Once in a while, people just get stuck in a rut. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel less than great. Low, grouchy, fed-up, and bored are all words you could use to describe what I’m like on those days and I’m probably not the best company. The thing is, days like those are part of the deal with being human – it’s not if but when. There will always be off days, and that’s okay.
But what happens when you get a whole string of those off-days, maybe lasting weeks, months or even years? Too many of us say that we’re in a rut, feel stuck, fed-up, or bored and admit that we don’t want things to be that way, but we don’t know what to do to change. That’s the problem, when you’re in a rut, you don’t have the energy or motivation to change things for the better, and it’s tough to find the insight or resources you need to make that jump.
Here are five fun and easy ways you can use right now to climb, or better yet, leap, out of the rut and start to get something better for yourself.
1. Do Something Differently
Life tends to run smoothly when we establish systems and routines for things, but the problem comes when things run too smoothly and we become blinded to any ideas or choices that sit outside of our routine. All the stuff we do every day becomes the norm, running on auto-pilot, and it becomes our whole world.
Start with making one or two simple changes to your day – be it at breakfast time, your radio station, gym routine, route to work, lunch routine, etc. Don’t worry about what the changes are or whether they’re right or wrong, just make a couple of simple choices that will serve you well.
Doing something differently or changing parts of your routine, instantly takes you out of the norm and allows you to shake off the things that make you feel confined. Step out of your routine and you’ll be in a position where you’re able to make different choices, see things differently and get a different result.
2. Use your Intuition
Your intuition is a powerful ally, and we all have it even though you might not recognize it. The dictionary says that intuition is:
1.a. The act or faculty of knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes; immediate cognition.
1.b. Knowledge gained by the use of this faculty; a perceptive insight.
2. A sense of something not evident or deducible; an impression.
One of the best friends you’ll ever have in life is your intuition, and tuning into it and learning to trust it is something that can have some truly remarkable effects. Accessing your intuition is a bit like working and developing a muscle, but unfortunately it can be harder to locate than a bicep or quadricep, which tend to stay in the same place. Here are some quick tips for accessing and trusting it –
3. Enhance your Attitude
Practice maintaining an open-minded, playful, experimental, non-judgmental attitude. The idea here is to be mindful of your attitude and be intentional about choosing to have the right attitude. Before you walk into a room, decide the attitude that you are going to display once you’re inside. Catch yourself as you feel your attitude shift and bring it back to being open-minded and non-judgemental.
4. Take a Guess
Practice making wild guesses in your everyday life. Guess what a salesperson’s name is, what a new person or place will look like or who’s calling on the phone. Don’t worry about getting it wrong, you’re just working that muscle. Have fun with it. The process isn’t about being correct, it’s just working your brain to think of the unknown in a different way.
5. Observe the World
Try a few simple observation exercises in your daily life. Whether you’re in a restaurant, on a train, in a bar, or out shopping, practice noticing non-verbal behavior in others. Look for shifts in posture, eye movements, vocal tone or tempo, etc. Guess how they’re feeling or what they’re talking about. This helps you ability to be aware of your surroundings which plays a big part into how you perceive the circumstances.
Just Try Something
Even if none of these suggestions hits home for you, go out and try something. The worst part about being in a rut is the feeling you get by telling yourself that you can’t get out. By trying something, anything, you will start to chip away at that belief and eventually weaken it so that the next thing you try will be the one to get you out. The most important action you can take to get out of a rut is the first one. Decide today to just try something. Let me know if this article helped you get out of your rut or if you have some other ideas to share. Contact me on Facebook, Instagram or by using the contact link on this site.