Post written by Leo Babauta.
You’re in a rut, and you can’t get unstuck.
Motivation is a resource that seems harder and harder to come by these days. You’re mired in malaise, you’re unexcited after a slump or a break, you’re in a dull 9-to-5 routine.
Any of these sound familiar?
If so, you’re not alone. I’ve been in these kinds of ruts, often, and sometimes for embarrassingly extended periods. While it doesn’t happen much these days, as I’m excited about everything I do, I’m no stranger to the rut. I was stuck in one for a couple years once, until I felt the rut wasn’t something I was in, but was me.
What is the way out? How do you start along this way if you don’t have motivation to start with?
I’ve found that the best way out of a rut is with the smallest step possible. But that step can result in more than you realize.
What if that smallest step is to announce a major challenge? In my recent past I’ve announced 30 days of yoga, writing a novel in 30 days, and some grueling physical challenges. In years past I’ve announced that I’m going to run a marathon, do a triathlon, start a blog, give up my car, give up meat, and so on.
Here’s the thing: the first step wasn’t to take on a major challenge. It was simply announcing it. And announcing something is really really easy. Doing it is much harder, but once you’ve announced it, you have some momentum, and you’re committed to a direction. Making the announcement only takes the moving of your lips and some hot air, or the typing of your fingers while your email program is open, and let’s face it, you do those things even when you’re in a rut.