There are times in life when it seems as though you are flying towards your goals and enjoying every minute, then there are those times where you feel like you are not making any progress at all and the days are dragging out. Getting stuck in a rut can be demotivating and have you frustrated or doubting your ability. Especially if everything you try to do to fix it seems to dig you in further.
When it comes to having the ideal life and living your dream, it’s important to know how to get out of a challenging situation or uncomfortable state and get moving again.
If you feel like you are doing all the work and not making progress or if you are not finding enjoyment in your life at the moment it’s time to shake thing up a bit and clear the cobwebs away.
Are you stuck?
At first, you may be stuck and not even know it. It’s only when your energy really gets low that you realise you have been in this spot for quite some time. Identifying the times you get stuck in a rut can help power you out of them before the really negative emotions hit.
Warning signs that you might be stuck in a rut
- It’s all too hard. It feels like you are just killing time or moving things around to fill space. Even if you want to do something more meaningful you can’t think of what those things might be, or how you would find them, or have enough energy to get them done.
- You can’t find joy or excitement. Feeling unmotivated, even when you are about to take on a new project is an indication that creativity and passion are at their low points.
- Time blurs. You have trouble remembering what day of the week it is, simply because every day feels the same.
- You are surviving, not thriving. You feel like you are treading water, just staying afloat or putting one foot in front of the other.
- You have become comfortable being uncomfortable. You know the situation you are in isn’t the best one for you and there might be things that are obviously not working, however, you prefer to stay with the system that isn’t working because it is safe and familiar to you, rather than try something different and better that is currently unknown.
If you have felt these feelings for a very long time, then you should seek professional help from a physician, coach or therapist to help get you moving or pinpoint any underlying health issues.
I’m stuck in a rut, now what?
Once you have identified that you are stuck it’s time to identify the source. You want to be sure that you shift the things that aren’t working in your life, while also not accidentally throwing away the things that are positive. To do that you need to know what is causing the feelings of being stuck and find creative ways to get yourself moving.
Areas that might be causing a stuck feeling
- Romantic relationships
- Relationships with your kids
- Your family situation
- Your home
- Your hobbies (or lack of)
In order to have an amazing life everybody needs to go through and turn things over from time to time. Just like how a gardener needs to turn the soil to bring more oxygen and move nutrients through to their plants, you need to go through and air out some hard areas from time to time so that you can continue to grow, discover and excel.
Without these down times and questioning times you would simply continue on a stark plateau. Be grateful for the ability to discover the cause of your rut, no matter what it might be, because it gives you an opportunity to create the life you want.
Get moving again
The best way to get moving will depend on what the cause is, so while each situation is going to be different, there are some rules of thumb you can use to help jog your creativity so you can identify new ways to improve your current situation. As well as these solutions, talk to a life coach to help target your problem areas and brainstorm some solutions and get things moving quickly.
Be kind to yourself
Self-love is something often overlooked in our day-to-day routine, yet it is so essential for healthy living and positive mindset.
Ways to care for yourself
- Eat well
- Sleep well
- Be around positive people who support you
- Exercise every day
- Shower or bath
- Spend time outside
- Create time for yourself
De-clutter your space
Getting organised can have a powerful effect on your motivation and mindset. It might be at home or work or both. Get busy throwing out all that old junk that you no longer need or haven’t used in a while, especially those things that are broken or need repairing. Organise similar items into boxes, tubs or trays so you have easy access to them and can get to them easily, and put them back away quickly. This is especially important in kids’ rooms. When you organise their toys they will be more likely to pick up after themselves (with a little encouragement), meaning you spend less time and energy doing those boring clean-up tasks yourself.
Shake up the routine
We like our routines, however, they can create problems when they don’t allow us any variety or to take a much-needed break. Give yourself a holiday from the norm. Write a bucket list of things you love to do or want to do and make sure you actively do something from the list often. Even if you are someone who always plans and organises their day, take a day off from everything and let yourself reset. If the new thing you do feels uncomfortable or is slightly scary for you, all the better, completing it will help boost your confidence and improve your emotional state.
Fun ideas to flavour your routine
- Start a conversation with a stranger
- Do something you used to love as a child
- Cook dinner for your close friends
- Go a different way to work
- Wear something from the back of your wardrobe
- Attend a class in something you’ve never done before
- Go to a live performance
- Do something spontaneous
- Listen to music (and dance)
- Have a date night (without the kids)
Spend time outdoors
Being outside in nature is extremely good for your mind and body. We can easily get stuck in travelling from home to work, work to home and forgetting to spend time in nature. Even if you only go for a walk around the block in your lunch break, take the time to notice the plants in people’s gardens, enjoy the sky and clouds and air against your skin. Ideally you want to spend some time in the real outdoors, go to a place where there are lots of trees and take a walk, go for a beach walk in the evening or early morning, spend time in the botanical gardens, go for a picnic on the grass in a park with the kids. For something more active you can go rock climbing, sailing, kayaking or bike riding to get moving in the beautiful outdoors.
Work toward your life purpose
Having genuine long-term goals makes even the hardest work easy, because you love the destination. Discovering your life purpose may take some time, (or the help of a life coach), but once you are aligned with your passion and purpose then everything you do will come with a sense of excitement and pleasure.
Being grateful for things large and small in your life is a great way to reboot your positive mindset as well as find genuine joy in what you do. At least once a day catalogue all the things you are grateful for and why you are grateful for them. You can use a gratitude journal or just say them aloud while you are out walking. Also try thinking of things that you are proud of having done that day, and again why you are proud of it.
No matter how independent you like to believe you are, everyone feels better with some help. Gather a support network to give you a break and allow you to do more. That might mean getting a nanny once a week, hiring a cleaner or leaving your kids at the gym crèche while you workout.
Giving to others is a great way to broaden your thinking and put things in perspective. Find community services or not-for-profit businesses that really connect with your beliefs and offer to spend time regularly making a difference there.
If you need a little boost and want to meet like-minded people in a creative environment be sure to sign up to Discover Your Truth. Learn your purpose and passion and get excited about life again.