Routines can be helpful, but can also turn into ruts. Going on an adventure is just one way to shake . [+] things up.
Photo by Zach Betten on Unsplash
Routines and habits and, yes, discipline , can form the spine of achievement. But at a certain point our routines can stop helping us achieve what we want and instead become ruts, keeping us stuck in our day-to-day, stifling our personal development and hampering growth.
Of course getting out of a rut isn’t always easy. It’s like a sweater you’ve been wearing for years — super comfortable and difficult to let go of. But just as that sweater needs to get the boot when it’s no longer in style (or presentable!), there comes a time when your routine needs a change. Here are five simple ideas for shaking things up.
Mix up your morning routine : Mornings set the tone for the day . Making a change at the very beginning of the day can open up wider possibilities. Try getting up earlier, or even sleeping later. If you don’t normally eat, try starting with breakfast. Consider adding or changing a morning exercise routine. These kinds of small tweaks can have a cascading effect and inspire you to make other changes throughout the day.
Try something new : One reason we get into ruts is we become good at what we are doing and then that competence becomes very comfortable. Trying something new is an obvious way to break out of a rut, but if you are feeling hesitant to push yourself in your work, consider trying something new outside of work. This will lower the stakes, while still giving you the challenge you need to break out of the groove you are in. Once you are reminded that you can take on new challenges successfully you can push yourself to take on something new in a more demanding arena.
Create a challenge : The idea of challenges made the rounds on the internet a few years ago and they are still a regular feature on some community sites and blogs. The basic idea is to do something, or not do something, every day for 30 days in a row. A good challenge can incorporate nearly anything — exercise and other health habits are always popular, as are creative pursuits such as writing or photography . It really doesn’t matter what it is — just challenge yourself to change something for a whole month. See how you feel after the challenge period is over.
Go on an adventure : The best way to break up your routine is to get out of your regular environment. This one of the many reasons that travel can be so invigorating. But if you haven’t got the time or budget to go on a long trip you can still employ this technique. The easiest way is with your weekends — spend an entire day out and about, exploring new places. It’s not that hard to find new things to do and see even relatively close to home. You can also consider changing up your weekday space — if your job allows, work at a coffee shop for a few hours or even a day. Move around your office — most offices now are open spaces and have communal spots where you can spend some time. Even just find a new spot to grab lunch a few times a week can help to reinvigorate you.
Declutter something : Yeah, Marie Kondo is on to something. There can be life-changing magic in cleaning something up. Ever moved? Yeah, you know that feeling. You don’t have to do a full Kondo to get the rut-busting benefit of decluttering. Start with one spot — a closet, the kitchen cabinets, your home office. Even just cleaning off your desk can give you a new perspective and help you bust of your rut.
You know how it feels to be stuck in a rut. You’re doing the same activities over and over, and you’re not happy. Maybe you feel bored with your life or burnt out on the job. Perhaps you know what would make you happy, such as a new job position or increased responsibility at work, but making that goal a reality seems insurmountable and not even worth trying. So you stay in the same situation you’re currently in, hoping that someday something will change, but it never does. Face it … you’re in a rut!
Being stuck in a rut is never fun. Aside from being bored with your situation, being in a rut also makes you more prone to depression and negative thinking – the two things that will keep you in your rut for even longer. So if you want your situation to change, you must change. Instead of complaining that there’s nothing you can do to make your life better, realize that there’s actually a lot you can do. You just have to get out there, take a risk and do something.
When you are not making any progress toward a particular goal and feel completely stuck, the key to making a big change is to make little changes. Use the following six guidelines to jumpstart your life out of a rut right now.
1. Think Big … and Small
You need motivation to change. Therefore, think of the new circumstances you want in your life. Envision the new job or the new corner office. Now, you have the motivation to actually do something. But don’t stop there. Once you decide what you want, you then need to make a plan to get there. Create a list of action steps that will move you closer to the vision you have for yourself. Realize that your action steps don’t have to be big or monumental leaps. They can be small baby steps that lead you to your goal. Always remember that small steps, done consistently, will get you where you want to go.
