You look at the calendar and suddenly realize that 6 years has gone by! Six years?! By now you had imagined that you would be living in your dream home, married to your dream spouse, with an unbelievably satisfying career, an unlimited budget for global adventures, and find yourself completely at peace. Om.
Alas, six years have gone by and your progress is embarrassingly stagnant. How did this happen? I’m determined, I’m focused, I’m self aware! How did I lose those pieces of me that had me on fire and burning up the atmosphere just 6 years ago?
Life is an interesting journey. Tides turn, passions wax and wane, and although scenic detours are generally enjoyable, sometimes the busy-ness of life can become an insidious beast that stands between you and what you really want. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way!
We get comfortable and complacent.
Who doesn’t love comfort?! Nobody, that’s who! Sometimes after a difficult day we want a nice fluffy blanket right out of the dryer, a mother’s embrace, a mindless distraction on TV, or a fish bowl of vino! And sometimes these things are exactly what we need to mend our frazzled nerves and soothe an over worked mind. The trouble is that indulging in these things too frequently can make us, well, soft.
Hard work is hard!
Staying committed to a goal through the ups and downs, obstacles and haters is likely to be one of the most difficult things that we attempt to do during our navigation of the human condition. When the universe decides to give us a lesson on perseverance and determination, it is almost always uncomfortable. Fortunately or unfortunately, these are the situations that lead to the most personal growth and move us closer to our dream lives and the best version of ourselves.
Be strategic about getting out of your comfort zone.
Ideally, in a well balanced life we are able to enjoy both comfort and personal growth. If you’re like me you’ve probably already identified and optimized all those things that are “comfortable”. What we might need to consider, is how we can engage more in things that are “uncomfortable” and move us closer to who we want to be.
1. Cultivate friendships that motivate you to be your best self. Recognize that sometimes these friendships might cause you to feel intimidated or threatened. Those feelings aren’t always necessarily bad. Sometimes it is just the universe reminding you that you are passionate and want something. Reflect on those feelings and allow them to propel you into future greatness!
2. Engage in childhood pastimes. Childhood pastimes help us reconnect with who we were before we were worried about bills, status symbols, and whether or not these jeans make my butt look big. Spend time remembering and engaging in those things you enjoyed as a child. Find ways to incorporate them into your lifestyle.
3. Frequently do something out of YOUR ordinary. This can be as simple as taking a different route to work or trying a new food. Doing something out of your ordinary engages parts of your brain that you seldom use and provides a novel perspective. Draw inspiration from the “newness” of it all.
4. Give up things you like for things you love. Maybe you like your yoga class but you would love to try kickboxing. Quit the damn yoga class right this minute and don’t waste another penny! Invest in that black belt! Or maybe you would like going for drinks with co-workers after a long day but know that you have kickboxing in the morning and you are in love with your future black belt. Be aware of the opportunity cost of your time.
What keeps you out of “the rut”? What should be added to the list?