It seems that people get stuck in ruts.
That is no great news flash but sometimes we need to be reminded that we are part of a bigger world than the house we live in, the family we deal with and people we work with. I think that we are so caught up in being told that we are “one of a kind” that we forget that although there is nobody else exactly like us on the planet, that we are far from being completely unique. Part of being not completely unique is that other people are going through the same ‘stuff’ that you are. The biggest difference between you and the other guys is your attitude toward your situation and how you choose to deal with it.
At the gym that Doug and I go to there is always a challenge of some kind going on. The idea is for the trainers and the clients to challenge each other with either the number of times we do something or how fast we can do that something. Some of the challenges have been fun. Others seem to be taken over by ‘the boys’. But whatever way you look at it, it is a chance to push yourself through others, to do something a little different. So, you start running up stairs for fun. Or you may flip a really big tire over and over again. Whatever the challenge is, we do it for some basic reasons. One is that competition is a good thing and can be the push you need to achieve something new. But it can also be the thing that gets you out of your rut.
Like it or not, we tend to do things out of habit. They may be good habits or not, but the routine becomes comfortable. Sometimes too comfortable. Wherever you are in your journey through life, it’s time to stop and do a little self-assessment. Are you in a rut??? The answer may be as big and obvious as an elephant in your car. Or it may be as big as a mosquito at night. Either case, both are there and need to be dealt with before we can move forward.
Start with asking yourself some basic questions:
- Am I bored with my routine?
- Am I truly, really happy right now?
- If an emergency popped up, could I handle it or would the strain on my routine be too much?
- Do I have goals that I have pushed aside because they are too uncomfortable?
- What will it look like when I have achieved my goal?
I think if you were honest with yourself and answered yes to any or even some of these questions, the rut has formed and you are in it.
Years ago I heard a saying, “ a rut is just a grave with the ends kicked out”. OUCH!
So, what now? Well, I truly think the next part is the hardest and yet the easiest all at the same time.
Make a decision.
Yes, that is truly the next step. Are you going to stay put or are you going to do something about your rut? Are you going to change your rut?
Great! That is the best news yet. Making the decision can be hard. It will mean change. That can be tough. It could also be easy because you don’t have to do anything once the choice is made, it’s just a decision, right? Unless you actually want to change, then you have to actually do something.
Start at the beginning
- What is it that you want to change?
- Make a list of what you are going to change
- Make a list of why you are going to change it
- Make a list of what you think you will need to do
Change is really important, so keep in mind that some people will resist you trying to change. With the gym challenges, you would think that everyone would go like crazy to win these things. But just like everywhere else, people in the gym sometimes just do the minimum. If somebody goes way too far ahead, people just quit. They find that rut. If somebody puts in a little more effort than they do, people complain because now, they look bad. There’s that rut again.
Remember, you may need to begin again. Ruts, seem to form really easily. So be prepared to start at the beginning again if you need to. Your starting line may have moved. I sure hope it does. And if you keep going, it will move and as long as you keep moving forward, the ends of the rut don’t close in quite so tight.
Good intentions never change anything. They only become a deeper and deeper rut. – Joyce Meyer