mid-40's I took up skydiving… Ok, well that isn't for everyone.
My wife and I make plans but we are always open to taking a different route as opportunities arise.
We have two sets of friends who were amazed that we sold our house and moved to a different one, primarily because we needed a change. These friends are kind of "stuck" in their ways. It's somewhat disappointing that they don't see change as an opportunity.
Cora L. Foerstner says
Sonia, great post. I had to smile as I've been in the "making-a-list-of-things-I-want-to-do" mode for months. So, your post was apropos. It is interesting that sometimes getting out of a rut, or doing the things we want to do, requires us to face our individual fears.
When is the new blog going up?
I just started to study Swedish. Just for fun.
I have so much to do already, no time for other things…would be great to have longer days. This morning I woke up at 6 and still too much to do.
I've lived abroad, traveled a lot, I've tried several hobbies…I have everything I need…
I don't need to make a list! 🙂 I do what feels right…
My Life List,
1) Inspire others
3) Public speaking
5) Learn a second language
6) Ride a motorcycle
7) Tell dynamic stories
8) Live passionately
9) Take a leap of faith
10) Know abundance
I agree, Sonia, WDS was a wonderful experience. It was pretty exciting hearing those whose blogs we’ve been reading speak to us in person but better than that was the feeling in the hall each day, I’ve never experienced anything like it. Such positivity and enthusiasm is immeasurable.
I too am very happy to have made friends with you and others. I wonder where we’ll meet up next time!
Maggie recently posted..THE SOMALI QUESTION
Gutsy Writer says
I agree, and to think that I almost canceled. I am so happy I met you and have a new friend in London. You inspired me with your love of music and your positive outlook on life.