How’s your week looking? Like every other week you say? For a huge number of people these days, it’s feeling like a rerun of last week… or the week before… or the week before that. It can be an exhausting experience too, especially if you don’t particularly care for the way things are feeling in your life. Human beings are hardwired for sensory input. Our five common senses need a little workout now and again. A little excitement, adventure, or at the very least… CHANGE!
It doesn’t have to be earth rattling, or even dramatic, but it does need to happen. Why? Because even when things are going great, all of us need some kind of constant reinforcement to feel like we’re moving ahead in the right direction. Nobody likes to feel trapped or held back. So, what do we do about it?
First, understand that it’s very likely that your “rut” is not due to a lack of creativity or opportunities. It’s much more likely that you’re experiencing a pattern where you’ve grown accustomed to looking at managing day-to-day changes in a particular way that might not be working so great for you anymore. The good news is that there are some relatively easy things you can do to shake things up a little, and get back into a positive flow with life again. Let’s take a look.
1. Make A Commitment. There’s A Cost For Comfort
Here’s the first place to look for a breakthrough. Although you might not think so, you’re probably quite comfortable with the rut you’re living in. Not the kind of comfortable that feels warm and cozy, but the kind of comfortable that means not much is required of you to stay where you are. It’s like being in a holding pattern. You’re probably not going out of your way to see many other options or solutions to escape your rut. The idea is not to become uncomfortable, but to be willing to take some kind of simple action that will put you in a different space.
Commit to making a simple change in the routine of one or more parts of your normal day. Maybe it begins with a different breakfast (or just having a breakfast for you rushed types), taking a few minutes to travel a different route to work, going old school and reading a morning paper instead of planting your face in the computer, or going to bed on time for a change (instead of burning the candle at both ends). You get the idea?
It’s all about what you’ll experience by making a small, easy, but deliberate change in your routine that puts you outside of your normal routine.
2. Be A Critical Thinker. You’ve Got a Head. Use it!
It’s time for some deliberate and conscious thought that will lead us to some deliberate and conscious action. Humans are creatures of habit, and we do a lot of mindless stuff. Even more than that, we also give credit to things (usually more mindless stuff) that are clearly not deserving of the credit. For instance, we might attribute the success or good luck we had on our last attempt at something as being because we wore our lucky shirt, or we said a certain prayer, or we invoked a certain lucky number. Get real people! Consciously think about what you’re doing. Weigh your options and choices and then make a well informed decision.
Your rut only gets deeper when you allow, endorse, and put your faith in mindless, sometimes superstitious activities to rule your life. You’ll find that your odds at being successful always increase through consciously and deliberately making a decision based upon your best judgement of the options in front of you.
3. Be Realistic About How Long It Might Take.
Take a breath! When we’re ready for change, we usually want it right now. Realistically, it might take longer than we anticipate it will. This isn’t a reason not to change, but many people get an unrealistic opinion of everything involved with making changes. With that said, change can also happen very fast. How fast it happens always depends on how committed you are to beginning the change, and how committed you are to staying with the change.
Lots of people have great ideas and are plagued with procrastination. Lots of people don’t have a problem with procrastination, but their constitution for keeping up with the change quickly wears thin. This ties back in with the cost of comfort. You must be willing to generously add to and sustain your own efforts. Big positive results await those who are willing to “walk the walk” of change.
4. Do It! Wimping Out Is Not An Option
Your ace in the hole is to set up a fail-safe strategy for when the inevitable bump in the road tries to take you down. If you realize from the beginning that you ARE going to have some challenges, you’ll be much better equipped to handle them and move on… back to your processes. Realize that regret doesn’t help you. If you fall back into your rut, take a moment to honor what happened and to regroup and begin again… with NO REGRETS! You’re human after all. Things are gonna happen. Review your goals if you need to. Make sure they’re attainable, then begin again.
I know how mundane a rut can be. I’ve been in them. I also know how invigorating and empowering it feels to take them on and beat them! It’s in your best interest. It’s part of what you’re about. A new feeling awaits you, and it’s a good one!
Have a strategy for getting out of ruts that works for you? Leave a comment below!