19 Questions To Ask Yourself When You Don’t Know What To Do

Feeling lost and confused is part of life. When you don’t know what to do, these questions will help you find your way again.

If you feel lost and don’t know what to do, you either have too much to do that you don’t know which of them deserves your time. Or you may not have anything in mind that feels meaningful.

Whichever case, it’s normal to feel this way every now and then. But, as counterintuitive as it may sound, these empty life periods can be beneficial.

For one, they are a sign that you are mindful. You won’t have time to think about what to do next if you are in auto-pilot mode. The fact that you stop and wonder shows your reflection on your future and life.

For another, you must get lost first to find your way again. These blank spaces in your schedule give you the time to do so. You can use your downtime to think about what truly matters in your life and what is not working.

So to help you make the most out of this period of life, here is a list of questions to ask yourself when you don’t know what to do. They will lead you to reflect on your goals, core values, and life path, so you can walk out of the confusion with mental clarity and confidence.

Questions to ask yourself when you don’t know what to do

How long can I afford to not do anything?

The first question is a practical one. If you are used to a packed schedule, doing nothing can easily terrify you.

But if you figure out how much cushion you have, you will be more at ease and focused on finding your new direction.

For example, if you quit your job and don’t know what your next career should be like, think about how long you can go without a paycheck.

If you are a student stressing over the choice of majors, be clear about the deadline and the time you have left.

But what if you don’t have a specific deadline? What if the feeling of loss is general and chronic? If that’s the case, set a timeframe and dedicate it for reflection. It can be 1 day or 3 months. As long as you acquire a new understanding during the period, the time is not wasted.

What do I have on my plate now?

Sometimes you don’t know what to do because you have too much to do. And you feel like you are pulled in different directions. But you don’t know which to prioritize and which to ditch.

If that’s the case, it helps to take a step back and evaluate the responsibilities and tasks you have on your shoulder. For example, the list of a working parent may look like this:

  • Taking care of the kids
  • Managing my team at work
  • Helping my sister with her kids
  • Chores at home
  • Running a podcast about parenting

When you have your responsibilities listed, you are more clear about prioritizing. Remember, you can do anything. But you can’t do everything at a time. So pick one as your priority. And don’t forget to delegate or ask for help if you need to.

What will you do if you don't have to worry about money anymore?

What will you do if you don’t have to worry about money anymore?

If you are now given all the time and resources you need, what will you do? This question is perfect for those who need more clarity about their passion.

You may want to be a painter or a musician. Or you want to dedicate yourself to saving endangered species. No dream is too big or too wild.

And with this goal in mind, you can plan your steps toward it. Then, think about the small changes you can make today that will help you to get there.

Baby steps, deep breaths, and focus on the process. And even if you can’t achieve your goals in one day, you will get yourself out of the rut with consistent effort.

What are my goals?

If you have a goal, it’s time to revisit it and remind yourself. But if you don’t have one, it may be why you don’t know what to do for the moment.

So how to find your goals?

One direction to go is to think about the problems you are faced with now, and how you will feel if they are gone.

If you feel significantly better, solving these problems can be your goal for now.

Check out this list of personal goals as well for more inspiration. It includes health, life, career, and mental well-being. Many of us are neglecting life balance, and this list may help you find what’s missing.

What steps do I need to take to reach my goals?

Once you figure out what you want to do in life, it’s time to match it with action.

A big goal itself can be both motivating and intimidating. So to stay on track, split your goal into small steps. Then, write them down and map out a general timeline for each step.

You don’t need to stick to it 100%. But having a timetable as a guideline can really help to keep yourself on track and remind you of your direction.

How do I want to be remembered? - questions for when you don't know what to do

How do I want to be remembered?

If you are not sure about your life purpose or core values, think about writing your own epitaph.

What made me forget about time? - questions for when you don't know what to do

What made me forget about time?

When was the last time you immersed yourself in something while time slipped away? That’s either what you enjoy or are destined to pursue. If you don’t know what to do now, spend more time doing the same thing.

What have I been putting off?

Sometimes you are not really lost. You just don’t want to deal with what’s on hand now.

