One of my favorite sayings is, “The definition of insanity is trying the same thing and expecting a different result.” It can be hard to figure out how to get out of a rut and it can be even harder to recognize when you’re in one. Just because what you are doing has been going well for awhile certainly does not mean it will last. Life should be about constant growth, never allowing yourself to peak or plateau in your success.
I’ve recently been feeling very much like I’m just spinning my gears and getting nowhere. But when wondering how to get out of a rut, I’ve had to revaluate a lot of what I am already doing. It takes a lot of reflection and a little bit of experimentation to sort what is working from what is not. It isn’t just in your career, either. It goes to reason that if you are feeling unfulfilled in some part of your life, be it your personal fitness goals, your social life, or with your family, doing the same thing you have been doing will likely not make any difference. You have to try something new to get new results. Go out and start a new workout class or try reaching out to new people to hang out with.
What’s the worst that can happen when you already feel like you’ve got nothing to lose?
Over the years I have both consciously and subconsciously developed habits in my life, as does anyone. But since graduation in May most of those habits have been thrown into chaos and I’ve cycled between periods of motivation and overwhelming stress. My world always revolved around school first and foremost and I always had that to fall back on. If nothing else, I was a student, and I could get satisfaction and a sense of achievement from doing well in classes. I’ve always been extremely scholastic and I love learning so this came naturally. I am struggling to find new sources of achievement now that I’m a “real adult.”
I’ve begun setting goals for myself in every aspect of my life and I’ve clung to my planner like a life raft, making lists and obsessively checking things off. In a traditional career, the goals are often set for you–the next promotion, the next pay bracket, the next rung of the ladder. But now that I’ve chosen to avoid the typical 9-to-5 job I need to figure out how to get out of a rut that’s been left by the lack of structure. So far I’ve done so by trying to impose my own structure as much as possible. Yet after several months, I am starting to assess the work I have been doing and seeing that there is a lot of room for improvement.
But how to get out of a rut in your work?
For example, I’ve been seeing extremely low engagement on my Instagram the past few weeks (which as a blogger is a large portion of my business) and have been really frustrated with the results. It has motivated me, though, to refocus my attention back towards my website and to strengthening my presence on other social platforms. It has also forced me to take a hard look at the statistics behind these platforms and really analyze what is performing well, what my audience wants to see, and what things I need to leave to the wayside. Similarly, I’ve been having a hard time managing my time well working from home so I’ve begun reworking my scheduling and trying new ways to prioritize my time more efficiently.
There are all sorts of reasons why what you’re doing may not be enough and most of the time they are out of your hands. But what you can do is look at each problem from a different angle and keep trying until you find something that does work. There is rarely one single solution and finding new methods for anything in life can help widen your perspective and give you a leg up on those who are overly set in their ways.
Have you ever experienced a rut in your life and what have you done to get out of it?
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