Whether it’s your job, your relationship or how you spend your leisure time that has you down in the dumps, you can make a change. In fact, you might need to shake up all three areas, but it’s best to start with just one. The trouble with getting out of a rut is that too often, all you can see is the rut itself. When you don’t feel excited about certain areas of your life, it’s hard to imagine that you ever will. However, it’s never too late to shake things up and visualize a different life for yourself.
Have you ever participated in a brainstorming session at school or work? If so, you might remember that the first step was just for people to throw out ideas without criticism. This can help you remove that censor in your brain that seems to start a lot of sentences with phrases like “You can’t do that because” or tells you that something is a bad idea. Go ahead and put down every idea you think of, even the ridiculous ones. That’s because your next step will be deciding which ones you really want and, if they truly seem impossible, figuring out a way around them. You can’t learn to fly, but can you get a pilot’s license? Moving to your own private island might be a little out of reach, but there are plenty of small towns on small islands with small populations.
Make a blueprint
This is the stage where you worry about the logistics. For example, maybe you hate your job doing spreadsheets for an insurance company. You’ve really always wanted to be an archaeologist. There aren’t a lot of jobs for archaeologists, so can you scratch that itch by signing on for some amateur digs? Maybe nothing will do but pursuing your lifelong dream of becoming an Egyptologist, or, more practically, perhaps you long to go into teaching, social work or science. Whatever it is, this is where you make list of the steps you’ll take to fulfill your dream. For many people, a big obstacle to a career change is the cost of more education, but keep in mind that you can take out private student loans for graduate school along with federal ones. In fact, if you’ve been out in the working world for a while and have built up a good credit record, you may even be able to get private loans at a lower interest rate than the federal loans.
Do regular check-ins
Often, the reason you fell into a rut in the first place is because you stopped listening to your instinct. As you’re making big changes, check in with yourself to make sure that you’re still on the right track. You’re sure to hit snags along the way and big challenges don’t mean you’ve made the wrong choice, but you also shouldn’t ignore the nagging voice that tells you to shift your course. Depending on the nature of the change you’re trying to make, you may find it helpful to do these check-ins with a career coach, a life coach or a counselor.