get out of the rut!

By focusing on what you enjoy and following a simple structure you can keep on track for a happy and successful career.

Off the top of your head can you think of a point in your life when you felt full of possibility and motivation for what you wanted to achieve? Was it when you first graduated as a PT, or when you taught your first class? Do you still feel that way? If so, great! If not, don’t despair. We can all lose sight of what excites us as life becomes a daily grind and we slowly slip into a rut. The best way to maintain the passion and motivation is to follow a structure that forces you to keep things fresh.

Here are three tips to help you regain that motivation.

#1. Rediscover what you enjoy

Knowing what you don’t want is just as important as knowing what you do want. If you’re not clear about this you can fall into the trap of doing lots of things you dislike but feel compelled to do in order to achieve your goals. Eventually you will get into a rut because you lose touch with what excites you.

To get back on track your first task is to re-capture your passion. If you’ve forgotten or lost touch with what you wanted, the best way to rediscover it is to be clear about what you don’t want.

There’s a simple way of achieving this. Firstly, create two lists: one of all the things you dislike about your daily routine, and the other all the things you enjoy doing. When this is complete, number the things on your ‘want to do’ list in order of which is the most important to you. Then consider each item on the ‘don’t want to do’ list and replace as many as you can with something that you enjoy doing that will give you the same result. This process will help you focus on your strengths and start you thinking about how you can manage your weaknesses.

To achieve our goals we all have to perform tasks we don’t like. However, when the things we don’t enjoy outweigh the things we do enjoy we may get into a rut because we are not feeling fulfilled and not having much fun. Without a sense of accomplishment we can experience a lack of motivation and feel tired and burnt out. The first step to getting back on track is to tip the balance of enjoyable tasks back in your favour.

#2. Create a plan

The quickest way to get motivated is to focus on what you enjoy doing the most. So, go back to your list, pick the most enjoyable task and make it more real by writing next to it when you will do it and how you will feel once it’s done. Now set some short, medium and long term goals associated with that particular task.

Then create a simple plan of how you are going to take action to achieve these goals, making sure you are crystal clear about the very first step you need to take. This might be a phone call asking someone for help or support.

#3. Take action

Most people lose motivation and don’t achieve their goals quite simply because they don’t take enough action. Procrastination can be a killer, so the time to start is right now. The key is to think less and act more. Don’t second guess yourself – just jump in and do something to get the ball rolling again. The first step is often the hardest because there’s no momentum. By taking immediate action you will start to build momentum which in turn makes it easier to take more action.

One of the reasons people lose motivation and get into a rut is because they don’t have a structure in place to prevent it happening. Implementing these simple ideas will provide you with a structure to keep you on track and doing more of what makes you tick.

Phil Schibeci is a corporate speaker, workshop facilitator and author of How to Get Out of The RUT Race. He teaches professionals from all walks of life the skills to create positive, productive workplaces that will help them achieve their goals.