“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden”
–Johann von Goethe
Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Are you caught up in the same old routine day after day and feel like you’re getting nowhere? Do you feel like you are capable of having more, doing more, and being more?
Our lives are full of repetitious activities from eating to sleeping to brushing our teeth. We travel to work on the same roads, or train, or bus day after day. We take the same elevator, we encounter the same people, we do the same work, we go home, eat, sleep and start all over again. Some repetition is useful and necessary – too much seems to lead to the formation of a rut.
Whenever I start to feel like I’m in a rut I change things up a little. I’ll throw a party, go out with a friend I haven’t seen in awhile, set new goals, go someplace I haven’t been before, find a new recipe to cook, change how I exercise, or learn something new. I don’t like being bored. What do you do to get out of a rut? If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut then keep reading.
How To Get Out of a Rut:
1 – First realize that you are actually stuck in a rut. Coming home from work everyday and just vegging in front of the tv until you go to sleep is a good indicator that you are in a rut.
2 – Figure out the source of your rut. Look at the areas of your life you consider ruts – what activity did you do repetitively that got you into the rut? Why was it a good thing at first and not good now?
3 – Do you want to get out of the rut?
But if we say we don’t like the rut – are we sure we really want it to go away? We must sometimes examine the reasons for our ruts. It may be there to protect us from some pain we perceive that the effort to change would cause.
Most of us don’t change (behaviors, attitudes, relationships) until the pain gets great enough. This doesn’t need to be physical pain – psychological and emotional pain can cause us to change as well. The desire to get out of a rut – in our relationships, our jobs, our free time – will only motivate us when the alternatives become unattractive enough.
So your first task in rut busting is to honestly ask yourself if the pain you feel is sufficient to move you in some other direction. If the answer is “no” then the next task is to begin to add reasons to change. Start a list – write down as many reasons as you can to change and a second list of reasons to let things remain “as is.” -Hal Warfield, “Rut Busting: How You Got Into a Rut and How to Get Out”
4 – Embrace Change.
“If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” –Maya Angelou
Unfortunately, most people hate change, and despise it with a passion. But, life is always in the process of change. There is nothing in life that is stagnant. We are either in the process of growth or in the process of decay.
Look what happens to a fruit after it reaches it’s ripest stage… it rots.
Change is the only thing that is constant in life. It’s always happening, and we are either moving forward in life or we are moving backward.
Life is all about change and there is no escaping it. Change is good, and a person is the most happy when he or she is working toward a goal. That’s why “success” is not a destination to be reached. “Success” is the journey! And, along the journey there will obviously be change.
Who really wants to experience a life without a challenge? Be honest, how bored would you be with nothing to strive toward? -Daniel N. Brown, “How To Get Out of a Rut”
5 – Define what inspires you.
There’s a big difference between taking action out of inspiration versus desperation. What are you good at? What are you doing when you feel most fulfilled? What would you do for absolutely free? What moves you emotionally? When you answer these questions you’ll begin to uncover the things that inspire you. Maybe you feel you’re working a dead-end job in a field you’re not passionate about, but love sports and have always dreamed of working in athletics. Then apply for assistant coaching positions or coach a Little League team. Do it because you love it, not for the money. The money will come if you consistently act out of inspiration. An inspired individual enthusiastically rises every morning ready to face the day head-on, knowing that challenges and obstacles are nothing more than speed bumps along the road to success, wealth and fulfillment. You must first get clear on what moves you and you’ll see your life start to head in an exciting new direction. -James Ray, “5 Steps to Get Out of a Rut”
6 – Develop a plan of action against the rut.
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.” –Benjamin Disraeli
- Set goals
- Set challenges
- Set clear intentions – Goals are finish lines, but intention is the process of achievement. An intention has resolve, discipline and commitment. Once you’ve established what truly inspires and moves you, the next step is to set a clear intention to guide your unconscious mind. Be specific. How many pounds do you want to lose in the next 90 days? How much money do you want to earn over the next year? How many dates do you want to go on over the next two months? Then envision what your life will look like once you’ve achieved your intention. When you create a strong enough reason within you, you get it done. Understanding this gives you the edge – but applying it will yank you out of your rut. -James Ray
7 – Stay Positive. Feed your brain positive information. Focus on the present. Don’t spend time regretting the past. Learn to manage your thoughts. Don’t keep complaining. Keep your attention focused on your intention.
8 – Action. Do something different. Try new things. Learn a new skill. Spend time with enthusiastic people.
- Creative activities such as art, music, and writing can be very stress relieving and give you an outlet to express yourself.
- Join a club, engage in new tasks at work, exercise, try a new exercise, read articles or books about others who have achieved great things, learn a new hobby, take lessons, read books on the subject, connect with people with a similar passion, turn off the television, go back to school, sleep more, eat better/healthier, find new recipes to try, try different ethnic foods, try new restaurants, do something for other people, volunteer, incorporate humor, look at things from a different perspective, hire a coach, get counseling, learn time management, learn stress management.
9 – Express Gratitude for all you currently have in your life.
Gratitude is an extremely powerful force. It ramps up your energy levels, puts you in a positive head space and makes what you want in life rush toward you with great intensity. Regardless of your current income, present physical health or success in relationships, you have a thousand reasons to be thankful. When you focus on what you’re grateful for and express gratitude daily for all that you’ve been gifted, the universe will respond with continuously expanding opportunity. -James Ray
10 – Take enthusiastic action each and every day.
It’s not enough to simply think and feel that you’re ready to get out of your rut. You have to go 3-for-3 with your thoughts, feelings and actions all firing in alignment. Fate favors the bold — so act boldly. It’s important that you live from your outcome versus moving toward it. What would a person in top physical condition eat today? What would a multi-millionaire read and what types of people would he communicate with? Once you’re clear on what it is that you want in life, and act with resolve every single day, you’ll generate previously inconceivable results and your life will become a great adventure. -James Ray