Feeling stuck in a rut is something most of us have experienced at some point in our lives. The feeling that we’re on a treadmill, going through our days without purpose, is a difficult one. Especially because, often, the longer we feel this way, the harder it is to figure out how to climb out of that rut.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Try the five ideas below if you’re struggling with feeling stuck in a rut right now – just a few small changes could have you back on track quicker than you think and moving towards your goals with purpose once more.
Try Creating a Vision Board
Vision boards have become increasingly popular in recent years – they can be a really effective tool to boost motivation and help us take the steps needed to reach our goals. The idea behind a vision board is to make a personal, visual representation of what you would like your life to look like in terms of career, lifestyle, and finances. Often, these things are interlinked. Creating a tangible picture of our ideal lives can help us identify exactly what we need to do – or the changes we need to make – to get there.
It’s easy to get started making a vision board. Find a large piece of paper or cardboard, or use a pinboard: whatever works for you. Next, take some time flicking through the pages of magazines and newspapers or looking for pictures or articles online to print out that represent your dream life. This could be, for example, a photo of your ideal home, an interview with someone with the career you’d love, an image of a person practicing a sport you’ve always wanted to take up, or a snap of a couple on holiday.
Put the vision board up somewhere where you’ll see it daily. Use your board to create a roadmap to your dreams. That career you’d love? Step one could be undertaking a short evening course on the subject or using your network to make contact with someone who’s already working within the industry for an informal chat.
Consider Some Life Coaching
Employing the services of a life coach can be a powerful way to get out of a life rut. As well as working with you to sort out exactly why you’re feeling this way (perhaps there are some unresolved self-esteem issues at play, for example), your coach will advise you on what needs to happen to effect positive change and be a powerful cheerleading force on the sidelines.
There are many different forms of life coaching, so you’re sure to find a form that suits your lifestyle and personality. If you’re interested in the spiritual side of things, you could try an online tarot reading designed to provide life coaching (as opposed to fortune telling alone) that can encourage you to recognize strengths you may not have known you possessed.
Create Healthier Habits
It’s a vicious circle: if our energy levels are perpetually low, we don’t have the right mindset to get out of the rut we’re in, but the longer we stay in the rut, the more our positive energy is leached away.
Creating new, healthier habits is one of the best ways to overcome this and get back on track. Conduct a thorough life audit: where could you make a few changes that could make a big difference to your well-being? Whether it’s doing a little batch cooking on the weekend so you can grab a quick, nutritious meal when you return from work mid-week, rather than being tempted by a takeaway, or heading to bed just half an hour earlier, you may be surprised by how much better you feel.
And Now for Something Completely Different
Sometimes, the best way to get out of a rut is to simply try something completely different! Try saying ‘yes’ to things you’d normally turn down: whether it’s a friend asking you to go along to a dance workshop or an invitation to see an art film you’ve never heard of, step out of your comfort zone. Who knows where it could lead or the connections you could make?
Need more inspiration? Commit to trying a new food every week or heading to a restaurant you’ve never dined at. Move your living room furniture about. Read a book on a subject you know nothing about. The possibilities are endless!
If nothing else, trying something completely new will give you a confidence boost, and, who knows, you may just have fun, too.
Talk it Out
And finally: feeling stuck in a rut can be a sign of depression or anxiety, especially if you’ve been feeling this way for some time. It’s important to speak to a counselor or healthcare professional if you’ve been struggling for some time with motivation or a feeling of lacking purpose.
Talking therapies are a great way to discover the root cause of an issue and identify ways to overcome these things and feel better. Ultimately, when we feel better, we’re in a stronger position to effect positive long-term change and pull ourselves out of the rut for good.