This past week I was doing a little “cleaning out” of my files and came across a handout dated 1998. It was from a presentation done by a fellow “side line” in my direct sales company, Linda Hill. The presentation was entitled “Help! I’m in a Rut? How do I Get Out?”
Usually about this time of year, the newness and enthusiasm for the “fresh start” of a new year has worn off. We may even find ourself “Stuck in a Rut”. Using Linda’s “ruts” I want to share some of my ideas and tips with you for getting out of those “ruts”.
First – what is a rut? The dictionary defines it as a 1) worn track or 2) a fixed routine. On the “road of life” there are ruts everywhere. It is easy, especially if we’re not paying attention, to find ourselves in a DEEP rut. Sometimes it is easier just staying there, following it where it may lead us but we may find that it leads us somewhere we don’t want to go! So we need to learn to recognize those ruts, how to avoid them and most importantly, how to GET OUT of them!
Some Types of Ruts….
Do you find yourself wearing the same clothes day after day (jeans and a t-shirt), holding onto clothes you haven’t worn in years and will probably never wear again or is everything in your closet black?
Last year I decided to hire a stylist to come in and help me “update” my look. As we went through my closet (yes, a scary thing!) she pointed out that I had FORTY black tops hanging in my closet. I was in a “black rut.” We managed to remove 10 garbage bags of clothes from my closet – leaving me those things that I really like, look good in, that fit me and that I wear! It was a very “freeing” experience.
If hiring a stylist isn’t in your budget, ask a friend whose style you admire to come in and help you. Take them shopping with you – break out of your style rut whether it is a “jeans and t-shirt” rut or like me, a “black rut”.
As women, our natural tendency is to always put others first. If you we don’t take time to “fill our own cup” we can find that cup dry, You need to decide how you can keep your cup “full”. It may mean 30 minutes of “alone time” or meditation each day. Working out at the gym on a regular basis, taking time to read a good book, or enjoying a cup of tea with a friend.
The first of this year I joined a women’s scripture study group at my church which meets every Wednesday morning. I marked off every Wednesday morning for the rest of the year on my calendar. Wednesday mornings have become “sacred” time for me.
When your children are small it may seem that they are always underfoot and family time is “all the time”. But as your children get older and involved in the millions of different activities, finding quality time together can be harder and harder. When my children were smaller we always had “family night” each week. One night dedicated to being together, learning together, playing together and enjoying a special treat together. Now that the boys are gone and the two girls are involved in so many activities and an unending supply of homework it has become harder and more irregular. We need to get back into the “rut” of regular family time.
In fact last night we had a family “meeting” and recommitted to having more regular family time. It may only be 30 minutes one night a week but it gives us an opportunity to connect and be together.
Clutter is a procrastinated decision. I have already shared with you that my “revised” clutter goal for this year is to declutter one area of my house a month. Take it in bite size pieces – don’t try to tackle all your clutter at one time. As I am going through the different areas of my house I do it with the mindset of “If I were moving tomorrow, what would I want to take with me?”. That has really helped me as I make decisions on what to keep and what to toss.
On my office wall I have a saying that reads “Remember you don’t have to be perfect, just get it going!” Getting stuck in a perfectionism rut, thinking we can’t do something unless we can do it perfectly, will bring you to a complete standstill. One thing I have learned is there is never the “perfect” time. You just have to jump in and do it! Take risks and realize you aren’t perfect and no one expects you to be perfect! Perfectionism is an excuse to stop before you start whether you are waiting for the perfect time to have a baby or work your business. Done is better than perfect!
My children have learned that if they have time to complain they have too much time on their hands. They learned at an early age that if they told me “I’m bored” there was a job to do. I have even been known to assign chores to neighbor children who dared to say “I’m bored” in my presence!
My youngest daughter has the habit of always telling me what she doesn’t want. I have to constantly remind her – “Don’t tell me what you don’t want – tell me what you do want.” It’s a matter of changing your way of thinking – don’t focus on the negative, focus on the positive.
My friend and former upline always says “Make it a Great Day” – not “Have a Great Day” because it really is up to us. We can choose to make each day a great day – it is not by chance or happenstance. We make our days great!
No matter how long we have been in business we all find ourselves in a rut. It may be in part due to that “Perfectionism Rut” – we’re waiting for the perfect time to work our business – when the children are older, when you’re more familiar with the companies products, when the grass turns purple (just kidding). Believe me I have heard all kinds of excuses over the last 17 years for not working the business – and some of them have even come from my own mouth!
If you find yourself with no events on the books, stuck in a rut -“get a life“. Join an exercise class (wear a t-shirt with your companies logo on it to class), a mom’s club, or volunteer somewhere. Put yourself in places where you will meet new people on a regular basis. Use the marketing tools your company has provided. Make a goal to handout at least one business card a day (don’t forget to “exchange” information) Intentionally LOOK for opportunities and ASK for classes!
Get on the phone and call your existing customer base – when is the last time you did that? If they are not interested in hosting an event, ask them for a referral – just keep ASKING!
Common Underlying Theme….
Maybe you have noticed that the common theme to each “rut” solution is ACTION on your part. There are people and resources to help but you have to decide you want to change and ASK for solutions and then put them into ACTION. An ancient Chinese proverb says..
“When you hear something, you will forget it.
When you see something, you will remember it.
But not until you DO something, will you understand it.”
A quick review
1. Identify what “ruts” you may be experiencing
2. Resolve to do something about it
3. Record where you are and where you want to be (set a goal)
4. Find a “mentor” (like my stylist or a friend) that has strengths you want to emulate and ask for help.
5. Once you get the information and advice you need, USE it and take an active part of making the necessary changes.
Have you found yourself in a rut? I’d love for you to share it with us by leaving a comment below – maybe I or one of your fellow blog readers will have a suggestion for you!
Let the changes begin!
Get my Weekly Menu Plan for FREE!
Receive my FREE "What's for Dinner?" Meal Planning Course, a copy of my FREE ebook that includes my most popular recipes and my FREE weekly Meal Plan.