2. Be 100 Percent Responsible
To get unstuck, you have to be 100 percent responsible for your actions. After all, you are the only person with the power to change your situation.
Despite what you may think, your company, the marketplace and even your family do not have the power to make changes for you. You are in control of your life and must be responsible for making changes. Therefore, don’t complain about your current situation. Sure, your complaints helped you realize that you were dissatisfied with something, but now that you’re aware of what you want or don’t want in life, stop complaining. Your constant negativity will only further drain you and won’t change your situation. For example, if you’re experiencing a bad situation, such as a job loss, instead of concentrating on the job loss and complaining about it, embrace the change and think how you can upgrade your resume or whom you can contact for new job opportunities.
3. Express, Don’t Repress
As you work your way through your rut, don’t suppress your emotions. Instead, experience them fully. Going back to our example of a job loss, perhaps you’re very sad that you lost your job. Maybe you loved that job and wanted to stay with the company for the rest of your working career. Rather than be depressed for weeks or even months, express the emotion you’re feeling. If you feel you need to cry or yell out in rage, then do so. After you’ve let the emotion out, let it be. Don’t dwell on it forever. Experience the emotion and then move on. Remember, each event we experience in our life is a learning opportunity. Find the lesson that’s hidden in your current situation so you can move on.
4. Take Inventory
Schedule time each day to review your past successes. Many times when people get stuck in a rut, they forget about all the great things they did in the past. They are concentrating on the present, which is not so good right now, and they can’t figure out how they’ll get past their current circumstance. However, when you look back at your past successes, you start building your confidence and your inner strength. You are reminded of all your wonderful capabilities and that you can be successful again, if only work toward your goal.
5. Expand Your Focus
It’s easy to want something, whether it’s a new relationship, a promotion or even to lose weight. The work happens when you’re making that want a reality. This is when you need to shift your thinking from “wanting” to “having.” Why is a “having mind-set” so important? Because when you focus on something in terms of “having,” your subconscious mind will go to work immediately to come up with a number of ways to get the item or circumstance. Therefore, create a picture or scrapbook representing your successful life. Cut out pictures and words from magazines that represent what you want. This step is important, because once you create your vision on paper; it’ll be reinforced in your mind. You can then go through that scrapbook every day to remind yourself of the kind of life you want.
Additionally, write down what you want seven times per day. When doing so, be sure to write in the present tense, as if you already have the circumstance. For example, you could write, “I am the best maintenance manager in the company.” Or, “I have a new fishing boat.”
6. Do Something
Many people who are stuck in a rut reply to every suggestion or request with the same answer: “Well, I’ll try.” It’s time to reject that answer. You need to either accept, decline, or counter the suggestion. The words “I’ll try” are not motivating and contain the seeds of defeat. The fact is that trying and thinking about doing something are a waste of time and energy. To get out of a rut, you must do something. For example, you can take a different road to and from work. Take a walk during your lunch hour. Meditate 15 minutes a day. Doing something, whether big or small, will revitalize your life and make you more attune to opportunities. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.
If you really want a change, do something today. No matter what the outcome is of your activity, you’re going to learn something. Take a step toward getting out of the place you don’t want to be anymore.
Escape the Rut for Good
Yes, there is hope for you, no matter how long you’ve been in your current rut. And while change can be scary, the secret is to work through the fear. That’s the only way you’re going to make progress and increase your self-confidence.
So, take 100 percent responsibility for your life today. Learn from the lessons you uncover, and move forward with passion. Whether your action step is large or small, implement it today. By doing something – anything – you create the needed momentum to drive yourself out of that rut and full speed into the life you’ve always dreamed about.
If you’re feeling burnt out, change your routine.
Sande asks: I’m in a running rut. I had a great year and finished six half marathons, but I seem to have lost my love of running. Do you have any tips on how to get out of a running rut?
Although we tend to think of a rut in the negative sense, it’s actually a positive—it can be the force that moves you on to new and motivating places. A rut can encourage you to try new things and mix up your routine.
