Life is full of routines, many of which can be incredibly beneficial to keeping us fit, healthy, and on top of our working lives.
But sometimes those very routines can dull the vibrant colors of our existence.
You might now be looking at your daily habits and struggle to find the excitement or wonder if what you’re doing is truly fulfilling or just monotonously mundane.
Eat, sleep, work…repeat.
So, how do you know if what you’re doing is actually making your life boring, or if it’s just the standard ebb and flow most people experience?
Is everyone else as bored as you?
To help distinguish the monotonous from the necessary, I’ve compiled a list of 9 habits you need to ditch if you want to spice up your life a little.
1) Living on autopilot
BEEP BEEP BEEP.
The alarm clock rings.
You get up, brush your teeth, have breakfast, go to work, come back home, watch TV, sleep and repeat.
It is endless.
Sound like your typical day?
If the answer is yes, you might well be living your life on autopilot mode.
Like a Sims character.
Living on autopilot means going through your day without really being present or mindful of your actions.
It’s like driving a familiar route and realizing you don’t remember half the trip when you reach your destination (which, with Google Maps and phone navigation, is pretty topical to most of us nowadays. How disgusted our ancestors would’ve been).
While routines can provide structure and efficiency, they can also lead to monotony if not balanced with spontaneity and mindfulness.
Yes, you have to live a little. I know how cliche it sounds.
Constantly reliving the same day could result in a life that feels more like a rerun of yesterday rather than a new episode. A personal Truman Show, if you like.
If you find yourself mindlessly going through the motions of life and feeling disconnected from your experiences, it might be time to hit the pause button.
Start by paying attention to the little details of your day.
Cook something new and savor your meals.
Try out a new hobby or experience, even if it sounds weird and daunting, or even do as little as change your route to work.
Shake it up a little!
These small changes can disrupt the monotony and add that much-needed spice to your life.
2) Not making time for hobbies
When was the last time you did something because you actually enjoyed it?
Not because you had to.
If you can’t think of such a time, then you may have fallen into the trap of sidelining your hobbies.
In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to deprioritize activities that don’t contribute directly to our responsibilities or goals.
If anything, we start to feel guilty when we don’t focus on actions that shimmy us closer to our professional goals or add to our savings account.
Cue a life that’s all work and no play.
Hobbies are not just about filling time.
They’re about feeding your soul, exploring your passions, and adding richness to your life.
They can bring a sense of achievement, offer an escape from daily pressures, and even spark new ideas.
So dust off that guitar, pull out those paintbrushes, or lace up those running shoes.
Rekindling your hobbies or finding new ones can infuse your life with color and excitement.
It’s time to stop viewing them as luxuries and start seeing them as necessities for a vibrant life.
3) Saying “no” to new experiences
My boyfriend has tugged at my sleeve and tried to get me to try rock climbing so many times.
My immediate reaction was, “No way, that’s not for me”.
Heaving myself up a plastic wall in a scratchy harness in a truly unbecoming fashion? No thank you.
But then I caught myself out.
Was I refusing because I genuinely had no interest or was it just fear of the unfamiliar? It’s not exactly free climbing, so the chances of an early demise are slim to none.
I decided to give it a go (go, me!), and to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It’s not exactly top of my list of go-to hobbies, but I did prove to myself that new opportunities can be fun and exciting, and that I should definitely be braver in trying new experiences more often.
Fear of the unknown is natural, but if we let it dictate our choices, we can miss out on so many amazing experiences.
Saying “no” to new opportunities out of habit or fear can be one of the biggest causes of such a mundane and monotonous life.
It’s important to remember that every master was once a beginner.
So whether it’s trying a new cuisine, learning a new language, or even rock climbing, saying “yes” more often can open doors to adventures you never knew existed and add a dash of that zesty spice to your life.
4) Limiting social interaction
Humans are inherently social creatures.
In fact, studies have shown that strong social connections can increase our lifespan, improve our health, and even boost our happiness levels.
Yet, so many of us fall into the habit of limiting our social interactions. And yes, I’m including myself in that list.
Whether it’s turning down invites to social events, not making an effort to meet new people, or keeping conversations surface-level, restricting our social sphere can lead to a stagnant and unfulfilling life.
Connecting with others opens up a world of possibilities – sharing experiences, learning from different perspectives, forging deep relationships, and even stumbling upon unexpected opportunities.
So, take that chance. If, like me, you’re naturally a little introverted, this is difficult – I know.
But the more you face the fear, the less scary it gets.
Accept the next invitation you receive, strike up a conversation with someone new, or deepen existing relationships.
By expanding your social circle, you can add a wealth of experiences and flavors to your life.
5) Avoiding risks
Often, we avoid risks out of fear of failure or loss.
And by risks, I don’t mean potentially life-threatening ventures. Just little invitations or tasks that could somehow go wrong and not end up in the way that we want them to.
But living a risk-free life can lead to a life that’s free of excitement too, and that sucks.
Taking calculated risks can lead to new opportunities and experiences that add depth and character to our lives.
It’s not about being reckless; it’s about not letting fear prevent us from pursuing our passions or trying something new.
6) Overindulging in technology
In this digital age, it’s easy to lose ourselves in the endless scroll of social media feeds, binge-watching television series, or constantly checking emails.
Algorithms are literally built to keep you coming back for more; it’s an addiction.
And while technology has its benefits, overindulging can lead to a life that feels more virtual than real.
Engaging with the world around us, rather than through a screen, can add a depth of experience that pixels can’t compete with.
So try swapping screen time with a walk in the park, a board game with friends, or simply enjoying a quiet moment with your thoughts.
It’ll probably be difficult at first. You’ll be strolling around the park, fingers itching to pull out your phone and check your notifications.
But you might be surprised by how much these simple experiences rejuvenate your senses and add spice to your life.
7) Neglecting self-care
Many of us think that when we’re very busy and hammered with deadlines, sacrificing self-care is the best step to create extra free time to work on these projects.
I’m no different. During stressful exam periods, I’d skip meals to meet deadlines, sacrifice sleep for late-night projects, and ignore signs of stress.
I lived off diet drinks and caffeine pills, and it wasn’t until I’d been awake for 3 days in a row, eyes twitching and beginning to hallucinate, that I realized my mistake.
Self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.
Regular exercise, balanced meals, sufficient sleep, and managing stress not only contribute to better physical health but also enhance mental well-being.
Incorporating self-care into your routine can add a sense of balance and fulfillment that makes everyday life feel less like a chore and more like a joy.
8) Resisting change
Change is an inevitable part of life.
Yet, many of us resist it because it disrupts our comfort zone.
Many of us love the comfort zone, and for good reason. It’s safe and warm and fuzzy, and nothing bad happens.
But there’s nothing new and certainly no growth that takes place in the comfort zone either.
Embracing change can be big or small; whether it’s as simple as rearranging furniture and putting your sofa at a new angle, or something as significant as moving to a new city.
All of these changes can bring about new opportunities and experiences.
And change, however scary it may be, adds up variety and brings challenges which builds your character and keeps life interesting.
9) Ignoring personal development
Growth doesn’t stop at adulthood; it’s a lifelong journey. Ignoring personal development – learning new skills, expanding your knowledge base, exploring your potential – can lead to a stagnant life.
Investing time in personal development can be incredibly rewarding.
It can open up new interests, boost self-confidence, and lead to personal and professional growth.
And as you learn and grow, you’ll find that life becomes more interesting and exciting.
Remember, spicing up your life doesn’t require grand gestures.
Small changes in your daily habits can make a significant difference.
So, say goodbye to these boring habits and embrace the vibrant life you deserve.