5 ways to banish the work blahs

January 16, 2017
Woman happy at work

We’ve all been there: in a job to which we’ve resigned ourselves. “It’s good enough,” we tell ourselves, and we try to focus on the positive. But we just can’t shake that weighed-down feeling.

Whatever the cause of your work ennui, we’ve put together five ways to help you feel better:

  1. Make something right now (artistic ability not required).
    When you’re feeling powerless at work, or in any aspect of your life, making something is a great way to boost your energy and confidence. Things you can make include: a cake, a journal entry, a garden, a website, an article that you publish on LinkedIn, a drawing, a Spotify playlist, or a collage. Have fun, and don’t judge the results — they aren’t the point. The point is to have fun (yes, fun! Remember that?) and to enjoy the sense of agency you get from making something. Now imagine
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Overthinking: Surprisingly helpful advice from an internet meme

January 6, 2017
Lauree Ostrofsky on overthinking

This post is part of our Stuck Together series, where guest writers explore the ways we all get stuck each and every day. 

I’m a chronic overthinker. So much so that the thrill of the new year and new beginnings can quickly turn into searching for the right choice and worrying about getting it all wrong (classic Waffler).

Leave it to Facebook for a funny-but-true sign I’m not alone. When I saw this the other day, I thought, “Yep. Pretty
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How to stop planning and start doing

January 2, 2017
stop planning, start doing

There is nothing I love more than a fresh planner. I love goal setting and making to-do lists and organizing my thoughts to no end. As someone who often gets stuck in Idle Achiever mode, planning is my preferred method of procrastination. It feels really productive. But there certainly comes a point when planning gets in the way of doing.

If you like to hunker down in planning mode when you should be getting down to business, here are some tips to help you get the ball rolling:

1. Set small goals

You don’t need an elaborate master plan for every single task. Don’t drag out the planning process until it becomes bogged down in detail. Set small, simple goals and work toward them immediately. When your emphasis is on the work, you’ll get to your desired result.

James Clear, who writes about habit transformation, says that your focus should
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How to use positivity to transform difficult holiday celebrations

December 20, 2016

The holidays can be tough. Sure, there’s pie and presents and fa la la la la, la la la la. But there are also difficult family dynamics, often left over from years gone by. Those dynamics can lead to upsetting conversations (and on the heels of an vitriolic election season, politics might put extra strain on your relationships). Sometimes, it might even feel like your whole family tripped head-over-heels into a time-traveling vortex as everyone slips into familiar roles: the overbearing parent, the constant screw-up, or the goody-two-shoes, to name a few.

But wait — don’t reach for that third glass of spiked eggnog just yet. There’s hope for this year.
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How guilt paralyzes us

December 12, 2016

Change is hard. Earlier this year, reporter Libby Copeland investigated the science behind why we resist change, and then we asked you to write in with your stories of being stuck. We got fascinating responses, and we are diving deep into one of those stories here. You can go back and read the first four parts, covering how our discomfort with uncertainty, our fear of loss, our habits, and our relationships can get in the way of us making a change.

Lynne emailed us a few months ago because she felt enormously conflicted. At 55, she wanted to start a new life across the country with her second husband, a move that necessitated leaving her small community, her job, and most of her five grown kids. She wanted to go, but she didn’t want to go. “Just when I think I can do this, everything in me wants to scream
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Stuck together: When none of the options feel right, but aren’t wrong either

December 5, 2016
Lauree Ostrofsky on overthinking

We’re thrilled to debut a new column on the Unstuck blog from writer and life coach Lauree Ostrofsky. When our app pegged Lauree as being stuck as a Waffler, the archetype resonated with her deeply, so much so that now she’s writing a column for anyone else who waffles. In today’s post, she says being a Waffler has some hidden benefits and offers a profound insight into why indecision happens — and how to move past
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Taking the blinders off

November 28, 2016
Kimberly Wilson on tunnel vision

In our Reader Stories series, Unstuck readers share personal stories about getting stuck — and unstuck. Here, writer, psychotherapist, entrepreneur, animal rights activist and yoga teacher Kimberly Wilson talks about feeling stuck as a Tunnel Visionary.

I find myself daily sitting at a desk surrounded by books on writing and Moleskines filled with ideas. There’s also a pile of study materials for an upcoming licensing exam and a nearby shelf overflowing with business books. The feeling of stuckness permeates, so I recently worked through the Unstuck app and was diagnosed as being stuck in this moment as a Tunnel Visionary — blinded to possibilities outside my direct line of sight.

For someone with an entrepreneurial spirit and zest for making things happen who tends to operate with a five-year plan in hand, the future feels cloudy at the moment — out of focus. I’m studying a new writing
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Here we are. Where are we?

November 14, 2016

Unstuck is not political. Nor does it comment on religious beliefs.

Unstuck is about living better. Striving to be our best selves. And in this moment of unrest in America, we’re not sure any of us are doing either of those things.

The reasons don’t matter. The consequences do.

We’re feeling attacked. We’re feeling righteous. We are visibly, audibly, emotionally, physically divided. And it hurts.

It doesn’t matter what side you’re on (if you’re on a side). It hurts. Even for those whose anger has been unleashed, it hurts. The pain of being misunderstood. Of not being heard. Of losing hope. In this moment, we are all united in despair.

Some of us are showing up in hateful ways. Some of us are showing up in angry ways. Some of us are retreating. Some visibly scared. None of us is showing up as our best selves.

It hurts.

Where do we go from here? Do we stand
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Get your gratitude glow on

November 8, 2016
get gratitude

When prompted to list the things we’re grateful for, it’s easy to give the same answers every time:

“My family”
“My health”
“My family’s health”

These things are undoubtedly important — we should be grateful for them. But that pesky word, “should,” can be telling. Anything with a “should” attached to it can feel heavy. Pure gratitude, on the other hand, feels light — like a warm glow spreading through you.

Plus, when we recite the same list of things we’re thankful for over and over again, our authentic feelings of gratitude can get stale.

So how can we tap into gratitude in a way that feels fresh each time?

We’ve put together a printable exercise that helps you do just that. (Click the link or the image below to print the exercise.)

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20 tiny ways to kick-start a change

October 31, 2016
kick-start a change

When you’re longing for a change, it’s time to build your enthusiasm with any of these 20 change kick-starters. There’s no reason to wait — that perfect moment almost never appears.

1. Ask yourself: If not now, when?

2. Decide to change.

3. Say your goal out loud to yourself or someone else. It feels good.

4. Ask yourself: What would life be like without this change?

5. Release yourself and others from blame. It doesn’t matter how you got where you are.

6. Build your intolerance for how things are now.

7. Each time you complain about things, stop and come up with a solution.

8. Ask yourself: Who do I know who has done something like this? It’s instant inspiration.

9. Describe who you will be after the change.

10. Dream large about the outcome.

11. Acknowledge what you’re afraid of. Remind yourself that it’s worth the risk.

12. Ask yourself: What do I have control over in this situation?
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