Okay, so you’ve binge-watched practically every show on Netflix. You’ve finished all your errands. You finally have a day off and you want to do something meaningful for a change. But what? Getting started on a new project or hobby can feel overwhelming and exhausting. Before you give up and sink back into the couch to allow re-runs to stream past your face, try giving your inspiration and creativity a reboot with these 5 tips:
Pick up a book, for goodness sake! It is impossible to become creatively inspired if you aren’t putting any fodder in. Ideas come from other ideas, and they are absolutely not self-perpetuating. If it’s hard to remember the last time you actually finished reading a book, maybe it’s time to reprioritize. Pick up a short book. Read the entire thing. Repeat. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to read. All that matters is that you are exposing yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking. That is the beauty of books—they are portals to completely new worlds. There are books out there that will unlock new ideas and inspirations for you. You just need to take the time to read them.
Stop cultivating a lazy curiosity. Curiosity takes work. If you keep ignoring your instinctual curiosity, you will never progress. Why? Because curiosity is a small trail breadcrumbs that often leads toward inspiration. Listen to your whims, and stop being satisfied by a quick Google search. If you become interested in learning how coffee is roasted, don’t just use the internet. Go talk to your local roaster (or email one, if none are nearby). Wondering how big a regulation boxing ring is? Sign up for a boxing class to see what it’s all about. Indulge in your curiosity and let it lead you on a new journey.
Ask questions. You don’t have to know everything. Seriously. It’s okay to not know things. And it’s even better to ask questions about the things you don’t know. In fact, even if you think you know the answers, ask questions. You may be surprised by what you learn. Those who are uninspired are those who think there is nothing more for them to learn. Learning doesn’t end with a diploma; it is a lifelong pursuit. Always, always continue learning, and ask questions about what you learn. Not only will it make you a more rounded, open human being, but it will unlock new doors to inspiration.
Try something completely new. I mean anything. Fly-fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, sock knitting, watercolor painting, vintage axe restoration, baking challah bread, mountain unicycling… the opportunities are endless! Yes, you’ll probably be pretty bad when you first start—that’s called being a ‘beginner’ and it is perfectly acceptable—but you never know what might light that fire of inspiration within you. Be open to giving anything a few good tries and see what sticks. Plus, what a resumé!
Walk outside. Sometimes, getting stuck in a rut can be literal. You are slumped into your couch, laptop precariously perched on one knee, lights dimmed, television blaring. The cycle has to be broken. So, what have the inspired greats been doing for centuries? Taking a stroll outside. Whether you live on a verdant hillside or an urban sprawl, walking outside provides a stimulating change of scenery. Listen to the birds, the neighbor mowing her lawn, the hustling sidewalk, or the whoosh of cars. Give your mind a reset, and get some fresh air at the same time.
Allow yourself to live richly and authentically. We all get stuck in ruts now and then. But with these tips, you aren’t likely to stay there for long. Get out there!
How do you get yourself out of a rut? Share your thoughts with the community below.