Action Leads to Action
We all get stuck in ruts from time to time. You know you’re in a rut when every day seems the same, and those days aren’t very enjoyable. After a while, it’s hard to know the best way to bring about the changes that can make life exciting, interesting, and enjoyable again. Ruts tend to be self-perpetuating and require a decent amount of energy to get back out.
Focusing on the rut is not the way to break free from it! You grow what you focus on, so to get out of a rut, you will need to focus on activities, behaviors, and actions that you enjoy, that get the creativity flowing, or that will move you towards your goals.
But once you get that energy flowing, the actionable steps lead to progress, which will lead to repeated, consistent action. The progress becomes the reward and a motivating bonus is that you will see your goals began to manifest. Boom! Behavior based goal setting! A win-win for busting through a rut and creating your breakthrough!
Rut-Busting Strategies to Get Started
Realize that your discomfort is a good sign.
As humans, we tend to feel uncomfortable when we experience change in our lives. Accept the fact you might have some challenging feelings to navigate as you come out of your rut and get your life back on track.
Find a passion or interest to add to your life.
Now’s the perfect time to take up yoga or the guitar. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to paint or try out mountaineering, go for it!
- Your concerns and worries vanish when you’re involved with something that fascinates you.
- Make a list of the things you’ve never tried, but have always wanted to. Find one or two things that interest you the most and give them a shot.
Schedule your new activity.
Make your new hobby a priority by scheduling it into your life. It should get the high-priority status it deserves.
Look for a new job.
Work takes up a lot of our waking hours, so life is much more enjoyable when you like the field you choose. If you feel like you’re in a rut, maybe a career change is in order. There’s no reason to spend the majority of your adult life in a career that doesn’t interest and excite you.
Sometimes we spend so much of the day sitting and staring at a computer screen that we forget about our bodies.
- A body can’t stay healthy if it doesn’t get the chance to stretch, move around, and exert itself a bit each day.
- If you’re not active, consider adding some exercise into your day.
See the doctor.
If multiple aspects of your life seem to be in a rut, it might be time to see the doctor. It’s possible than an underlying health issue might be the culprit of your rut.
It can be overwhelming to change every aspect of your life at once. Avoid trying to change too much too quickly.
- Make a list of everything you would like to change about your life.
- Start with either the easiest or most meaningful change.
- Plan the best course of action for you at this time. You can always add in additional changes over time.
Set a goal.
If you’re lost, sometimes a goal is the best tool to refocus. Having a clear target can help you stay on track.
- A goal provides a clear, measurable, and time-based objective.
- The key is to pick a goal that will enhance your life.
Go someplace new.
Have you ever noticed you have a different perspective when you’re in an airplane and look down? Life just seems a little different.
- Experience a new location. The different surroundings and people are bound to alter your outlook on life. You might only have to hop in your car and head for the city or mountains.
These tips to jumpstart your life today and get out of that rut can be applied to any aspect of your life. You can also try some of the additional strategies below tailored to your work life and your personal life, respectively.
Rejuvenating Passions in Your Professional Life
- Reconnect with former colleagues. If you’re feeling more energetic now that the days are getting longer, use that time to look up people you’ve fallen out of touch with. Strengthen your network. Call up an old coworker to get together for lunch.
- Learn a new skill. Ask your human resources department about any training programs available in your workplace. Order a catalog from your local community college. Take a course on project management or negotiation skills.
- Brighten your office. Hang up new wall art or change your computer wallpaper to a new image like colorful birds or a country lane. Pick up a pretty desk lamp at a thrift shop.
- Switch to a standing desk. Improve your health and boost your energy levels. Stand up while you work. Studies show that you may add an average of three years to your life.
- Edit your resume. Give your resume the once over. Add in your most recent accomplishments. You’ll feel more motivated and better prepared for your next job search or performance evaluation.
- Be kind to your coworkers. Helping others is the most effective path to happiness. Offer praise generously. Pitch in when you see a coworker struggling with their workload.
Rejuvenating Passions in Your Personal Life
- Volunteer. Share your high spirits with others in need in your community. Spend a weekend afternoon sorting cans at a neighborhood food bank. Register for a walkathon for your favorite cause.
- Exercise outdoors. Take a break from the treadmill. Join a softball league or play volleyball on the beach. Browse online for outdoor tai chi or yoga classes.
- Update your look. When you look better, you feel better. Treat yourself to a spa day. If money is tight, give yourself some home treatments like a rose water skin toner or avocado hair conditioner.
- Tend to your garden. Gardening is good for your body and mind. Mow the lawn and prune trees and shrubs that may have been damaged over the winter. Get ready for your pretty new flower beds.
- Banish clutter. Give yourself more breathing room. Use spring cleaning as an opportunity to discard things you rarely use. List them for sale online or donate them to a charity shop.
- Go on a double date. See your partner in new light by going out to dinner with another couple. You’ll have fun and discover new ways of interacting. If you’re between relationships, organize a group activity where you can meet new people with less pressure than on a conventional date.
- Unleash your creativity. Make time for creative pursuits. Visit an art museum and really engage with the works. Tour an art supply store for new ideas for craft time with your kids. Build a birdhouse out of wood or from a gourd you grew yourself.
- Indulge in spring vegetables and fruit. Seasonal produce is one of the greatest pleasures of spring. Whip up a parfait of mixed berries, granola and yogurt. Sautee asparagus in garlic and butter. Bake a rhubarb tart for dessert or toss chopped rhubarb with raisins and walnuts for an easy salad.
I hope that you can see the light at the end of your tunnel! Get into motion so that you can build the momentum of behaviors, actions, and rewarding progress that will pull you from a rut, sustain your motivation, and propel towards your goals today!