What is a rut? You’ve probably heard the expression, same shenanigans a different day, or something along those lines. That describes a rut perfectly. It is where you feel like you are doing the same thing over and over again, with the same results, and not experiencing true joy or pleasure in life. You might feel like you’re living the movie, “Ground Hog Day,” and you definitely feel like you are not living your life to the fullest.
Take the time to ask yourself these questions…
1. What are your bad habits?
This is not a time to beat yourself up about every little thing that you wish you could change. However, what are some major beliefs or actions that hold you back? Here are a few common ones:
This is the art of putting off until tomorrow or (never) what you should do today.
This is easy to do! Your to-do list can be overwhelming and daunting. The seemingly never-ending list can lead to paralysis. Instead, binge-watching Netflix, escaping into a good book, or enjoying the lives of others on social media is a more appealing option.
This is good to do in moderation because it helps to clear the brain, and then we can focus on what we need to do. However, if every day we put off what we need to do, then the next day just becomes twice as exhausting.
Here’s one recommendation. Each day look at your to-do list and decide what absolutely must be done that day, or what can wait a little bit. For those items that can wait, put them on a separate list. Items that can be done this week or this month, for example. This will help to prioritize the things that must be done, and your list will not be so terrifying. Make a plan to reward yourself after 5 tasks are completed, then get busy.
Be honest with yourself.
How often on a given day do you put yourself under pressure to get everything done? Do you take the time to simply breathe and to be? Are you running around like crazy trying to get everything done? If you are living your life in this high-end adrenaline state, is it any wonder you feel burned out and in a rut? It is important to realize that you absolutely cannot do it all, and shouldn’t be expected to. Make it a priority to ask for help and to give yourself grace at all times.
This is a tough one and very common for women. Are you always trying to be there for everyone else at the expense of your physical, emotional, spiritual, and families health? Do you discover that you are saying yes too often even though you would rather not?
We all want to be well-liked and to be there for our loved ones and friends. However, are you so focused on them that you are forgetting to take care of yourself? Look at all the outside activities in your life and decide if they are enhancing to you and to your family. If they are, keep doing them. However, if you are lacking the time, the drive, or it doesn’t suit your current needs, let it go without any guilt. When you cut down on some of your “shoulds” it frees you to concentrate on the things you truly love.
2. What are you passionate about? What do you do that fills your soul?
Make it a point to immerse yourself in those passions.
Take small steps to become the person you’ve always wanted to be by educating yourself on a new career path or your favorite hobby. When you are living your life more authentically, and focusing on the things that you naturally feel called to do, you will step out of your rut and be more joyful and peaceful. This sense of contentment will spill over to all areas of your life.
3. Are you living a balanced life?
When we focus all of our time and effort in one area, we are drained and unfulfilled. For example, if you are giving everything to your job, it’s no surprise when you realize you don’t have the time or energy for anything else.
I once heard a great tip for achieving balance in life. Every day, focus on completing one small act in the four components to having a balanced self. These four components are: physical, mental, social, and spiritual. This can be as simple as taking a walk with a friend or taking 5 minutes to simply breathe and think.
It doesn’t have to be a complex thing to add to an ever-growing list. If you can do this, however, I think you will find that you feel like a more complete person and are able to enjoy life more!