Recently, you’ve noticed you’re feeling bored at work, confused in your relationship, unsettled at home and less than motivated in class.
If you’ve been riding the status quo for a while, it might be time to kick things up a notch. When we start to feel like things that formerly held our attention have become stagnant (read: unchallenging, uninteresting, stale), we run the risk of burning out our motivation entirely, which leads to poor performance, a lack of attention and a general undoing of our hard work. Occasional shake-ups can provide motivation via excitement and help ensure we’re on the right track.
To continue moving onwards and upwards in your life’s adventures, take stock of where you can move things to the next level. When things feel challenging (in a good way) and positive, we work harder. Our interest stays piqued. We pay attention. We’re more invested.
Here’s how to know you’re ready to kick it up a notch at work, in your relationships, at home and in your workouts.
Feeling challenged, useful and valued at work is essential to staying focused and motivated. If you’ve grown complacent in your role, it could be time to have a chat about next steps: promotions, new responsibilities, new projects. If you’re feeling bored, you’ll start to feel frustrated. Frustration breeds resentment, which can ruin relationships and smother future job possibilities. Get ahead of the boredom curse by asking for what you need.
In your relationships
Knowing whether your relationship is ready for the next level requires a conversation with your partner. Take stock of your relationship inventory: Is there mutual trust and respect? Openness? A willingness to compromise and collaborate? Do you disagree productively? Do you have similar visions for your lives, including things like where you’ll live, whether you want kids, what your day-to-day life looks like, your politics?
If it looks like you’re on the same page and things are heading in the same shared direction, it could be time to begin making next-level plans. This might look like saving for a wedding, a home or a world-tour trip. It might mean discussing introducing your families or opening a shared bank account. Whatever it looks like for your unique relationship, it’s worth having an exploratory conversation to see if you’re both willing to make the effort towards a longer-term commitment.
With your home
Do a gut check of where you—and your finances—are now in relation to where you’d like to be in two, three or five years. Is sharing an apartment with eight roommates really your best option, or could you open up your budget to a less-populated alternative? Are you currently renting but know you’ll be staying in the same city for several years to come? Do the math and decide if a mortgage on a first home might be more affordable than your current rent over the next five years.
If the class that used to feel challenging no longer gets your heart rate pounding or your muscles burning in quite the same way, it might be time to go next level. Consider going up in your weights, trying the harder modification or pushing for just a few extra RPM on the stationary bike. Look for options that will push your boundaries, and explore classes on ClassPass that sound scary. You might find your new favorite thing and feel extra motivated to work hard.