There may be times when you feel like you’ve been programmed on repeat. You feel like you are reliving the same day over and over again. You can’t seem to break free from the monotony of your life.
Does this sound familiar to you? I’m sorry to let you in on this bad news my friend, but you are stuck in a rut. Lucky for you, you’ve found your way to this article. We’ll help you bust out of it. Take these steps, and you will feel like you’ve left behind the hamster wheel for good.
1. Identify What Caused You to Get in a Rut
To get out of a situation that you don’t want to be in, you first need to understand how you ended up there. When you identify the cause of your rut, you know how to combat it. There are several reasons that people end up in a rut. Fear of failure can be a contributing factor. Judgment from others can cause us to stay in a situation that we don’t like.
Perhaps the most common reason people get in a rut, however, is that they are stuck in their comfort zone.
Change is a hard thing to swallow for most people. But if you never break out of your comfort zone, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything new and exciting happening in your life.
2. Find a Stronger Cause
To break free from the mindset that’s gotten you into this rut, you need to change your thinking habits. One thing you should think about is what you want to do with your life.
What are you truly passionate about?
What do you value most?
Is it family? Health?
How much time does your current situation allow you to spend pursuing these things? If the answer is very little time, this is the problem.
Of course, you feel like you’re stuck in a rut because you don’t have the time to spend on things that make you truly happy.
How can you change this for the better? That’s your next step.
3. Create a Plan
Now that you know what’s holding you back and what you want to reach for, you simply need to create a plan that connects Point A to Point B. Point A is where you are now and point B is where you want to end up.
The plan should include SMART goals, or realistic milestones that you can measure.
It’s also important to remember to take baby steps. Don’t expect a total change overnight, or you’ll set yourself up for failure.
Based on your goals, create a routine to help you reach those goals. But make sure to give yourself wiggle room, as the last thing you need is to feel stuck in a whole new rut.
4. Have a Backup Plan
SMART goals are your Plan A, but it’s always good to have a Plan B. Let’s be realistic; we all hit a wall at times when trying to make positive changes in our lives.
So, you need an emergency plan in your back pocket when you feel yourself slipping back into the rut.
- Do something out of the ordinary: Force you to get out of your comfort zone and find a refreshing new perspective on life.
- Get active: Working out and playing sports generates an increase of serotonin to the brain. These happy hormones can bust you through the pitfall of negativity.
- Have a mantra: Repeating positive affirmations to yourself will help to rewire your brain to think positively and believe in your abilities. This can help you overcome fear, stay on track with your goals, and be more productive.
5. Reassess and Reward
You need to find ways to keep you going through this difficult trek and back to a fulfilling life. You will get frustrated, have insecurities, and want to give up at times. Knowing that it’s normal ahead of time can help you understand it but not to indulge in it.
It’s important that you practice self-compassion and make sure you reward yourself for your accomplishments. When you’ve reached one of your goals, even a small one, find a way to pat yourself on the back.
It’s been scientifically proven that positive reinforcements help you to continue doing well. They give you a boost to keep going even through a rough patch.
Now when the rough patches seem to keep coming, you may need to take a different approach. Reassess the situation if you can’t seem to accomplish a goal. This may be a sign that you need to change your tactics.
Look for ways to solve the problem you keep running into, or decide whether this goal is still relevant. It may be that your desires or passions have changed and you want to work towards a different goal.
Here’s the most important thing to remember:
It is possible to get out of a rut.
You just have to practice positive thinking and be willing to make changes.
Positive thinking gives us the confidence to take chances, get out of our comfort zones, and create better habits. Positivity alone can push you through any difficult situation.
It will also help you to see that this rut is simply a place you’ve put yourself. It isn’t an endless pit, and you can succeed in climbing out of it.
Ryan Sundling is a group marketing manager at Cardinal Group Management. He has over ten years of experience in the conventional housing industry and works with The Locale on a daily basis to help them with their marketing efforts.