It’s the little things that can move you forward

I know all too well that feeling of being stuck; a sense of inertia can come over even the most productive of us. Stressful events, illness, lack of self-care or just plain old exhaustion can creep in and stop us in our tracks. But when the obstacles in our life loom too large, how can we get ourselves unstuck?

Instead of allowing yourself to sit in feelings of shame or guilt, start with simply admitting to yourself, out loud, how you feel: “I feel stuck.” This alerts your consciousness that there is a block, and allows you to begin problem solving.

Whatever the cause of your inertia, there are steps you can take that will create a sense of flow, however small. This flow leads to movement. Movement leads to a sense of progress that pulls you free.

I’m listing five simple steps you can take to jog you (gently) free:

Ask others for their stories of getting unstuck

So much of what I do is about the power of communication, and the first step to get moving is all about that connection. Talk with a friend and ask them to tell you about a time they were stuck and how they came out of it. Hearing one or more of these stories will remind you that this is a normal part of growth. This can also inspire novel ways to help you get out of your rut. People love to share their lives and to feel that they are helping someone, so it’s a win-win!

Read a book

Another way to connect and inspire yourself is through books. This is a great tool for those of you who might feel too shy to ask a friend for their story. It doesn’t have to be a self-help book, either. Biographies can contain some incredibly helpful stories of people who have triumphed over obstacles large and small. Reassure yourself that you are not alone – you aren’t! While reading, take mental notes on how to get going. The fact that you are here with me on Rewire Me is a great start!

Jot down five ideas

Taking pen to paper is famously helpful. The communication between your brain and your hand while you write helps to “make real” your ideas. Writing things down also increases the chances that you will recall your ideas. Taking it a step further, hanging those ideas somewhere visible keeps you on track.

But don’t pressure yourself; your ideas don’t have to be huge or unique to work. Basic ideas such as “Do ten minutes of yoga every morning before going online,” can be incredibly effective. Try including a gratitude list for its proven, positive effects on the brain.

I also believe strongly that meditation can be a great tool for getting unstuck. Try this meditation for creating change in your life.

Be a joiner

Now that the web offers websites, forums and groups of all kinds, even the busiest of us can access the power of organized support. Whether you are stuck in your exercise routine, your relationship, your job or a mental health struggle, there’s a group for it. Online workshops can be a good stepping stone for change.

Finding an in person, local community can also be incredibly powerful – and a way to form meaningful friendships with people you have important things in common with. Groups are effective for writers, cancer patients, weight loss, caretakers – anyone who has a specific interest or concern. Joining can bring dependable companionship, a sense of community, resources, new skills, and fresh ideas.

Although millennials have been suspicious of joining networks, they are starting to come around. Entreprenuer magazine notes that professional groups are making a comeback as the workforce is relearning the power of communities.

Set one small, realistic goal and start

One of the quickest ways to feel glued to your current situation is to set goals for yourself that are incredibly challenging, and then feel ashamed when you don’t meet them. You want to treat yourself the way you would a good friend: believe in yourself and be gentle. Set a small goal that you can begin immediately. Meeting this small goalpost will help to change your subconscious mindset, so you will feel less bogged down.

For example, if I wanted to increase my fitness, I wouldn’t start by setting a goal to run a mile a day. A more reasonable goal, one that I could build on, would be to run at least four miles a week. Flexible timing would create a situation where I could be successful, instead of feeling horrible when I took a day off.

Repeatedly meeting this small goal will create a foundation of confidence, and you’ll remember how it feels to take positive steps toward change. After you’ve been successful for a period of time, you can add another goal or expand that same goal.

By following these five tips, you are on your way to being unstuck. Please share your success stories and other ideas for getting unstuck with me in the comments below!

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