Working things out on paper can be a powerful way to sift through the muck and find clarity. When I find myself in a rut, I tend to think of it as being stuck in the bottom of a trench. It’s wet and muddy down there, and it’s tough to find the energy to pull yourself up those slippery walls.
By drawing on your answers to the questions you asked yourself earlier, you can identify what led you to this situation. Write it all down. Now, you can formulate a plan. Start by asking yourself, ‘What does better look like?’
Once you’ve identified this, consider the practical things you can change. What big or small things can you do immediately? What will take additional time or assistance? Do you have some space in your life to add extra positive elements?
There is likely to be a temptation to think you’re trapped and nothing can change. But that perception is too binary, and it will limit you. Writing things down will help you to unpick the specifics and reveal where you can start introducing micro-adjustments to your life.
Think of this plan as a stepladder you can use to slowly climb out of the rut. To move up, requires self-evaluation, a plan and the will to take small steps. Don’t waste time and energy beating yourself up, we all trip and slip along the way, but things will get better if you keep trying. Remember, the past and the present is for learning – the future is unwritten. Where possible, take the emotion away and think critically. Examine whether you’d be able to create change by breaking things down into smaller chunks and try to understand what small cluster of changes might need to go hand in hand.
My final suggestion is to prepare. Give yourself the best chance of success by ensuring you’re getting enough good quality sleep. Talk positively about the change you’re going to make, get a little bit excited, book things into your diary, find the resources you need and do everything you can to feel strong and confident enough to act. Commit to the change you deserve to have!