Procrastination tells a lot about a person. And knowing why you procrastinate may be the key to getting out of the rut.

If you are putting off repetitive tasks, you may be avoiding boredom. Or it may be fear or confusion that’s stopping you. Know your trigger, so you can choose which tasks to tough through and how to stop procrastinating.

Am I supporting myself mentally and physically?

Am I supporting myself mentally and physically?

When you are trapped in self-doubts and confusion, self-care is not something that will pop up in your mind. But it’s also the very time that requires more energy and brain power to sort out your thoughts.

So take a step back and think about how you are supporting yourself. Do you have enough rest and exercise? Are you hydrated and eating properly? Have you spent time relaxing and doing things you love?

If not, it’s time to make it up. Adopt the self-care routine that can fit into your daily schedule. Your mental and physical well-being is the key to feeling good and making wise decisions.

Which part of my life feels meaningful and fulfilling?

Our lives are all made of various little pieces. Some of them might be boring, but some are more exciting. The exciting part may give you clues on what you should do more in the future.

For example, suppose you love meeting new people and connecting with them. Then you may be a good communicator and organizer. If coming up with creative solutions at work is your forte, lean towards the positions that require creativity.

What is one small thing I can do now that will get me closer to my goal?

It’s good to have big goals. But when they are too far out of sight, you can lose track of them and feel stuck. If that’s the case, think of one small thing you can do now.

It can be as simple as writing the first line of a book or sketching a draft. Small achievements like these will create momentum for you to keep going.

Name 3 most precious things or people I have in my life.

It’s easy to feel inadequate or worthless when you only see things you lack. But when you appreciate what you have, you embrace a gratitude mindset. It will bring good energy and joy to your life.

If you are unfamiliar with practicing gratitude, start by listing three things you are grateful for. Then, you can gradually build a habit of gratitude journaling. It will be a source of happiness and faith you need to carry on.

Who is my role model and why do I admire him/her?

Sometimes references can help you figure out what you really want in life. So think about the people that you admire and what makes them admirable?

The point is not about copying the path of your role models. Instead, it’s about understanding what matters to you the most.

Is it because they are super innovative or generous? Do they devote themselves to a good cause? There’s a potential direction for you behind “I wish I could be like her.”

What will I do if no one cares? -questions for when you don't know what to do

What will I do if no one cares?

Imagine now you are unsupervised. Your parents, coworkers, classmates, partner, and kids won’t be bothered by any decision you make. What will you do then?

This question removes the social side of decision-making. It encourages you to listen to your heart instead of worrying about what others will think. By doing so, you are more likely to find the answer you won’t regret later.

When was the last time I felt lost, and how did I cope?

Doubts are inevitable. And chances are they occur every once in a while. But, if you have won the battle agains self-doubts confusion, you will this time.

Reflecting on past experiences helps you to deal with your present problems. And it will give you the confidence boost you need when you don’t know what to do.

How can I become a little better than yesterday?

The best investment of your time is in your personal growth. So if you are not sure what to do currently, think about how to improve yourself.

It can be learning a new skill, adopting a new habit, or reading a book. You will not regret the time spent on making yourself better.

What is not working in my life?

Knowing when to quit is as important as knowing when to persist.

If you’ve done your best and tried multiple times and it still doesn’t work, maybe it’s time to let go. So you can welcome new opportunities or new people.

What dead plants am I watering?

What dead plants am I watering?

One-sided relationships, fake friends, and toxic families are all energy vampires that consume your joy and mental strength. When you stay away from people that drag you down, you can focus more on yourself and your growth.

If I could press the reset button of my life, would I do it?

If I could press the reset button of my life, would I do it? If so, how would I want to live?

This question leads you to the changes you wish to see in your life. In real life, you may not be able to change things like your upbringing or physical appearance. Embrace them as part of your authentic self.

But for things you can change, like education, skills, or career, know that it’s never too late to pivot.

What will you do when you don’t know what to do?

So here are the questions to ask yourself when you don’t know what to do. Feel free to let me know which one relates to you the most. And also, leave a comment about your personal experiences in dealing with doubts and confusion.

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