The key is to step outside of your rut to look for ways to continue to challenge yourself this year. Here are 12 ways to get unstuck and move into another motivating, successful running year.
Socialize. Research has shown that social exercise not only inspires you to run longer, you’ll also push harder within a group environment. If you’ve been a lone wolf, consider heading to your local running store, gym, or running club meet-up.
Go shorter and faster. For some runners, going the same distance over and over is an accomplishment, but it can feel like a scene out of Groundhog Day after a while. As you’re setting your goals for the New Year, include a variety of race distances. Challenge yourself to run faster in shorter races and plug in longer races later in the season. It will help you focus on speed without the drain of longer runs and spice up your half-marathon training, too.
Build strength. Runners like to focus on miles, but adding total-body strengthening can drastically improve your form and efficiency and spike an interest in a new kind of workout. For best results, weave a total-body strength routine into your active life at least twice per week, and three times if it is the off season. Whether you’re taking a class at a gym, streaming a workout, following a DVD, or doing my Runner’s Strength workout, regular strength training will change your running life.
Reverse course. It’s amazing how different your normal running route looks when you run it the opposite direction. It’s a small change that can bring new energy to an old route.
Take your runs off the beaten path. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven after I ran my first trail race. What I lack in speed, I make up in strength and grit. Trail running can shine a light on talents you never knew you had.
Run locally. I’ve run races all over the world, and this year I’m setting my sights on a trail race in my region. I can easily train on these trails with my friends, the planning is effortless, and the thought of running a smaller race this year brings me great joy.
Schedule a runcation. If you normally run in your neck of the woods, consider scheduling a race in a new destination and combine your vacation with a running race.
Keep it simple. Take yourself off the wheel of training for races and simply run for fun. Look at your life schedule every Sunday, then set a weekly mileage goal that’s realistic for maintaining fitness. For most of us, this includes three or four runs, one or two cross-training days, and a rest day. Blend in a variety of workouts, including high-intensity intervals, fartlek runs, hills, tempo runs, and easy runs. Do at least one longish (60 to 70 minutes) run per week.
Unwind, learn, and connect at a runners’ retreat. Register for a running retreat (check out one of our 2017 Runner’s World Women’s Getaways) and learn from the pros, connect with like-minded runners, and refresh your training plan. A little education can go a long way in creating new and effective strategies for training.
Take the “less is more” approach. Sometimes a runner can gain the most by running the least. Try running once or twice a week and filling the other days with another activity you enjoy, whether that’s cycling, swimming, or go-go dancing. Mixing running with play is an effective way to take an active break from running and relax into where you want to go from there.
Go old-school. Back in the day, there were two racing seasons for half and full marathons: the spring and the fall. Try training the old-school way: with a full 12 to 14 week half-marathon phase (or an 18 to 22 week marathon phase), three to four weeks of recovery, and an off-season. There will be less bling at the end of the year, but you may earn a PR or two along the way.
Wait for it. Sometimes a rut happens from registering for races before you think about whether you actually want to train for them. Plan a four- to six-week long ban on race registrations, and take the time to organically find a goal that interests you for longer than a few minutes.
Remember, ruts aren’t the end of something. They are the beginning of an adventure. When you take the time to remedy your rut, you also begin to understand how to avoid the same problems in the future.
You can ask Coach Jenny a running question on the Ask Coach Jenny Facebook Page or email your question here. Follow her on Twitter @coachjenny.
It’s time to stop spinning your wheels and take control.
Do you feel like you are trapped on a hamster wheel, spinning in circles and getting deeper into your rut? As Mastering the Art of Quitting explains, human beings are hardwired to have persistence, which may be helpful when life is going well, but sabotage our happiness when we are moving in a negative direction. If you feel trapped in a negative cycle, it’s probably not due to lack of ideas or opportunity. To get things moving in a positive direction again, you may need to adjust how you think about change.
