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Four tips to help you get out of a rut

MOVING FORWARD: Everyone deserves to have fun, fulfilment and freedom in their lives

I DON’T KNOW about you, but sometimes I feel less than great. Low, grouchy, fed up and bored are all words you could use to describe what I’m like on those days, when I’m probably not the best company.

The thing is, days like these are part of the deal with being human. There will always be off days and that’s okay.

But what happens when you get a whole string of those offdays, maybe lasting weeks, months or even years?

Too many of us find ourselves in a rut, feel stuck, fedup or bored and admit that we don’t want things to be that way, but we don’t know what to do to change.

That’s the problem – when you’re in a rut, you don’t have the energy or motivation to change things for the better, and it is tough to find the insight or resources you need to make that jump.

Here are four easy ways you can use right now to climb, or better yet, leap, out of the rut and start to get something better for yourself:

1. Do something differently
Life tends to run smoothly when we establish systems and routines for things, but the problem comes when things run too smoothly and we become blinded to any ideas or choices that sit outside of our routine. All the stuff we do every day becomes the norm, running on auto-pilot, and it becomes our whole world.

Start with making one or two simple changes to your day – be it at breakfast time, your radio station, gym routine, route to work or lunch routine. Don’t worry about what the changes are or whether they’re right or wrong, just make a couple of simple choices that will serve you well.

Doing something differently or changing parts of your routine instantly takes you out of the norm and allows you to shake off the things that make you feel confined.

2. Get some nourishment
Nourishment is about plugging those holes in your life and making sure you have things that keep you feeling nourished – in your head, your heart and in your stomach.

Remember that you can’t give away what you don’t have and can’t spend energy you’ve already spent.

It doesn’t have to be the big things in life that nourish you – it’s often the simple things that strike a chord, make you feel like yourself again or make you smile from ear-to-ear, such as calling a friend, taking a walk in the park or listening to your favourite song, for example.

So what keeps you balanced? What relaxes you or makes you feel peaceful? What makes you feel like you again?

The fact is, that you’re important enough to spend time taking care of yourself and it doesn’t matter what it is, just take the time to do it.

3. Describe your perfect day
Here is something to play with – describe your perfect day. This idea came to me a few years ago when a good friend suddenly asked me, ‘What would be your perfect day?”

I’d never been asked that before and I found myself spontaneously making up a story about my perfect day.

I went through each part of the day telling her what I was doing, who I was with, where we were, how it felt and what happened next – bit by bit and without even thinking about it.

I’d put together a rich, colourful, exciting and comforting day, which still holds true as my perfect day.

The best part is that you can start introducing little bits of your perfect day into your real life or working to make some of it happen.

For example, in part of my perfect day I visit a company where I’m helping the directors and employees to focus on their strengths and to create an environment where people love to work.

What’s your perfect day? Don’t think too much about it and don’t worry about it sounding silly or too grand.

Just shoot from the hip and see what comes out naturally for you. Write down words, ideas, themes or a whole narrative, even draw pictures if you want to. Have fun with it – it’s your perfect day.

4. Get some fun, fulfilment and freedom
The three ‘Fs’ are fun, fulfilment and freedom. These encompass a lot of what people are looking for in life.

Where are you in relation to each of the three ‘Fs’? How much of each do you have right now? How much of each do you want? Whatever gap there is, recognise that it can be closed and that you can close it.

What would happen if you climbed a point or two on the fun scale? What if you could add a point to your level of fulfilment or freedom? How would that feel? Pretty good, right? So what one thing can you do right now to help you get more?

By themselves, each of the three Fs are a powerful thing and can really help to move you forward, enjoy where you are and feel alive. But when the three Fs come together… well, just hold on to your hat and keys. Rut? What rut?

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