5 Steps to Getting Out of Your Rut
Recently, I conducted a survey through Flourish Over 50 to find out “the state of the community.” The questions included topics of interest, social media interactions and life-stage happiness. One of the highest rated statements about life was “I feel stuck in a rut, and would like to feel excited about life again.” I hear that over and over from midlife women, from those who are in a career slump to those who have no identity now that they are in the “empty nest.”
As a woman over 50, this is your time to be excited about life! You have been a wife, mom, caregiver, career woman and volunteer, and the monotonous treadmill of everyday life does not have to remain your daily routine.
So how do you get out of your rut? How do you find excitement in your life again?
Here are five steps to take to get you on a path for a more fulfilling life.
1. Give yourself permission to change. This is a very difficult step for most of us since we have been conditioned to believe that we must put the needs of others first, and that we cannot follow our own dreams because that would be selfish. We grew up watching our mothers live rather ho-hum lives after 50, and grew up thinking that’s how it would be for us. Now that we ARE over 50, that could not be further from the truth!
You really don’t have to ask for someone’s permission to live with more passion and purpose. You have worked hard, lived unselfishly and put your own dreams on the back burner for years. But if you still need to be granted that freedom, today I am giving you “official permission” to become the woman YOU WANT TO BE!
2. Vision a better future. Ask yourself these questions:
What is your highest vision for yourself? What do you want most in terms of career, self-fulfillment, and making a difference in the world? No limitations here! Don’t let your self-critic sabotage your dreams.
What will my life be like a year from now if I don’t change?
What are the best things that will happen if I begin taking small steps toward my new vision today?
3. Make a plan, then begin with small steps. Write your new vision in vivid details, then create a set of goals to get you to that “dream destination.” What goal will propel you toward that vision quickest? Start there, and break that goal down into small steps. Begin with one tiny step, and let each step grow as your confidence builds. Thirty small steps equal one giant leap! You don’t have to do it all at once, but you do need to keep moving forward.
4. If you want to grow and change, find others who are of the same mindset. You will never begin your journey if you let the “bucket dippers” in your life hold you back. Sometimes you have to break free from the people who are satisfied with the status quo in order to find new excitement about the future. Find a group of girlfriends, a life coach or a professional organization (or, better yet, all three!) who will motivate you, support your journey and help you reach your goals.
5. Celebrate along the way. Every time you reach a milestone, celebrate your success with your supporters! (See #4) Even if it is just a small step forward, it’s a move in the right direction. Be proud that you are allowing yourself to reach your full potential, out of the rut and enjoying the road ahead. Shake off the dust from that rut and let yourself shine! The world is waiting for you!
Susan Tolles is the founder of FlourishOver50.com.