We persist in doing things that do not bring the results we want for 4 key reasons:
- The “Sunk-Cost” Fallacy. Concentrating on what you already invested, such as time, money, and effort, may keep you stuck.
- Pipe Dreams. Thinking about running away to Tahiti or winning the lottery may help you feel better, but probably will not bring about real change.
- Wishful Thinking. Longer work hours at a harder job may land you the promotion, but then again, it may not. And in the meantime, you may get burned out.
- Intermittent Reinforcement. When caught in a negative situation, small positive cues may signal that things will improve eventually when in fact they may not. Instead of remaining in a dead-end situation, determine objectively whether things are actually improving overall.
If you are trapped in any of these four sticky mindsets, here are five strategies to get you moving again:
1. Embrace Regret
Regret may paralyze you from making progress, but studies show that counterfactual thinking can actually help motivate you to act. Counterfactual thinking is the process of constructively assessing how something might have happened, asking the question, “What might I have done?” It prompts a new and empowering resolve: “When X happens (or doesn’t happen), I will do Y.”
There are two kinds of counterfactual thinking, and only one of them has positive benefits. For example, say you are stuck because you did not get the job you wanted. You could employ downward counterfactual thinking—“Well, it could have been worse. At least I got the interview”—but this will not induce any progress. The positive alternative is to try upward counterfactual thinking—imagining a better alternative that allows you to see how you might have acted or reacted to seek solutions. While mentally reviewing the interview, you realize that you could have been more forthcoming. So you modify your future interview behavior and get a job offer.
2. Understand Your Comfort Zone
To get out of your rut, understand what keeps you in it. You may be caught in your comfort zone, a situation that feels familiar because of your early childhood experience. Those that grew up in loving and supportive families rarely find themselves in a negative rut. Those who grew up in harmful emotional environments, however, may have a comfort zone that feels familiar but is still harmful. When trying to move past a negative situation, ask yourself: Does an aspect of this situation seem familiar? Understanding where your responses are coming from is a first step toward getting yourself on the move.
3. Set Attainable Goals
Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by the amount of change required to get out of a rut, and that keeps us in it. To solve this, set manageable interim goals. Be mindful that we tend to exaggerate our abilities or wrongly attribute failure to circumstances beyond our control. Be ruthlessly realistic about how your talents match up with the goal you set. If your goal seems unreachable, pull back and master mental contrasting.
4. Use Mental Contrasting
Mental contrasting helps you stay motivated by that desired future, while keeping you realistic about the steps needed to fix hindrances. To do it, contemplate your ideal future while thinking about the short-term factors that stand in the way of achieving it. Just imagining the future alone (indulging) or thinking about the possible problems alone (dwelling) will not propel you into meaningful action and can actually leave you stuck.
5. Use Critical Thinking
I’ve already written about how much of our thinking isn’t as deliberate as we think. We are all vulnerable to cognitive distortions, one of which is a combination of magical thinking and misattribution of cause and effect. B.F. Skinner described it in a study he called “Superstition in the Pigeon.” (I do not endorse animal cruelty.) Skinner put very, very hungry pigeons in cages and swung a food dish into the cages at random intervals. When the pigeons got hungry again, 75% of the birds would repeat whatever they were doing when the food arrived. They attributed cause and effect to whatever action—such as hopping on one foot or flapping their wings—“made” the food appear the last time. People do that, too. Something good happens, and you attribute it to the prayer you uttered, the candle you lit, or the lucky shirt you wore. To get out of the rut, stop inferring cause and effect like Skinner’s superstitious pigeon. It will just keep you on the hamster wheel even longer.
Epstude, Kai and Neal J. Roses, “The Functional Theory of Counterfactual Thinking,”Personality and Social Psychology Review, 12, no.2 (May 2006), 168-192.
Locke, Edwin A. and Gary P. Latham, “New Directions in Goal-Setting Theory,” Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15, no.5 (October, 2006): 265-268.
