Want to get unstuck in life and actually enjoy your day-to-day? Here are some ideas to motivate and inspire you.
When you feel stuck, it’s also common to feel helpless, confused, and bored. As much as you want things to change, nothing is happening. You might feel like you’re just a spectator in your life instead of an active participant. Rather than living life, it’s just passing you by.
Fortunately, the “stuck” feeling is temporary and completely natural. You won’t always have the best, most foolproof life plan. Things won’t always turn out the way you want them to. So, if you don’t know what to do or where to go, don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone gets stuck at some point!
Chances are, you feel lost and discouraged because you’re fixated on the idea of what your life “should be” or “has to be” rather than what it is.
The first step is self-acceptance.
To get unstuck, you have to stop trying so hard to be the “perfect” person or live the “perfect” life—instead, accept things the way they are, focus on the aspects of your life you can change, set realistic self-improvement goals, and encourage positive self-talk rather than self-criticism.
Once you’ve accepted yourself and your current situation as is, you’re ready to move forward. Keep reading for 12 strategies to get unstuck in life.
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1. Make small changes in the beginning.
Major life adjustments can be extremely overwhelming. Instead of tackling the big changes head-on, try to break them down into smaller steps. You won’t feel as much pressure, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your goals.
Small steps will also make change less scary. If you feel stuck because you’re afraid of change, it’s better to take adjustments little by little. Life changes are challenging, but they are incredibly empowering at the end of the day.
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself—instead, just enjoy the process of getting out of your comfort zone.
2. Replace bad habits with good ones.
To improve your lifestyle long-term, you must conquer your negative habits and form positive ones in their place. If you feel stuck in your ways and you feel like your lifestyle needs a serious makeover, think about the bad habits you have and how you could change them.
For example, if stress eating is one of your bad habits, you could try to find a healthier activity to enjoy instead of eating when you get burdened.
Here are some examples of things you could replace stress eating with:
- Enjoying a portion-controlled, nutritious snack
- Chewing a piece of gum
- Coloring in an adult coloring book
- Going for a walk
- Shooting some hoops at the park
- Listening to music
When you find an alternative activity that works for you, you’ll be able to conquer your negative habit and form a positive habit in its place. To learn how to better manage negative emotions, check out my post on 50 positive ways to deal with negative feelings.
3. Set mini-goals for yourself.
To reach your full potential, you should set goals so big that some of them seem impossible to achieve. You know how your parents and teachers always told you to “dream big” when you were little? Well, you shouldn’t ever stop dreaming big!
However, there is a crucial step in accomplishing a big goal that many people forget—and that is setting mini-goals or “checkpoints” that will help you inch closer to your ultimate achievement.
Mini-goals—or short-term, manageable goals—will add up to a big impact in the long run. I hear lots of people say things like, “I want to own a Lamborghini” by the age of 35 or “I want to have a yacht in the harbor and five Ducatis in my garage” by the same age. But what percentage of those people actually end up with the luxurious lifestyles they dream of?
To break a massive goal down, you need to look at the whole picture. Think about the steps you’ll need to take to reach that big goal. Once you’ve broken the achievement down into 20 or 30 mini-goals, try to come up with deadlines for each one. That way, you’ll be able to see how you’re doing in 1, 5, or 10 years from now.
There’s nothing wrong with having ridiculously massive goals—but to bring them to fruition, you need to formulate a proper strategy, complete with mini-goals to track your progress.
4. Improve your mindset.
A positive mindset can turn fear of change into excitement.
Feeling stuck might make life seem like a chore. But in reality, there are opportunities to do amazing things with your life each and every day! When you go into each day with an open mind and accept change instead of fighting it, you likely won’t feel as stuck.
If you have a hard time staying positive in the face of change, check out my post on how to view life changes with a positive mindset.
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5. Get organized.
Never underestimate the power of a planner and a routine. When I struggle to find motivation, organization and planning help me get back on track.
