The only problem is, we are self-sabotaging ourselves time and time again. Because, we not only are we trying to climb out of a rut, we are trying to scale a mountain at the same time.
---Our lack of discipline is not the problem, it's our need to change everything all at once.---
Here's an example of how I used to try to get myself out of a rut at work:
I'd march myself down to Office Max or Staples and buy myself a new planner, new colorful sticky note tabs and a brand new set of thin multi-color sharpies (how awesome are those things?!). I'd come up with a fantastically organized system for how I would manage my time, write my meeting notes and document my to-do list from now on. I'd labor over writing with my very best penmanship and agonize over how best to organize and file each and every necessary piece of information in my office. I'd build a list of 23 new action items that I would execute daily, from now on, to be a more organized, more productive and a more creative leader. One in particular (which I still love) was to leave 10 minutes in between meetings to compile my thoughts, take notes and plan my follow-up.
We all do this, right? Think back to the last new year's resolution you made. Perhaps it was just one resolution but very likely, there were dozens of action steps built into it. I'm going to lose 20 lbs. by never touching sweets again, going to the gym 4x/week, never, ever taking an elevator, walking every morning at 5am, cooking from scratch each night of the week, getting a personal trainer, starting each day with 5 minutes of meditation, doing yoga each night as I watch TV and avoiding the snack room at work at all costs.
--> When will we stop creating these unrealistic expectations?
I don't blame us, actually. When we are stuck in a rut we feel uncomfortable, alone, helpless. So, when we finally get motivated to create change, we want it NOW. We want it to be big, impactful, immediate and we not only want out of the rut, we want to be standing fists victoriously pumped as we stand on top of our mountain of accomplishments.
You know the definition of insanity, right? Doing the same thing time and time again expecting a different result? Stop the self-sabotage and consider that you do not lack the discipline to change, you're just trying to conquer way too many things at once.
So, come on. Do something. Do one small thing right now. Then, do it again tomorrow and the next day. Keep your head down, keep doing it and TRUST.
Trust that your discipline with this one action will get you out of the rut once and for all.
"Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well the big ones tend to take care of themselves". - Dale Carnegie