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To be “in a rut” is an idiom that means to be stuck doing the same thing over and over again with little or no enjoyment or opportunity for progress. Someone with a suffering social life might feel bored with the nightly routine of eating dinner and watching television alone, but be too afraid to reach out to other people to try and make new friends. This person could be described as stuck in a rut, because he or she is unhappy with the current situation but keeps repeating the same actions without any attempts to break free of the cycle. The issues holding the person back from making progress can be nearly anything, from fear and other psychological issues, as with the previous example, to a lack of time, money, and other resources.
This phrase can be used both by outsiders to a situation describing another individual or as an admission from the individual involved. For example, an ambitious employee who has successfully advanced through a company may look at less driven coworkers who continue to do the same job every day with no hope for promotion as being stuck in a rut. Similarly, an individual who hates his or her job but feels overwhelmed by the poor choices for other jobs may decline to look elsewhere and instead complain that he or she is stuck in a rut.
While many people seem to complain of being unhappy in a thankless job environment, the idiom can also be used to refer to anything from overall life patterns to small, seemingly inconsequential things. For instance, while one individual feels trapped in a repeating cycle of abusive relationships over a span of many years, another may simply feel stuck eating the same boring foods every night for dinner because of a lack of cooking creativity. Both individuals in this case clearly fit the definition of being unhappy with the current situation and unable to escape from it, however the severity of the situations is hugely different. While the person bored with dinner can break out of his or her rut with the help of a new cookbook, the other person might need years of help from family, friends, and psychologists to free him- or herself from the rut.
The idiom was likely derived from the days when wooden wheels cut deep ruts, or grooves, in the dirt roads in frequently traveled areas. If a wheel got stuck in one of the previously carved ruts, it became difficult to steer off of the previously traveled path and go a different direction. It is a small step from this literal definition of being trapped following the same, well-traveled path to the more metaphorical meaning of the modern idiom.
You went to college, got a degree and now have that job you’ve always dreamed about. You work in your industry of choice, you put on fancy work outfits you always envisioned for yourself (for me it was an Audrey Hepburn vibe) and you have a fun group of coworkers to share lunch with.
So why do you feel hollow, empty and unfulfilled?
This wasn’t something you had prepared for, and there certainly wasn’t a course in college about how to overcome this feeling. The unfortunate news is, you are in a career rut. The good news is that although it may feel impossible to get out of. you can fix it.
Before you assume you need an entirely different career path, seek out alternate ways to get yourself unstuck. From coaching many clients around the world, I have found that the majority of people are only a few millimeters off course, and simply need a slight, educated career brain to help redirect them back onto course.
If you feel stuck, one of the best ways to get out of a rut is to build up your professional network and support system. Here are three ways to improve your community and pull yourself out of this hole:
1. Seek inspiration.
When work, and life, begins to feel flat, the first thing you can do is seek out inspiration. This starts with asking yourself, where can I go, or what can I do in my life right now to feel the energy of inspiration? What is that thing for you? Is it dancing? Cooking classes? Nights out with friends? A jog on the beach? When you get inspired, it leaks everywhere else, channels creativity and demands more of you.
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Inspiration is all around you, and it’s simply a matter of finding it, or choosing to see it.
As an author, I find immense inspiration in reading books, and have a library of books centered around career development whenever I need some motivation. Order a book to read at night or get it on audible to listen to while you drive on your commute into the office. This way you are starting and ending each day with a hit of inspiration.
Another way to seek inspiration is through other people. Notice that some relationships expand the aperture through which you see the world, and others will not. Sign up for a masterclass by your favorite coach or attend a conference in your industry. Begin to seek out people in your field that are seeking expansion. It’s those types that will likely inspire you to make the change you yearn for. If your finances or timing don’t allow for a big event, you can always hop online and use LinkedIn as a resource to seek out and connect directly to someone who sparks inspiration.
Do a quick search with keywords for your industry and once you find a profile of someone you find inspiring, send them a message to connect over the phone or in person. What’s key here is to find their email address, versus messaging them on LinkedIn. You don’t want your outreach to get lost in their LinkedIn noise!
