Not long ago I was stuck in a rut, you know that feeling when you can’t get motivated and everything just seems a bit ‘blah’. I couldn’t figure out why I felt this way. I was doing all of the things which usually make me feel good but I just felt kind of rubbish.
Once we’re stuck in a rut it seems to feed on itself. It’s like the more stuck we feel the more dull life becomes and the less likely we are to take action. We all want to be doing something meaningful with our time and have a sense of purpose. Yet when we get stuck we feel as though we’re not making progress. The worst part is we just can’t seem to find the energy and motivation to move forward.
We know we have drive, we know we have passion, we know we have that spark of fire inside of us which wants to be free. Yet we struggle to do anything about it and we feel like we’re letting ourselves down. Then one ‘blah’ afternoon I did something which aligned with my values and goals, something which inspired and motivated me. It wasn’t until I did something which resembled my true self that I was able to get out of my rut. It was at this point I understood the real reason why we get stuck in a rut. The reason being, we’re not being authentic to ourselves.
Are you stuck in a rut?
It comes down to how you’re living right now. Are you being true to yourself, or do you feel like you’re living a life which doesn’t represent your values? Living the wrong life is exhausting and frustrating, making it difficult to become unstuck. While there are countless practices which you can do to avoid getting stuck in a rut, today I’m going to share with you three practices which have worked best for me.
Find out what’s important to you
Spend some time thinking about what’s important to you. Does your life align with your values? Are you doing what makes you happy? What do you want to achieve in your life? These questions can be difficult to answer as a whole, so I suggest you take a look at each area of your life one by one.
Your job: Think about your job, what does it mean to you? Does it make you happy? Do you enjoy where you’re working, the location, the people, your role, the opportunities? Does your job give you a purpose, does it full-fill a need. Could you find something more suited to your skills, your personality and your passion?
Your environment: How do you feel when you go home? Is there anything you can add or remove from your home and or working environment which would make you feel more relaxed, happy, productive. If you’re not happy with your current situation, is there anything you can do to improve it?
Your relationships: Think about the relationships and people in your life who mean the most to you. Are you happy with the time you dedicate to those relationships? Could you spend more time with them? How could you devote more time to the people you love the most? Maybe your’e looking for a new relationship, whether that be a partner or a friend. How have you tried to bring this type of relationship into your life? Could you put yourself out there more? Do you have any relationships you want to improve, maybe with a colleague a friend or someone if your family?
Your health: Think about your diet and exercise regime. Are you eating foods which make you feel good? While takeaways are amazing on a Friday night, think about foods which make you feel good after you’ve eaten them. Are you eating a balanced diet? Are you exercising regularly? But most importantly, do you feel good about your lifestyle? If you hate going to the gym why not try something new, how about swimming, running, cycling, hiking, yoga, dancing (I personally love going to a Zumba class every Monday!)
The point in this exercise is to really exam each area of your life and figure out which areas are most important to you and where you can make changes. These changes may seem small but can help bring your life back into alignment with your values.
Create a dream board
I was nineteen when I made my first dream board. Not only was it super fun to make but I’ve actually managed to achieve most of the things on the board, with some minor detail changes. I created the board because at the time I was stuck in a horrible rut and I needed something to be inspired by. Something to motivate me and pull me out of the dark hole which I had fallen into. Creating this board gave me a purpose, it gave me a goal, well quite a few goals actually!
Seeing your dreams everyday on your board will help bring them to life. It will release the drive inside of you which has been dying to get out.
I no longer have my first dream board but, if you’re interested, here are the things which I included on my board:
The Eiffel Tower: The idea was to one day work and live in Paris (not forever but just for the experience). I’ve never lived or worked in Paris but I did live and work in Australia a year after creating my board. I did look into Paris but I figured I would struggle as I don’t speak French!
A business woman: The idea behind this was to one day work in the City of London. At the time I worked as a receptionist in a coffee production site and I loved the idea of wearing smart clothes and working in the City. This dream did come true two years after creating my board, as when I arrived home from Australia I landed a job in one of the tallest offices in central London.
Books: The idea behind the books was to one day write my own book and become an author. Although I’m not an author, I have been writing my blog Those Positive Thoughts for two years now (four years after creating my dream board).
These are the three most important things from my dream board, the rest where positive quotes and healthy living photos, oh’ and a photo of a Volkswagen Beetle! Although I ended up buying a Mini Cooper in the end 🙂
Back to the point of this post, how to bring yourself out of a rut. Once you understand what’s important to you and what your dreams are, you can start to create goals. Turn those dreams on your vision board into a reality. Take action by setting long term and short term objectives, these can be divided into yearly, monthly and daily goals. Whatever works best for you! Personally I prefer to set monthly goals as it keeps me motivated. Acting on your goals will give you the motivation you need to pull you out of your rut.
Do you have any tips to get out of a rut?