Career

6 Easy Ways To Reboot Your Life When Things Aren’t Going To Plan

Many of us go through life working to a timeline. There’s the great career, your first home, then kids. But sometimes life doesn’t go to plan.

When we aren’t where we thought we “should” be things can get messy: we can become confused, stressed and anxious about where to go next.

If you’re stuck in a rut, beating yourself up and comparing yourself to others, don’t despair. Here are some tips to help reboot, re-think and rediscover your definition of a successful life.

#1 Give yourself a break and recharge

Speaking from experience, this is the first step to getting motivated again. Stop with the negativity, stop stressing about how you haven’t reached a certain goal – and breathe.

If you need a doona day where you sleep away your worries, or to watch crappy TV in your Peter Alexanders, then do it. You need to listen to what your body needs, mentally and physically.

GP Dr Chloe Kindred says it’s both normal and productive to take a mental health day every now and again if we feel overwhelmed. However she does advise that if days turn into weeks we should check in with our GP.

#2 Have fun

Playing, laughing and having fun is one of life’s necessities according to Diet-less Living Expert, Katie Gordon.

“Stress has been proven to shrink parts of your brain, so if you’re playing and not stressing its gold for your brain” she says. “Develop a playful nature and you’ll soon see a stimulated imagination, a close connection with others and the ability to solve problems.”

My suggestion? Dance your pants off. Happy tunes make the dullest of tasks that little bit more bearable. Who knew you could smile and mop at the same time?

#3 Sort out your sleep

Everyone has different needs when it comes to sleep but if you aren’t getting enough of the quality stuff, it really affects your overall wellbeing and productivity.

Dr Kindred says it’s essential to have a good routine that enables restorative sleep.

“I call it ‘sleep hygiene’” she says. “While waking at the same time each day might be a killjoy on the weekends, it’s the anchor of the sleep cycle, allowing your brain to help set a strong circadian rhythm. It’s ok to sleep in a little, but be mindful that more than 30 minutes past your usual wake up time may leave you feeling slightly jet lagged.”

#4 To do lists

Lists give us a sense of accomplishment. Make a (realistic, achievable) list in the morning and tick off completed tasks as you go. It could be as simple as ‘clean the dog hair off your work pants’. When you see it ticked off you’ll feel productive to the max.

Also, “what I’ve done lists” works a treat for motivation and fulfilment. It amazes me the emails I’ve sent, the calls I’ve made and the cobwebs I’ve destroyed when my achievements are written down.

Katie Gordon stresses the importance of getting jobs and worries out of your head and on to paper to free up brain space for other things.

“Writing down what you’ve achieved is a reality check” she says. “We often lie to ourselves about what we’ve accomplished. Yes, maybe we didn’t change the world that day but we can get a lot of things done and need to celebrate our achievements.”

#5 Gratitude and perspective

When I’m cursing my life, wondering why my mates have their shit together and I’m not the CEO of a multimillion dollar company living in an inner-city converted warehouse, I force myself to remember what I do have. This was highlighted to me by friends and family on a recent trip to the UK when they told me they envied my life.

MY life.

“You’re a freelancer, you have no ties, you can go anywhere in the world, you don’t have a mortgage, no kids and you live in AUSTRALIA!” they said.

Ah yeah, OK, when you put it that way…

Now I practise gratitude: for the friends and family who come round with spag bol when I’m down, the roof over my head and the health I have. Watching docos and listening to podcasts about what’s really going on in the world also give me greater perspective.

#6 Go against your instincts

Katie believes the main reason people are stuck in a rut or unable to make change is fear.

To get friendly with fear, she suggests asking yourself regularly what instincts are telling you to do.

“Look at your first response to something and do the opposite, or something completely different. Want a coffee? Have water. Need to do housework? Go do something enjoyable. If you always sit with people in your lunch hour, go find a spot and eat alone. Whatever it is, shake up your normal routine.”


A published freelance writer from print to online, Katy’s passion is honest authentic writing. From the mundane experience to a sensational observation, Katy always finds a way to voice what she sees. Relatable and quirky, she writes with warmth and familiarity. She also loves lists, matching socks and edamame beans.