When you meet, ask them all about their story and background. Studies reveal that when people talk about themselves, it actually activates the same part of the brain that lights up when eating great food, taking drugs or even having sex. Self-disclosure creates a neurological buzz that is deeply gratifying. Who knows what opportunities they may send your way as a result.
During this search for inspiration, ask yourself, what is it about their qualities, background or career that you wish you had more of in yourself? When you turn to others and evaluate their career you will learn a great deal about what your own wants and dreams are.
2. Meet with your career sponsor.
You might be reading this and think, what is a sponsor? A sponsor is a champion and advocate for your career who works within your organization. This would be the person that puts your name up for promotions or endorses you for a new career role.
This might sound similar to a mentor, however the two serve very different purposes. A mentor is someone that will offer you advice and who has been where you are, or is at least a few steps ahead of where you’re at in your career. Mentors expect little in return, while sponsors put themselves on the line to support you at work. They are investing in you to become a leader or one of their own proteges.
The great thing about having a sponsor when you are in a rut is that they will provide guidance and be willing to help you seek out new opportunities if desired;they will help you take action when the time comes.
Ask for their feedback on what you can do to make improvements in your current role, or what opportunities they see within the company that you may be a good fit for. Use this conversation as feedback to set goals for yourself at work, because people who set goals are more successful, and science shows that taking steps towards accomplishing something makes you more happy.
3. Network with people you don’t know.
This rut might have put you in a head space where you just want to go home from work, throw on sweatpants and be all alone. Sometimes solitude is great; other times, not so much. When you talk with other people, your brain will actually function better and enable you to see more clearly.
This also means you need to expand your time beyond those five best friends you have and reconsider the repeated choice to attend the same old workplace happy hours. Get out and meet new people in different environments. Their newness comes with a dopamine hit for you, of new ideas, new lifestyles and new possibilities. Growth can come from having conversations with different people beyond your bubble. This is the best way to catalyze your career and get unstuck. Plus, you are more likely to remember events or experiences better when they take place in a new or different environment. Your memory will improve and so will your ability to make new connections. Each connection can be a doorway into a new mindset at work or a new career path.
If this career rut does steer you towards a new job or career altogether, don’t worry, you are not alone. Studies reveal that the average 35-year-old will have changed jobs up to 10 times before age 42, and expects to change careers altogether 6 to 8 times before retirement.
The next time you fall into a career rut, don’t forget the only thing that is truly stuck is your thought patterns. You do have the power and control to make the changes needed to get yourself out of it.
You’re often just a conversation away from clarity.
Getting out of a rut (Photo by Shutterstock)
You finally get a job offer and you’re super excited to take it. It’s your first day at work and you couldn’t be more eager to hit the ground running. You get along with your team; you love your boss and you’re passionate about the work you do. The first few weeks go by with a lot of enthusiasm, but after a few months, you start to feel stuck. Your initial excitement dies down as you realize you’ve fallen into a routine.
If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation, you’re not alone. What do you do in those instances? Vice President of Career Services at Purdue University Global Jennifer Lasater has some tips to help you navigate the challenge:
Take a step back
If you feel stuck in your current position, taking an internal inventory of what you’ve accomplished over the last year will help to ease the stress of not feeling productive. Review the projects you’ve worked on, goals you’ve achieved and partnerships you’ve built, and think about what skills you’ve developed from these projects. Are you a better problem-solver, communicator or a risk-taker because of all of it? Consider ways you can continue to grow and take on challenges that move you in this direction. You can do that by starting a side hustle or passion project, or adding more to your plate at work.
Ask for more responsibilities
One way to get out of a professional block is to challenge yourself with more growth opportunities. Your boss will most likely have projects for you to work on! Embrace these even if they come with a steep learning curve. This way, you’re not only expanding your skill set and becoming more engaged at work, but you’re also making yourself more marketable and increasing your chances of being promoted.
If you decide that a career transition is the best thing for you, start shadowing the team you’re hoping to join next. Take your colleagues out for lunch and learn more about what they do, and on your free time, figure out ways to help them with their work. Get a real feel for your potential role, experiment by taking on different tasks and make an informed decision for your next step. Sometimes, getting unstuck is only a matter of trying new things and seeing what sticks.
