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In a rut? Break out with these 3 handy tips.

Posted Jul 17 2010 12:00am

I like to think of being stuck in a rut as a life-loop that has us retreading the same old familiar steps over and over.  Like our own private Groundhog Day , we all get stuck in a rut at one time or another.

As Bill Murray portrays in this movie, feeling stuck has the potential to fill us with feelings of frustration, hopelessness, anger, depression and confusion.  These negative feelings stoke the fires of living the same old way, keeping us on the hamster wheel of life holding us in our ruts like some dark magnetic force.  If you find yourself in a rut, that simply means it's time to shake things up so that you can move in a different direction.

There are many ways to pull yourself out of a rut.  I am going to keep it simple and focus on three tips so that you can put them into practice right away.  This brings us directly to the first tip.

1.  Simplify
Sure, I could give you a long list of tips to help you get out of your rut, but my hunch is that would only serve to bog you down. Procrastination or overwhelming feelings would act as a super-glue making it harder for you to dislodge yourself from your rut.  Apply this tip as a first step to simplify to your life. To begin, ask yourself, "How do I contribute to making my life more complicated?"  Next, make a list of where you can make some small changes to simplify your daily life.  Start small by making a list of three things you can do every day for a month that will simplify your life and practice them consistently.  At the end of each day, give yourself credit for these changes.  Before the beginning of the next month, review how you did and either continue with these small changes or create new ones for the next month.

2.  Let go of some familiar routines
Routines are great - they give stability, familiarity and consistency to our lives.  Without routines life would feel chaotic and scary.  As important as routines are they can also get in the way of change.  Letting go of some routines can be a way to create space in our lives and it is in this space that creativity, new thoughts and new behaviors can arise.   Mix things up a little by letting go of uninspiring activities. Try turning off the TV for an evening or go for a walk before dinner; whatever you choose to let go, make sure it is do-able.  As always, small steps bring us gently into our desired future.

3.  Challenge yourself
Give yourself a new challenge.  Try something new: begin an exercise program, take a class, spend more time with someone you love.  This month I have challenged myself to live in daily gratitude .  Pick a challenge that is meaningful to you - it will wake up your brain and invigorate your spirit.  Having a goal, intention, or desire that you make conscious and actively work on will help you escape the negativity that keeps you in your rut.  Without this, you will languish and lollygag through life and

Have fun  playing around with these ideas and let me know how it goes.  I care.

Image created by Chris using wordle .

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