One Daily Question that Will Keep Your Life from Stagnating

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One Daily Question that Will Keep Your Life from Stagnating

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You get up. You go to work. You go home. You go to sleep. And you repeat this pattern until all of a sudden, months have passed and you're not exactly sure what - if anything - you have to show for it (except maybe a few more wrinkles).

You've stagnated.

How do you get out of this rut? Heck - how did the rut form to begin with? You didn't even see it coming. One Daily Question that Will Keep Your Life from Stagnating

Consider yourself lucky if only a month has passed in this time warp of a work/life routine. Some people only wake up after years of monotonous uninspired repetition, often only to realize that they've not only lost their lust for life, but they've damaged important relationships in the process.

In order to avoid this ugly pitfall, there is but one daily question you can ask yourself. Ask it every day before you go to sleep, and be honest in your response; lying placates nobody but you.

Your Daily Question:

If today were my last day on earth, how would I feel about the life I've lived?

Asking this question is not a morbid search for regret. Instead, it's a way to determine if you have any unfinished business; things you might be ignoring or have put off in favor of your current routine, finances, or life structure. It's all too easy to put blinders on and maintain a routine; however it can come at the unfortunate expense of opportunity, and often happiness as well.

Saying you'll do something "later" in life isn't usually inspirational enough to keep you happy now.

Asking this question is a great way to lend your life some perspective. If today actually is your last day on earth, do you really think you'll wish you could have put more time in at the office? Will your attentiveness to some of the smaller things you tend to focus on still seem as important?

This question is also a way to help you define your dreams and start achieving them. You've always dreamed of learning to ski, but it just hasn't happened so far. You'd love to see Paris, but it seems so far away (in every respect). And you've always wanted to train for a half-marathon, but it is so daunting a task that you never took that first step.

(Not yet).

By asking yourself every night how you feel about your life thus far, you can identify what's important to you, as well as what you have left to do that is important. You can celebrate your victories and identify the areas for improvement.

This is your opportunity to develop a bucket list of sorts. Except the catch is, you never know when the end will come, so you'd better make sure you're always doing something to get you closer to the life of your dreams. Because even if the steps you take towards your ambitions are baby ones, simply taking those steps can change your outlook on a lot of things.

So once you've asked the daily question, you need an action plan. When you wake up in the morning, what will you do that will get you one step closer to helping you resolve your unfinished business?

Did you realize you'd like to be in touch with your family more often? Easy fix: pick up the phone.

Would you like to take a vacation? Great: start saving your money, and read some travel brochures and magazines for inspiration and motivation.

Are you looking for a new career or hobby? There's no time like the present to see what extra-curricular courses your local community college offer.

If there's something you want to do in life, then even taking tiny steps to get you there is almost always better than doing nothing. Because if you're not constantly striving towards living the life of your dreams, what's the point in living?

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Nora DunnNora Dunn

Nora Dunn is The Professional Hobo: a full-time traveler and freelance writer. She is a contributing writer under our Life Balance blog. Having sold her business and belongings to travel, she has been on the road since 2007. She travels in a financially sustainable manner, taking advantage of creative volunteering positions. As a former certified Financial Planner, she is financially responsible for her actions along the way. She believes there is a fine balance between planning for tomorrow, and living for today. Compensated CareOne Blogger. You can follow Nora on Twitter @hobonora

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  • Thanks, Nora! Way to get me out of my rut. I was just asking myself the question: "It's March. Where am I with the goals I said I'd accomplish during the first quarter of the year?" I have some catching up to do. Three weeks to go before Q1 is over! =)

  • @smontoya - I'm glad this helped! It's always good to do a "gut check" once in a while. Here's to a happy Q2!

  • I was stuck in a rut and I didn't know what to do to change the vicious cycle I was in. Arriving at my wit's end, I had to do something. Self-help books weren't particularly effective, meditation was lost on me, and keeping busy to take my mind off the

  • Although things may feel the same, more changes than we think. And if we review finances regularly, it's not a long arduous process; it's empowering and easy.

  • When you approach your life with total gratitude, the resulting opportunities can be profound. Sometimes it leads to financial profit, sometimes other kinds.

  • Reaching your goals can be a tiresome slog, but it doesn't have to be an act of sheer miserable force of will. Here are some tips to help you maintain the discipline to reach your goals - with minimal pain and lots to gain.

  • Making big life changes can be so daunting some people don't even get started. Whether it's buying a house, starting a business, getting married (or divorced!), changing career or lifestyle, losing weight, or eliminating debt, life changes require patience

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