Seek out a meeting
You may think you’re not advancing at work when it’s really just a matter of perspective. Get your boss’s take on your progress by connecting with her for a check-in. It will show that you care about your career, as well as the company – and you will receive valuable feedback on how you’re performing or what you may need to do differently to keep moving forward.
I am what you could call a multipotentialite—someone with different passions and interests. I dabble in different things, but at the core of everything I do is creative
I am what you could call a multipotentialite—someone with different passions and interests. I dabble in different things, but at the core of everything I do is creative storytelling. I am the founder of millennial career website A Millennial’s Guide to Life and event series NYCxClothes & Friends. I love telling stories that move and inspire people to explore their full potential and live their best life. When I’m not typing away behind a computer screen or hosting gatherings, I’m most likely somewhere new trying out different cuisines and talking to people. I’m also probably at the next conference learning about my industry, or reading.
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“I press toward the goal to the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” вЂ“В Philippians 3:14 (MEV)
In our walk of life as Christ-followers, there’s no other direction but to go forward. Oftentimes, however, many Christians feel like they’re stuck in a stage. Some feel like they’re in the same place over and over again, facing the same problems with no hope of overcoming them.
Are you in that kind of situation? If you are, I want to encourage you and tell you this: You can get out of that rut where you’re stuck.
Hope to get out of that pit
All who are in Christ Jesus know that before the Lord saved them, they were all stuck in a pit. We’re all stuck in the pit of sin and death. We were all stuck in hopelessness, morbidly assured that we will soon go to eternal destruction in hell. And yes, there’s no amount of money, no amount of goodwill, no amount of charity that could ever purchase for us a ticket away from the impending doom that sin brings. (see Romans 3:10, 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3)
However, in His great mercy God gave us the key to going out вЂ“ His one and only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Because of His death we are freed from sin, and because of His resurrection we are assured of eternal life. (see John 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:4-10)
If God was able to rescue us from our biggest, deepest, and worst problems, then how much more can He pull us out of the rut we’re stuck in (see Romans 8:32)? We need to stop despairing and stop confessing hopelessness with our mouths.
We need to believe in God who can take us out of any pit we’re in.
God can get us unstuck from the rut we’re in, but we need to get out of it ourselves. Consider our salvation: Christ already finished atoning for our sins, but we need to repent of our sins and put our faith in His finished work. Then we must follow it up with acts in keeping with repentance, for only then do we prove we have been saved. (see Acts 2:36-39; Matthew 3:8; Luke 3:8)
Getting out of that mess you’re in requires the same thing. You put your faith in God, do what is right, and keep pressing forward, just like what Paul said at the verse at the start of this article. We need to press on until we reach Jesus at the finish line of our lives. We need to keep going no matter what hinders us. We must not stop pursuing God. (see Hebrews 12:1-3)
Friend, if you’re stuck in a rut, press on. Feel like God isn’t speaking to you? Go fasting. Think like God won’t be able to use you again? Start committing yourself to Him, and do things that please Him according to His Word. Feel like you’re unforgiven? Hold on to the truth of God’s Word that says He is faithful and just to forgive us if we confess our sins to Him (see 1 John 1:9).
Don’t let anything hinder you from pursuing Christ. Press toward the goal вЂ“ Jesus Himself.
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Seasonal changes almost always get me in a slump. I become bored, unmotivated and stuck – basically just too tired to move (please don’t judge). And there’s nothing wrong with being a little under the weather. We, as humans, should be able to accept and feel all the emotions life gives us. Otherwise, it’s just a boring trip.
But if you’ve been in a slump for way too long and don’t have the motivation to do anything, it may be time for necessary changes.
Now, if you’ve been in the same routine for a long time, it may be really hard to get unstuck and move past your blues. You may feel lazy, depressed, irritated and at the same time – angry that you’re feeling this way and that you have to do anything at all (“I have enough on my head already”). It’s like a Minotaur’s labyrinth – you want to find a way out, but you’re just too tired to keep looking for it.
