Have you ever gotten stuck in snow? You move your car back and forth slightly to create a rocking motion. Sometimes this will work. Sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't work, as you keep going back and forth, you get more stuck. To get unstuck, you have to do something differently: use a shovel to move some snow, put down sand for traction, have someone push you, or get a tow.
I think being in a personal rut is similar. We keep doing the same things that we have always done while asking ourselves "what is going on with me?"
Recognizing that you are in a rut
It may come on slowly. Things that used to bring you joy are no longer interesting or you feel unmotivated and your normal motivational techniques don't work. Or maybe every day feels the same.
Turns out that many people in our pandemic/post-pandemic world are feeling similar feelings. Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, discussed this topic in an article he wrote for the New York Times and labeled the feeling "Languishing" and described it as feeling "blah". When I read the article, I thought "yes" that's what I am feeling!
Recognizing that you are in a rut is one of the first things that you can do to help get yourself out of it. Grant's article also shared several techniques to help you get through the languishing feeling (immersing yourself in something, which he describes as flow; working on something without interruptions so you can have a sense of accomplishment; and focusing on small achievements that maintain a sense of purpose).
Since I realized that I was in a rut, I decided to revisit my own north star by reviewing my life buckets and whys. I also decided that I needed to follow my own advice when it came to my health: action leads to motivation, not the other way around. I signed up for a 10-week kickboxing fitness challenge! I'm up at 5 AM, 6 days most weeks. It's exhilarating and a lot more fun than I thought it would be!
Finally, I knew that I was in a rut and that I was trying something different to get myself out of it. but I've been thinking about and rough drafting this blog post for a month! SO, I am sitting on my front porch, smelling the gorgeous hydrangea bush that is in full bloom, and getting ready to actually publish this post!
How are all of you doing? Have you felt in a rut this year? How are you moving past it?