It would be great if life was just a constant progression from strength to strength, with every obstacle in the way being overcome quickly and effectively, and with the lessons accumulated yesterday allowing us to avoid the same mistakes, flawlessly, going forward.
Of course, the reality is a good deal messier. We are all prone to stumbling along the way, making the same mistakes more often than we would like, and encountering new obstacles that can completely blindside us, as well.
It’s probably fair to say that the majority of people encounter at least one or two periods of stagnation over the course of their lives. Times when positive momentum runs out, and we find ourselves struggling to get back on track, in one way or another.
It might be that you ended up in a period of stagnation due to the loss of a job, an accident that has meant you had to get in touch with a personal injury law firm, or simply a lack of direction after achieving or abandoning a previous goal.
In any case, here are a handful of tips for bouncing back after a period of stagnation. Though there is no “one size fits all approach,” these guidelines are likely to help you to develop a bit of positive direction and momentum once again.
How To Jumpstart Your Life When You’re In A Rut
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1. Take some time to visualize, as vividly as possible, exactly who you want to be.
In order to move past a period of stagnation, one of the key things you need is a sense of passion, drive, and enthusiasm, that can help to propel and draw you forward and get you excited about stepping out of bed every morning.
People often set themselves goals in a detached, dispassionate kind of way. “I guess it would be good for me to get a bit more fit, so I’ll set a goal to lose 10lbs by July…”
By far the better approach is to spend a while really visualising, as vividly as possible, the kind of person you want to be. This should be something that absolutely gets you fired up. That excites you. That makes you feel motivated and hopeful.
Don’t worry about creating a “plan” at this stage, or even necessarily about being “realistic.” Just visualise your ideal future you. What do you do? How do you feel? Why do you live? And so on.
This visualisation exercise is as much about the process of self-discovery as anything else. It’s really based on connecting you with your intuitive sense of who you want to be, and where you want to be. Once you’ve got that image conjured up, you can remind yourself of it from time to time, and can use it as emotional fuel to make some changes in your life once again.
2. Implement some daily “Keystone Habits” that can help to reliably turn the tide.
Having goals for the future that inspire you is great, but in order to move towards those goals or ideals, you need to come up with activities that you can carry out in everyday life.
The book “The Power of Habit” makes a compelling case for the power of “Keystone Habits” for anyone who is looking to transform their lives for the better.
In short, a Keystone Habit is any habit that can cause a positive cascade of change in your life – including by triggering other positive habits.
The point of a Keystone Habit is, essentially, to create a positive spiral.
Exercising each day might be an example of a Keystone Habit, depending on how you approach it and feel about it. It might be that your daily exercise habit builds your confidence, boosts your energy levels, inspires you to pay more attention to nutrition, distracts you from negative habits, and so on.
3. Put yourself in situations that expose you to new things, and that take you just outside your comfort zone.
Generally speaking, whenever you find that you’ve lost a sense of direction and momentum in life, a key culprit is probably the fact that you are stuck in a counterproductive “comfort zone,” and aren’t breaking out and encountering new possibilities.
This is already implied in metaphors like “stagnating,” or “being in a rut,” both of which imply stasis and inaction.
What you need to do if you find yourself in this situation, is to consistently begin exposing yourself to new things, and getting just a bit outside your comfort zone on a regular basis. That might mean starting up a new side project, signing up for a crossfit class, or any number of other things. The key thing is that you expand your horizons.