So I’ve noticed that it’s best to take things easy and, instead of making huge changes, to change up a few smaller things instead. Surprisingly, it works pretty well!
A few simple tweaks start the engine going and from that moment, it becomes so much easier to move on. If you’re looking for simple, practical and tried ideas on how to get unstuck in life, here’s what works for me, every single time.
How To Get Unstuck: 25 Practical Ways To Get Unstuck In Life and Move Forward With Force!
ARTICLE TOPICS (feel free to scroll down – the content starts below)
1. Get unstuck by changing your song playlist
Sometimes even a small thing – like changing your music playlist – can help you to get unstuck in life. We tend to get lost in routines, repetitive work, and home tasks daily, so if you keep listening to the same tunes, it simply lullabies you to the boredom. Especially if you like slow, melancholic songs!
Changing your playlist and adding more cheerful, energetic songs can help you to feel more active and inspired. Believe it or not, sometimes, it’s just what you need to get unstuck and move forward.
2. Get unstuck by starting a new planner
If you never had one, a DIY planner can be one of the most effective tool to help yourself get unstuck and move on.
If you feel like there’s too much to do, too many tasks or information to handle… Planning your time, routines, goals and to-do lists can help you to sort everything out and turn your problems into actionable steps.
If you don’t have time to buy a planner you might like, you can also DIY a superb planner with printable Super Pack. It has a whole bunch of minimalistic planning tools for daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and other types of planning to help you get your time and life in order.
3. Get unstuck by adopting new habits
It might seem paradoxical, but we ourselves can also be a reason for being stuck.
If you’re living a life filled with bad habits, you are sabotaging yourself every single day. On the other hand, getting rid of your old ways and implementing a set of new, helpful habits can inspire you to start fresh and with a new attitude.
Healthy habits can also help you to feel more energetic, motivated, inspired, organized and more self-dependent. These positive changes can give you a strong push to get unstuck and move forward with your life.
4. Get unstuck by rearranging furniture around your home
Does that sound funny? It probably does… But it’s also one of the simplest ways to get unstuck in life.
It’s not a secret that spending time in new places helps us to rest and detach from daily monotony. This is why we feel so great after fun trips and vacations.
Surprisingly, changing your surroundings at home can also breathe some freshness into your life!
I personally love to rearrange the furniture in our home and tend to do it every season. Every time I do this, I feel wonderful because it feels like I’m in a new place and it usually gives me a ton of motivation to get unstuck and move forward with my goals.
P. S. Can’t rearrange? Fill your home with lush, green plants!
5. Get unstuck by starting a side hustle
Starting a side hustle or a new business venture can be a wonderful boost on your mindset and a perfect way to get unstuck, especially if you’ve been having bad mood spells due to financial problems.
Having a new obsession, completing new, unfamiliar tasks can help you to feel powerful and motivated – and a boost in motivation can be just enough to help you.
6. Get unstuck with a new, inspiring self-improvement book
How to get unstuck if you need to reshape your mindset? Buy a new book! That’s right – just choose one that is supposed to help you get motivated and inspired to make changes (I’m not sure if fiction or adventure books can help you to get unstuck, but who knows!). Here are one of the best books I recommend for times when life seems to be bringing you down: 3 powerful books that make you stronger immediately
7. Get unstuck with journaling
Journaling is one of the best ways to deal with mental health struggles like anxiety, depression and PTSD. On top of it all, it’s one of the best tips I have on how to get unstuck in life – seriously!
By writing your thoughts down, you can dig deep into your mindset and find the actual reasons WHY you feel so stuck. And knowing a reason makes finding a solution a lot easier. On the other hand, writing your thoughts on the paper, and then reading them can be a helpful way to cope with negative feelings and emotions. Let’s admit that feeling stuck is not a pleasant situation, and any psychological self help you can give yourself is useful.
Here are a few tools that can help you to get started: