Best Questions & Tools to Get Out of Your Rut
Every winter, without fail, I get stuck.
Gloomy days blend into each other, and staying indoors pushes me to revert into my shell.
Plus, the truth is that I enjoy the mundane (and being a hermit). For awhile.
Until I start to feel bored. And I realize that without branching out I’m really only half living. So, I dig into my toolkit to get myself unstuck and experience life again. Here’s what works for me:
1. I Ask Questions That Stretch Me
I always start with a few normal reflection questions like…
What are my goals?
Where do I want to be in a year?
This gets me a lot clearer on what I want out of life and reminds me that I’m going to have to do some new or challenging things to get there.
I then switch to questions that make me think outside of the box. Like…
What if you were the best in the world at what you do?
What if you lost 10 lbs?
What if you went on a dream trip?
I LOVE these types of life what if questions because you’re no longer considering your dreams with your constraints and excuses in mind. It’s a hypothetical game that truly allows you to explore fearlessly.
After I’ve had fun with questions, I make a list.
2. I Make a “Branching Out” List
My list includes little ways to get out of my comfort zone. Note: I never include anything HUGE because I will never do it. I have only bite size actions on this list like “try a new restaurant” or “meet the new neighbors.”
I also look at the answers to my questions above and add in anything small that will help me reach my goals. These might include something like “send an email to five clients” or “try a meditation app.” These things force me to branch out and will therefore allow me to reach my goals much faster.
If I’m really on top of it, I’ll also prioritize the things that are most important to me or that I can do right away (giving me a big confidence boost).
Once I have the list…
3. I Schedule the Actions
It’s time to make them happen! I think to be fully living, you should do something that makes you a little nervous as often as you can. It’s a sign that you are GROWING. And growth is what humans are wired for.
So, schedule out your list daily or at least weekly to make sure you follow through on really branching out. And because you’ve kept your actions to doable chunks, many of them will only take a few moments. My weekly schedule might look something like this:
Monday: Read an article related to work that I normally wouldn’t
Tuesday: Make a video for work (branching out with technology)
Wednesday: Buy something new to try at the grocery store
Thursday: Switch up my morning routine
Friday: Try a new restaurant for date night
Saturday: Watch a tv show I normally wouldn’t
Sunday: Ask someone for a recommendation
Getting stuck in life happens to ALL of us from time to time. What matters is what we do to get out of it. The beauty of it is that one thing usually leads to another. First, you make a video for work, and the next thing you know you’re leading a conference or creating a video course. And that’s how real success and goal achievement is done! I hope you found these ideas helpful.
What do you like to do to get yourself out of a rut?