For me, disorganization and chaos cause overwhelm, which leads to that icky “stuck” feeling. If you spend your days aimlessly wandering around, completing tasks in no particular order, and pondering the reason for your existence, you probably need to make a new routine for yourself.
Create a morning routine that sets you up for a productive day, and design an evening routine that lets you unwind and relax after a crazy day.
If you feel like you never have the opportunity to take care of yourself, a routine will save you time throughout the day and ensure you have self-care planned into your schedule.
I get it, routines might sound boring at first. However, if you want to save time and make the most of your day, it’s crucial to create—and stick to—routines that work for you.
6. Do something creative.
If you feel like your job is sucking the soul out of your body, it’s probably time to find a new job. But of course, life doesn’t always allow us to just pick up, leave, and start a new life all of a sudden. We have fun little things called “responsibilities” and “obligations,” and they usually come first.
If you’re stuck in a job you can’t quit yet, you need to make the most of your time when you’re not at work. Do something relaxing and fun, something creative.
A creative hobby will help you relax and de-stress after a long, taxing day. It will also help you break free from the feeling of being stuck. Instead of being bound to the same old day-to-day drill, you’ll exercise a part of your brain that you don’t normally use.
Check out these 35 creative hobbies to try!
7. Learn a new skill.
Let’s talk about that soul-sucking job again. If you’re feeling stuck because you want a career change, you should try to learn a new skill that will help you get another job (or even start your own business, if that’s what you’re interested in!)
Skillshare is one of my favorite places to learn new techniques. Instead of watching Netflix after work every day, you could watch videos on Skillshare and teach yourself a valuable skill!
8. Read an inspirational book.
Unfortunately, reading for pleasure is undervalued in today’s world (or at least in my opinion, it is.) We live in a society that moves at lightning speed. The Internet and social media have depleted the human attention span to almost nothing.
And the workforce has become more fast-paced, too. People are expected to work 55, 65, 75 hours per week just to make it. If we’re always hustling, who has the time to read for fun?
If you’re feeling stuck and overwhelmed—and you simply don’t know what else to do—why not take a break, sit down, and read an uplifting book?
Self-help books have a reputation for being sappy and unrealistic, but that’s not true at all. You’ll likely feel inspired by reading others’ success stories, and who knows—you might even come up with your first million-dollar idea!
The reality is that you are a product of your environment and the content you consume. So, if you’re feeling low, you should read a book that will inspire you to keep going.
Here are some of my favorite inspirational/personal development/self-help books:
- #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
- She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur by Carrie Green
- You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
9. Make a vision board.
Maybe you feel stuck because you’re not sure if you’re doing the right things to be successful. If done correctly, visualization is a powerful way to ensure success in life. A vision board is a tool that will help you manifest the desired outcome of your life.
To learn more and find out how to make your own, check out these 15 awesome vision board tutorials.
10. Make a focus board.
If you struggle with planning and organizing your life, you should consider making a focus board (yes, it’s different than a vision board!)
A focus board will help create a tangible representation of your schedule so you can decrease mental clutter. Think of it as a visual guide for the important areas of your life.
Sometimes, feeling stuck is a result of literally being stuck in the physical location you’re in. The solution? Travel!
World travel isn’t just a new-agey Millennial obsession. Believe it or not, traveling is good for your mental health. It relieves stress, makes you more well-rounded, and opens your mind to different cultures and values.
If you’re bored with your routine, taking a trip is a great way to switch things up. Time to book that flight!
12. See a mental health professional.
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t get excited about life, your confusion and feelings of being lost could be the result of an underlying problem.
Not all issues can be fixed with new routines, trips, and planners. If you’ve been dealing with negative feelings for an extended period of time, the best thing to do is to consult a mental health professional.
There’s nothing wrong with getting help. I’ve seen counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists for my own struggles throughout the years. It can be scary, but the solutions mental health professionals provide are well worth the trouble.