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New Year, New You

New Year, New You

The holidays are moving fast and by the time Christmas rolls around you’ll be wondering how to make the New Year less stressful than the one you just came out of. You’ll be budgeting and planning and running in circles trying to keep everyone else happy and somehow forget about your own happiness.

But you have kids, a husband, bills to pay, a life to control, and several other excuses that stop you from being truly happy as the year comes and goes.

New Year’s Resolution… Does anyone actually stick to this?

Yes, it sounds great when you see it on TV. When the ball drops and you and all your friends shout and toast and kiss. It sounds ideal; You wake up on Monday and start working out, start eating healthy, start doing whatever it was you were supposed to do last year and three years before that. But those jeans still don’t fit the way they used to…

Scratch that! Stop doing what you’ve been doing because it’s not working!

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New Year New Way… Start by finding out who you ARE. You have grown, changed, matured.

Google a personality test and take the time to answer the questions honestly. Find out who you have become since high school, college, or working at the same place for five years. Read the description of what your personality is and divide your results into four categories. Take this serious because it will help you find out just what you want.

Category 1: What makes you YOU – What do you love about yourself.

Category 2: What do you think other people love about you?

Category 3: What do other people love about you; that bothers you to some degree

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Category 4: What do you dislike about yourself? What do you do that you wish you’d stop doing? (procrastination, angered easily, disorganized, etc.)

Once you’ve done this… yes I know it’s A LOT of questions. Do it again. – Don’t answer for how you currently do things, answer for who you want to be. Focus on those areas you’ve highlighted to change. Focus on the parts of your personality you love and the ones you find annoying.

The answers that will change are from category 3 and 4. Stop doing what makes you uncomfortable for other’s satisfaction (Do they go out of their way for you?). You should never have to feel uncomfortable in your skin, doing what others want you to do.

Once you finish make some kind of personal display to remind you that EVERYTHING is a choice. The life you have now is based on choices you’ve made. If you are letting someone else make decisions about your life, that’s a choice you made for not saying how you feel. If you are very outspoken and feel like you are too selfish at times, it’s a choice to let your managerial skills define every relationship.

Think about these questions that could define who you want to be:

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What time do you wake up / What time you want to wake up?

What do you spend your money on / What you want to spend your money on?

Do you save money or spend it?

Do you have the career you want or are you looking for something new?

Does your relationship fulfill all of your wants and needs?

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Do you feel conflict with people who you consider family?

If you can, ask more questions that are important in your life. Focus on the things that make you feel uncomfortable and find the reasons why. Once you know why, you’ll know how to change it.

All of these can be simple or easy. Certain activities and responsibilities take precedence over others, but it doesn’t always have to. Sometimes you can splurge. Just make sure that when you do, it’s right for the place you want to get to.

Make choices in your life that make you happy. Make decisions based on where you want to go and who you want to be. Don’t let people take your time if they don’t give you a good vibe.

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New Year, New You

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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