Stuck in a rut? 5 ways to get you out

You live a comfortable life. But you're not growing and you're not satisfied. You're in a rut. Here are five tips on nourishing your spirit and sense of adventure

Bored, bored, bored – are you stuck in a rut?
Bored, bored, bored – are you stuck in a rut?

The world is in a state of flux. But you’re doing the same thing this week as you did last week and nothing seems to change. People are protesting Brexit and climate change and you’re snacking on popcorn and checking Instagram updates. You’re stuck in a rut.

You had a plan for New Year, New You 2017 but it never worked. You relaunched about springtime and that never worked. You thought you’d wait for summer to be over but nothing’s going to change. You’re stuck in a rut.

Drastic action is required. Try one of these five things. And for everything you do that isn’t what you’d normally do take a pat on the back because kicking the rut habit is h-a-r-d.

1. Do something helpful

It can start by helping someone who looks lost, or picking up a dropped can of beans in the supermarket. Baby steps. And if you’re not the kind of person who strikes out on their own, look for your Corporate Social Responsibility team at work – they’ll have programmes in which you can paint the walls of an old people’s home, or read to children or dig an allotment.

From that, you can make contacts in the charity sector and pick your own contribution. Helping others is one of the surefire ways of aiding your own well-being. It’s great for mood and general health. Saturday in front of the telly? Or running a stall raising money that will make a difference to real people’s lives? The NCVO has a string of volunteer centres that offer advice.

2. Do something creative

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When was the last time you had that sense of satisfaction of sitting back after a project and seeing the thing you’ve just made – touching it, displaying it, leaving it and coming back to it.

Read more: 5 ways to get back your creativity

Whether it’s a meal made from scratch, a lamp stand made from old bits of wood or a pencil sketch, it doesn’t matter about the quality it only matters that something exists in this world because you made it happen.

3. Do something uncomfortable

All your life you wanted to get your set-up just-so. Everything like you like it. And now you find you’re not growing as a person.

Evolution is about struggle, about adapting and thriving and learning. It’s built into our DNA. Without that drive we’d all be single cell organisms. Do something that will prompt you to grow. Talk to strangers at parties. Learn to speak French. Join a writer’s group and read out your short stories. You squirm, you succeed, you grow.

4. Do something daring

Something daring is “Do something uncomfortable” taken to the max. We’re talking new skills and experiences that put you on the edge and give you the thrill of being alive. Sky diving, skateboarding, joining a dating site. Take a skiing holiday, not a spa holiday.

Buy a F1 driving experience, not a new sofa. Live a little. Take pictures. Be like those other guys on Facebook who just don’t care what other people think. Liberate yourself from your fears with a bang, not a whimper. Ask yourself – “what would I do if I wasn’t scared?”

5. Do something

The only one that counts if you’re stuck in a rut. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what you do the key thing is having the courage to try. Are you bored with your life, not because it’s boring but because it’s unchallenging? Do something – anything – you wouldn’t normally do, even if it’s only cycling with a group rather than cycling alone. Once you get a sense of what’s out there, the hairs will rise on the back of your neck and you’ll feel the potential of what’s possible.

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The key moment is the first step. And remember, no-one’s keeping score. You’re not being ranked against Bear Grylls or JK Rowling. If trying a new breakfast cereal is daring in your world and you do it – congratulations!

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