“Control your own destiny or someone else will” — Jack Welch
There’s nothing worse that being stuck in a rut. It leads to feelings of despair, frustration, isolation and a feeling that life is going nowhere. Do not despair, it’s incredibly easy to get yourself out of it. Grab a notebook and pen and start by following the below::
1. Make a plan. Where do you want to be in a year’s time or even a months time? Look at all areas of your life, such as:
Family and Friends
Fun and recreation
Physical environment (where you work and where you live)
What would be the ideal for you? Take a few moments to write down what you want in all of these areas and put it up somewhere that you will see frequently throughout your day. Once you know what it is that you want it’s a lot easier than hoping that something will change but not knowing what that is.
You can start with long term goals. Where would you like to be in a year’s time in all the above areas of your life? Now chunk each goal down into small manageable steps.
For example: You’d like to be a stone lighter in a years time. 14lbs in 12 months, that’s 7 lbs in 6 months, ie just over 1lb a month. So what do you need to do to get you there? Perhaps it’s exercising 2-3 times a week, cutting down on sugar and wheat, walking instead of taking the bus. Whatever you can do to achieve this goal write it down in your notebook. Ask yourself “Whats the first step, and the next and the next”.
2. Break out of the norm – change your patterns. If you normally do things in a certain way, try shaking things up and doing things differently. Monotony can lead to boredom and frustration. So change things around, it may feel a little strange in the beginning but it will feel good to embrace new routines into your life.4
3. Get active – Move, take up some form of exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, more commonly known as happy drugs. Take the stairs in work instead of the lift, go for a 10 minute walk at lunchtime or get up early and go to the gym before work. Whatever it is that you can fit in with your lifestyle. If you’re very busy and the idea of heading to the gym for an hour causes more stress than pleasure then try something else. If you’re a parent you can combine activities with spending time you’re your children. A trip to the park or the bowling alley makes for a great day out and combines exercise with fun and play. Make commitment to yourself to doing some form of exercise every day from now onwards.
4. Congratulate yourself for your achievements, no matter how big or small they are, even if it’s a “mistake” (my philosophy is that there is no such thing as mistakes, only experiences that you can learn from). This could be a simple pat on the back or buying yourself an item you’ve always wanted.
5. Adopt a positive mindset. Focus on all the positive things that are in your life rather than the negative. Do this by keeping a gratitude journal. Every day write a list in your notebook of all the things in your life that you are grateful for. When you focus on gratitude you focus on abundance and that allows more to come to you.
6. Calm your mind – meditate – Every day spend a few minutes either taking deep, relaxing breaths or listening to a guided meditation. Some people love walking meditations where you concentrate on the weight of your feet on the ground and all the sounds around you while you walk (listening to your ipod while doing this is not recommended!). Other people love being taken off on a guided journey, whatever is your idea of relaxation build it into your day, even 5 minutes is better than nothing.
7. Clutter clear. If you’ve clutter in your physical environment then you’ve clutter in your head. Start off small, a drawer here, a cupboard there, soon you’ll have a whole room done and you’ll notice the difference mentally and emotionally as well. You’ll have more room for new experiences in your life and more energy as well.
8. Detox – now this doesn’t mean coming off the booze for the month! Just cut down on alcohol, caffeine and sugar intake. If you normally put 2 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee and cut down to 1 spoon in say 4 cups of coffee a day then that’s 2 spoons less a day and 14 spoons less a week, 56 spoons a month, that’s nearly a bag full of sugar that’s not going into your body! If your body is stressed, as it is with excess sugar, then your mind will be too and your energy will suffer or your blood sugar will go haywire and you’ll be up and down all day! Cut down on sugar and coffee, try some herbal teas instead.
9. Take care of your appearance. How you present yourself to the world reflects how you feel about yourself. When we feel good we look good and vice versa. Take the time to choose what you’re going to wear in the morning, what picture of yourself you’re going to represent to the world this day. Walk tall and confidently even if you don’t feel confident. There’s a saying that I heard recently “when you look down you feel down, look up and you feel up!”
10. Take action – no matter how small, do something. This is the most important thing to do to get yourself out of a rut. “The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.” Even if its baby steps towards your goal at least you’re moving in the right direction.
Follow these simple steps. Print out these tips and commit to doing at least one of them every day. Soon you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind” – William James
Dip Kin, BSc, RMT
Ellen has a free monthly newsletter that you can subscribe to, packed with simple, yet powerful techniques that can help you to make positive changes, release negative beliefs and have more confidence in your life. To subscribe and see past issues, log onto her website at [http://www.ellenshilling.com]