Everyone gets into a rut now and then. It could be that you have an unfulfilling, monotonous work life. Or you may feel that a relationship has fallen into a pattern of routine (this applies to friendships too, not just romantic relationships). It could be that you’re unhappy with your whole life in general; maybe it has become predictable and repetitive.
Whatever it is, the key to getting out of a rut is firstly, acknowledging that you are in one, and then formulating a plan to bring changes.
Write down all your feelings related to your rut. It doesn’t matter how small, silly or insignificant you may think they are, get them out of your head and onto paper. This process can take place over a few days. You may be happy with your work/relationships/lifestyle in general; there may just be one or two things that are overshadowing the whole picture. Try to identify them. Or you may feel that you need a complete overhaul in an area of your life. Allow yourself the freedom to reflect on your life, honestly, without judgment.
You will most probably find that even the process of allowing yourself to think openly about your situation will bring potential solutions to the forefront of your mind.
2. Picture the end goal.
What does your ideal, re-energised life look like? Identify the different aspects of this new picture that make you feel happy. Be specific and pinpoint them.
3. Write your plan.
Starting at your end goal, write down the steps to get there – but work backwards! It can feel overwhelming to try and work out how to get from your here and now to your end goal, but by working backwards you should find it easier to see what changes you need to make to put together the ladder that will get you there.
4. Add the magic!
The above steps will give you the foundations to ensure your long-term happiness. However, in order to make it to your end-goal, you will need to create some interim new habits which not only will help you in the long-run but will lift your mood and improve your life sooner.
Routine can be lethal, particularly if you associate your routine with negative feelings. In order to break out of your rut, you will need to put some effort into changing your daily routine. Even small, seemingly unrelated things such as eating a different breakfast, taking a short post-work walk or talking to a colleague you may not usually have much interaction with can all have a huge effect on how you feel.
Make a conscious effort to stimulate and educate yourself – daily. Whether it be listening to a podcast, reading an article from a section a newspaper you wouldn’t normally read or watching a documentary. To attract newness into your life you must make an effort to actively bring newness into your life. Even if you think this has no relation to your rut, by widening your outlook you will be investing in your self-growth, and that is related to your rut.
Make plans to break out of your routine and out of your comfort zone. This point holds unbelievable power trust me! Look ahead at your diary and make appointments with adventure. Whether it is a day out with a loved one, a trip to the cinema, or even a weekend away. Book it (if necessary), write it down and commit yourself to go. If it is planned and organised ahead you are much less likely to cancel. You will find you have something to look forward to, you will be purposefully stretching yourself out of your routine, and you will be adding excitement into your life on the way to your bigger end-goal – and this is key to getting out of a rut.